Lordy, I don't know how things are where you live, but around here, the National Licorice Day festivities seem to still be carrying on. A parade just went by my house and the fireworks have just started. King Licorice 2010 has just been crowned and the world's largest black jelly bean has been unveiled.
Well, maybe that's a bit hyperbolic. Let's just say that I celebrated today by trying some Grapevines Purple Grape Twists in honor of this most important holiday. The cats over at American Licorice Company kindly sent me some samples of their grape-flavored twists. I have to admit, I wasn't too gung-ho on trying these, given the agitated state that Rainbow Twizzlers put me in a few years ago. I was afraid these would be another hot candy mess.The first thing I noticed when I opened the package was the aroma: big, juicy grape, like Bubble Yum. They get an A in the aroma category. As for taste, well, it's kind of baffling. Once you bite into a piece, it seems that the BIG taste isn't there. It's grapey, just not GRAPEY!
I think the biggest difference between Twizzlers and Red Vines (or in this case, Grapevines), is texture. While Twizzlers tend to be dense and chewy (at least the red and black kind), the Vines are more doughy. They're also more hollow, which created for me a very interesting situation. I found myself puffing into a piece and then drawing back in, almost as if it were a cigarette. It was kind of hypnotic; definitely a one-of-a-kind mouth-feel experience. I just don't know where to place these on the licorice continuum. I mean, if you're a purist, then these don't belong anywhere on the licorice charts. They'd be a candy all their own. But if you're more lax, and you like grape, then these could very well be a cult favorite. As a side note, Red Vines are holding a pretty cool contest where you can design their new label. You can check it out here.