Sunday, November 14, 2010

Natural Vines: A Healthy Twist on Licorice

All-natural candy has perhaps been the biggest trend in candy over the last few years and it's come a long way, baby. It used to be that you'd walk into a health food store and find some sort of date/fig/nut ball concoction that was trying to pass for "candy." Not any more, thankfully. With more and more people (read: concerned parents) looking to eliminate artificial colors and flavors out of their diets, candy makers have had to step up their game and get innovative. I've written about different products before (including the wildly successful Qbel bars, which I just saw for sale in Stop & Shop) and now there's another one to add to the list.
American Licorice Company, famous for Red Vines, has come out with a new product: Natural Vines. They come in black and strawberry and here's what you get:

Black Licorice twists: Molasses, wheat flour, sugar, brown rice syrup, cane syrup, caramel color, licorice extract, palm oil, natural anise flavor, salt.

Strawberry Licorice twists: Wheat flour, cane syrup, sugar, brown rice syrup, palm oil, malic acid, natural strawberry flavor, beet juice (a natural color), glycerin, licorice extract.

Pretty cool, huh? I received some samples from the company, but it was right before Halloween and I was inundated with candy. (As you might recall, I had candy stuffed into every nook and cranny in the house. Funny, most of it seems to have disappeared.) So I thought I'd have some fun and have the licorice experts-- my parents-- do the tasting.
They loved the packaging. Whoever designed it should get an award, because it truly is outstanding. As for the candy, they liked it, but said it didn't really taste like "licorice," which is surprising since, unlike many other licorices, these actually contain licorice extract.
Have you tried Natural Vines? Let me know what you think.

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