Licorice candy is a beloved treat enjoyed by people all around the world. Its distinctive sweet and slightly tangy flavor, coupled with its chewy texture, makes it a favorite among candy enthusiasts. While licorice candy is often associated with a single, classic flavor, there is a world of delightful variations to explore. In this article, we’ll take you on a global tour of licorice candies, highlighting some of the unique and delicious offerings from different countries.
- The Classic Black Licorice
- Dutch Drop: The Netherlands
- Lakritsi: Finland
- Pontefract Cakes: United Kingdom
- Australian Licorice
- Scandinavian Licorice
- Licorice Innovations Worldwide
- Exploring Licorice Beyond Borders
The Classic Black Licorice
Let’s start with the classic international licorice candy, which is the most recognizable and widely consumed form of licorice candy. This candy has a strong anise flavor, which comes from the root of the licorice plant (Glycyrrhiza glabra). Black licorice is enjoyed in many countries, including the United States, the Netherlands, Australia, and the United Kingdom. In these places, you’ll find various brands and styles of black licorice, from soft and chewy to hard and brittle.
Dutch Drop: The Netherlands
The Netherlands, often credited with pioneering licorice candy production, boasts an incredible variety of licorice treats known as “Drop.” Dutch licorice comes in a wide range of shapes and flavors, making it a paradise for licorice lovers. Some popular Dutch licorice varieties include:
1. Zoute Drop (Salty Licorice)
Zoute Drop is a Dutch licorice variety that surprises many newcomers with its intense salty flavor. It’s made by adding ammonium chloride, which gives it a distinctive salty and slightly bitter taste. While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, Zoute Drop has a dedicated fan base in the Netherlands.
2. Dubbelzoute Drop (Double Salt Licorice)
For those who can’t get enough of the salty licorice experience, Dubbelzoute Drop takes it to the next level. This licorice candy is even saltier than the regular Zoute Drop and is an acquired taste for many.
3. Honingdrop (Honey Licorice)
Honingdrop offers a sweeter alternative to the traditional salty licorice. It combines the classic licorice taste with a hint of honey, creating a delightful balance of flavors.
In Finland, licorice is a national obsession, and they have a unique licorice culture all their own. Finnish licorice, known as “Lakritsi,” comes in various shapes and sizes, and it’s not uncommon to find licorice infused with other flavors. Some notable Finnish licorice treats include:
Salmiakki is a type of Finnish licorice infused with ammonium chloride, giving it a salty and slightly bitter taste similar to Dutch Zoute Drop. It’s a polarizing candy that some adore and others find challenging to enjoy due to its intense flavor.
Sisu licorice, named after the Finnish concept of resilience and determination, offers a milder licorice experience. It is often combined with flavors like raspberry or lemon to create a delightful contrast.
Pontefract Cakes: United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom, licorice lovers have a special treat known as Pontefract Cakes. These small, round, and glossy licorice candies have a history dating back to the 18th century. Named after the Yorkshire town of Pontefract, these cakes are made from a unique recipe that includes licorice extract, sugar, and starch. They have a strong licorice flavor and a satisfyingly chewy texture, making them a nostalgic favorite for many Brits.
Australia has its own spin on licorice candy, which is often characterized by its soft and chewy texture. Australian licorice is typically flavored with real licorice extract, giving it a genuine licorice taste. While you can find classic black licorice in Australia, they also offer a variety of fruit-flavored licorice options, such as strawberry and raspberry.
Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Denmark also have a rich tradition of licorice candy. Much like their Dutch and Finnish counterparts, Scandinavian licorice comes in various forms, from salty to sweet. It’s not uncommon to find licorice infused with herbs, spices, and even chocolate.
Licorice Innovations Worldwide
Licorice candy manufacturers worldwide are constantly innovating to cater to changing tastes and preferences. You can now find licorice candies with creative twists, such as chocolate-covered licorice, licorice-filled chocolates, and licorice-infused gummies. These innovations showcase the versatility of licorice as a candy ingredient.
Exploring Licorice Beyond Borders
If you’re a licorice enthusiast or just curious about trying licorice candies from around the world, consider exploring international licorice selections. Many specialty candy shops and online retailers offer a wide range of licorice treats, allowing you to taste the world’s diverse licorice traditions from the comfort of your home.
Remember that licorice candies come in various flavors and textures, and not all licorice treats will suit every palate. Whether you prefer the bold and salty flavors of Dutch licorice, the milder sweetness of Finnish Lakritsi, or the traditional black licorice from the United Kingdom, there’s a licorice candy out there for you.
Licorice candy is a global delight that transcends borders and cultures. From the intense saltiness of Dutch Zoute Drop to the milder Finnish Sisu, licorice enthusiasts can embark on a flavorful journey exploring the diverse licorice traditions from around the world. So, why not satisfy your sweet tooth and embark on a licorice adventure that spans the globe?