August 22, 2008


Monterey County public health officials are warning consumers not to eat a licorice candy distributed in Costco stores after it was found to have elevated levels of lead.

Lucky Country Aussie Style Soft Gourmet Black Licorice candy was discovered to be contaminated by the California Department of Health and has been recalled by its manufacturer, a North Carolina company called Lucky Country.

According to Monterey County Health Officer Dr. Hugh Stallworth, lead is toxic to humans, particularly young children, and can result in disabilities and disorders that can last a lifetime.

The California Department of Public Health discovered that the product contained as much as 0.15 parts per million of lead. California considers candies with lead levels in excess of 0.10 parts per million to be contaminated.

Consumers who find the product for sale in stores are encouraged to call the department's complaint hotline at (800) 495-3232.

For more information about lead poisoning, parents and caretakers can contact Monterey County's childhood lead poisoning prevention program at (831) 755-4704.

From The Associated Press and

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

May 14, 2008

Lucky Country Packaging - Whole Foods vs. Costco

Lucky Costco.jpgWe covered Lucky Country's Black Licorice several days ago. But as we've tried to make clear, we're on a licorice when the fetching Mrs. Candy Snob and I were strolling through Costco, we felt compelled to pick up a big honkin' bag of Lucky Country black licorice. To be perfectly honest, I thought these were a different version than the Whole Foods bag we had bought, but they were not.

lucky country black.jpgSame solid licorice, strong anise flavor, nice and soft. But note the packaging. It isn't new news that Costco (and Sam's Club) ask their vendors to package their products especially for them (large quantities, stackable, etc.). But what struck me more was that the Whole Foods version was so different. If you look at the Lucky Country strawberry licorice we also recently looked at, the "mass-marketing," plastic packaging with brighter colors, etc. seem to be the norm. In other words, instead of Lucky Country retro-fitting their Whole Foods (i.e. "natural") packaging to sell into Costco, could it be the other way around? Could Whole Foods be dictating the look and materials of their packaging to fit into their "all natural" motif?

Want more natural news? Check out Really Natural.

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

May 11, 2008

Review: Lucky Country Aussie Style Gourmet Licorice - Strawberry

IMG_3567.jpgIt is official - we're on a licorice kick. After we reviewed Lucky Country's Black Licorice, we wanted to try the brand's strawberry option.

The strawberry licorice comes again in the ~1 inch piece with deep grooves that run the length of the piece. It is much softer than its black licorice counterpart. I think this typically has to do with the flavoring - black licorice to me is less sugary than strawberry - which I believe makes black more firm. The strawberry is a little less dense, again something I attribute to strawberry vs. black licorice in general.

The flavor's good, but not great. I don't know if "gourmet" is appropriate to be honest. I would liken the flavor to Red Vines. Not nearly as sugary, and a much deeper flavor, but it lives in that general vicinity of strawberry flavor. But it doesn't have nearly the depth of flavor we've seen in other "gourmet" licorices.

Overall thought? Solid strawberry licorice, but not for licorice connoisseurs.

One note, this licorice doesn't appear to be the all natural version that the black licorice was, but if that's not a huge deal to you, this is well worth trying.

Check out Lucky Country Licorice

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

May 9, 2008

Ctrl-Alt-Del Licorice

Thanks CandyAddict for the heads up on this licorice and the pic. A very fun idea to appeal to both the black licorice lovers and also the tech/geek community.


Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

May 8, 2008

Review: Lucky Country Gourmet Soft Licorice (Black Licorice)

lucky country black.jpgWe're slowly (or not so slowly) becoming addicted to "Aussie style" licorice. Why? Simply because its flavorful, typically in nice, bite sized pieces, and most of all because its soft.

We recently checked out Lucky Country's black licorice flavored offering. According to the packaging, they came across this particular recipe by accident, when a hard licorice batch went awry and turned soft. Here's to happy accidents! It is also all natural to boot - which we always appreciate.

These pieces are about one inch long, which make for convenient (and plentiful) eating.

They aren't as soft as other Aussie licorice we've had - which isn't a bad thing, but the softer the better in our book. The insides are a bit dry as well.

The flavor is strong for sure, big and bold anise taste abounds. Its not for the faint of heart, but also not for the hard core licorice traditionalists either. The flavor stays with you for awhile, I actually feel like my tongue is coated with something, which is slightly offputting.

Overall, I'd put it in the mid-top tier of the licorice I've had. If I HAD to give it a rating, I'd give it a 6 or 7.

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

March 24, 2008

Licorice Alert: Amarelli Sassolini Licorice

"Sassolini" means "little stones," which is an appropriate moniker. The yummy pieces are coated in a a vanilla candy shell.

Thank you Cool Hunting

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

March 17, 2008

Licorice Alert: Zout brand licorice

Chewy, dense, salty and complex. Recommended for salty licorice neophytes or those who like a more moderate saltiness. Read the whole review here.

We'd also like to add - black salty licorice is not for the feint of heart, but if you give it a shot - you'll come to really like it.

From Cool Hunting

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

March 6, 2008

Licorice Alert: Haribo Wheels

If you want good licorice - good meaning not black Twizzlers - you want it to be a sweet yet a little salty, chewy but not pull-your-fillings-out sticky. Haribo Wheels do the trick. They come in spiral ropes which you can uncoil to lengthen your enjoyment...or just eating the whole wheel (my preference).
Get a two lb box of Haribo Wheels from Amazon for $8.

From Cool Hunting

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

February 28, 2008

Licorice Alert: Licorice Piglets

We often talk about "authentic" licorice flavor, which is too strong for some people. These licorice piglets, however, have a more mild flavor without losing its authenticity. So if you're typically not a huge fan of black licorice, these might be a new one to try. They come mixed - red and black - in a nice tin, and they're small. So you can shovel them into your mouth if you're a fan or just nibble if you're getting used to good licorice.

Get a tin of Red & Black Licorice Piglets at Amazon for $25

From Cool Hunting

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

February 20, 2008

Licorice Alert: Black Tire Tread Licorice

The all natural Tire Tread Black Licorice pieces are rich and chewy, and made for people who want classic licorice flavor. By that we mean not particularly sweet, with a strong yet enjoyable anise flavor. And from a texture standpoint, chewy but not sticky - you still want to be able to bite through the piece. Tire Treads hit all these points very well.

Tire Treads are made by Tubi's licorice, and you can get a 21-piece bag at Amazon here.

From Cool Hunting

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

February 14, 2008

Licorice Alert: La Pipette Licorice Pipes

Cool Hunting brought this one to our attention, accurately reporting that while candy cigarettes have been banned in several countries, researchers have not been able to prove a connection between licorice pipes and the dreaded "pretend cancer." Which is good news for licorice lovers. These bad boys are made in Finland, and are sure to make you look very smart and professorial.

You can get a 60-pipe box of Licorice Pipes at Amazon for $42.

From Cool Hunting

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

February 4, 2008

Review: RJ's Natural Rasperry Licorice Logs

RJ's is a New Zealand-based, family owned and operated candy company that focuses solely on licorice (we like candy companies with focus, btw, it means they take the little things seriously). Their licorice is all-natural, and vegan-friendly, BTW.

We picked up one of RJ's "soft-eating" licorice log at a local cafe/food shop - frankly thinking it was traditional black licorice (note to RJ's, you should print the flavor a little more prominently on the wrapper). We also took note of the "soft-eating" mention on the wrapper, and very much looked forward to a great licorice-y chew.

What we found was something that frankly looked more like a Vienna sausage than a traditional piece of licorice. Aesthetics aside, the biggest issue with this licorice was the texture. It was very chewy, and not soft. Actually, it was a little dry inside, which perhaps is the culprit. It absolutely was not "soft-eating."

However, the licorice had great flavor. The natural raspberry flavor was subtle, not overstated, and very tasty. Sometimes raspberry flavor can be overwhelming, but this was not the case at all with this. We both liked the flavor very much.

We would definitely give RJ's another try, we'd especially like to try the black licorice. But given options, we're not sure this would be our top choice.

You can try RJ's Licorice here.

Learn more about RJ's Licorice at their website.

Bob Wallace at Permalink | social bookmarking

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