I absolutely adore black licorice. Wasn’t always so. I used to turn my nose up at it when I was Trick-or-Treating age, and my father gleefully took the offensive items out of my bag and sighed with happiness at each chew. Then one day I decided to give a box of Good ‘N Plenty’s a try…and my world was forever changed.
As the years rolled on, I went from my tried and true G’NPs to the bedrock of black licorice; European brands. Why? Real licorice. That’s right boys and girls, here in the States, the vast majority of licorice is made with anise, not actual licorice root. I do enjoy anise – I’ve even been known to tipple a wee glass of the Green Fairy now and again – but dangit, if I’m calling myself a licorice fan, I should know what real licorice tastes light, right? Absolutely. So I went from market to market, scouring shelves for my beloved, and found lots to enjoy in Italian, German and Danish types.
And then one day I struck gold in what I thought was the most unlikely of places; Iceland. Oh, the things those lovely folks can do with licorice! But the most astounding is the way they blend licorice with chocolate. Yes, chocolate. When I visited Reykjavik, I was astounded at the number of bars, drops and other candies that blended the two together. Needless to say, when you’re gonna combine two of my favorite things, I’ll be in love for the rest of my life. And so I have. The problem? Where to go for my fix when I arrived home?
Well, I don’t have to worry much anymore. When Dear Editor asked if anyone would like to try (and review) some chocolate and “lakkris” (a wonderful spelling that I may start adopting) candy, I jumped at the chance. Actually, I shrieked like a Final Girl in a slasher movie, and then my fingers flew on the keyboard so I could beg him to send the black stuff my way. And so he did.
So, how’d I like Sirius Konsum Chocolate & Lakkris? I absolutely loved it. In fact, I didn’t want to review this. I wanted to grab the bag and flee into a hidden wilderness, so I could be alone with the deliciousness. Yes, I’ve always been a fan of licorice, but Iceland has a way with the stuff that’s absolute magic, and Sirius Konsum has outdone themselves with these lovely balls of goodness. *cue Alec Baldwin’s SNL “Schweddy Balls” joke*
There’s a lovely smoothness to the chocolate, all satiny and creamy. It’s the milk chocolate that dusty ol’ Hershey’s wishes it was. The fact that I typically eschew anything but dark chocolate should let you know exactly how luscious this stuff is. I actually closed my eyes and focused on how it melted on my tongue, and may have even made an “mmmmm” sound. Absolutely divine. And while it’s easy to get swept away on the smoothness of the chocolate, the licorice has a nice nip of saltiness to it. This licorice actually uses salt for “salty licorice”, instead of the citric acid standby many others reach for. While it’s good to note that if you’re someone who’s watching their intake, it’s a perfect addition. Honestly; if you enjoy sea salt caramel and haven’t tried salty licorice yet? You’re missing out. (And the entire bag has a little over 450mg of sodium, so with the rich, deep satisfaction these bites deliver? You can ration. YOU can. I wasn’t able to. I have an Icelandic licorice problem.)
Chocolate & Lakkris is a beautiful blend of creamy chocolate and that deep, rich licorice umami. Would be amazing with a dark beer, or a lovely espresso. But to be honest it’d go with anything. Maybe not orange juice, but hey I won’t judge you if chocolate-covered licorice and citrus is your thing. But either way, if you’re a fan of licorice – and you really should be, it’s amazing – give these lovely bites a try. They’re more than candy, they’re comfort. And who doesn’t love that?