The Food of Gods

We've been spending a bit of time in the store formerly known as G.I. Joe's (they've since dropped the "G.I", but since I have family members named Joe, I use the old name to prevent confusion). It's the sporting goods store that we use when we don't feel like driving to REI. I used to think there was nothing G.I. Joe's carried that REI didn't (except for guns, but that doesn't count) until I came across a little red bag of Kookaburra licorice one day. I was hungry and I love licorice ("liquorice" as it's spelled on the packaging) so I bought a bag. I had no idea what a treat I was in for. I was expecting some sort of Twizzler-like waxiness, but oh no. This was the filet mignon of licorice; the Dom Perignon of strawberry-flavored chewiness; the caviar of candy; the, err, you get the point. It was juicy, soft, fresh, and it was all I could do to not eat the entire bag during the 15 minute drive home.

Kookaburra Licorice is made by an Aussie company that, fortunately for me, opened a distrubition center in Monroe, Washington. I haven't seen the candy anywhere but at G.I. Joe's in Issaquah yet, but there is an online store. If you like licorice then you have to give this Kookaburra Liquorice a try. I haven't tried the black flavored variety yet, but the red/strawberry is incredible. You can buy it in a 10oz bag, a 12oz tub, or the 15lb bulk bag for $66.50.

I'm definitely thinking bulk bag.


Maarten said...

Ah! Oooh! Don't do that! Stop!! You tickled one of my pet peeves, and coming from a country where licorice is a major food group, it's genetically impossible for me to not comment. :) I apologize up front for ranting on your weblog.

Licorice is a plant. Licorice is also food that contains extract of the licorice root, and is invariably colored brown or black.

Licorice is not anything that's colored red or strawberry flavored. "Red licorice" and "Chocolate covered strawberry licorice" are contradictions in terms from a limbo somewhere beyond "vegetarian chicken wings". Curses on the Twizzlers people! May they be smothered in an avalanche of Jelly Bellies.

Related but separately, anise and licorice are two distinct things that unfortunately are commonly confused because most U.S. "licorice" candy contains anise as an ingredient. This is what has people tasting anise liquors and thinking that they taste like licorice.

This message brought to you by the Association of Obsessive Licorice Fans for Licorice Redemption.

Jackie said...

I'd like to thank maarten for pointing out yet again how dumb we Americans really are. hahaha

But actually, that's correct. A dear Finnish friend of mine has brought me real licorice and let me tell you, that's no twizzler! I actually find it to be quite bitter, and not to my liking, but far be it for me to deny any Obsessive Licorice Fans of their treat...especially since real licorice is incredibly healthy for you.

Now, as for strawberry-flavored chewy treats, bring them on! :-)

Doug Walsh said...

It's not everyday I get to read my own blog and learn something new. Thanks Maarten for the info and the laugh.

However the origin or te spelling or the secret ingredients which likely have some chemical component to it, the Kookaburra "liquorice" (as the Aussie's spell it) is a damn fine treat and I highly recommend it to everyone with a full set of teeth. :)

Maarten said...

FYI, The other Joe (the Trader one) generally carries small tubs of aussie style candy in both red and black.

They've recently also had Scotties (black licorice in the shape of dogs), but I really dislike their texture--you bite down twice, and they just wedge all between and around your teeth, a big sticky mess and nothing to chew on.

CostPlus World Market also has a varying assortment of import licorice, usually German or Scandinavian. Some of the Katjes brand ones are pretty good.

In a pinch, I'll resort to Haribo licorice wheels which are availble just about anywhere and whose flavor and chewiness are both acceptable. I don't unroll 'em, just bite off chunks. :)

These kitty shaped ones are among my favorites.

Finally, closer to the Kookaburra style, I really liked RJ's soft licorice, but haven't seen it available locally.

Not that you wanted to know all that. ;-)