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Van Slooten

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Van Slooten Flowers & Butterflies Mix of Sugared Liquorice

Van Slooten Flowers & Butterflies Mix of Sugared LiquoriceI know there are a lot of blogs out there that review candy these days, but somehow I feel alone in my obsession for licorice. (And I feel sometimes that I’m alienating my non-licorice loving readers by featuring something black every week.)

I picked up this cute little can from Van Slooten called Flowers & Butterflies Mix of Sugared Liquorice. It’s Dutch and as far as I could tell, was a mix of salted and sweet licorice much like the previous little can I picked up and reviewed of Licorice Figures. It seemed a bit pricey, something the size of a can of beans that cost $3.99, but they really packed the candy in there, it’s over a half a pound at 8.82 ounces.

The mix inside was as described, at least six different shapes and as far as I could tell, three different varieties.

Van Slooten Flowers & Butterflies Mix of Sugared Liquorice

Gummi Flower & Tulip is chewy and dense but with a very mild flavor. It was mostly a toasted sugar flavor, sort of like a marshmallow and some light anise. That was it. I liked it and I ate them all. At first I didn’t realize that the tulip was the same as the flatter 10 petal flower. But once the tulips were gone (yes, I ate them first), I figured it out.

Butterflies are a great medium brown color with sparkly grains of sugar. There are two shapes for the butterflies, but I found the texture and flavor to be the same with them. I expected a griotten flavor and texture, which is a light and airy gummi with a salted licorice flavor. These did have that brown sugar and salted licorice flavor but with instead the texture was sort of tacky and chewy. I can’t say that it as quite a gumdrop, but it definitely wasn’t a gummi marshmallow. I enjoyed these, the salt was quite noticeable but not so much of the ammonia aftertaste taste that I don’t care for.

Van Slooten Licorice

Gumdrop Flower is really chewy and has a strong molasses flavor. Aside from the grainy sugar coating, it’s quite smooth. I enjoyed it at first, but then there’s a tangy element that creeps in along with something metallic, then I got a hit of the ammonia. As long as I alternated them with the other versions, I found them passable. Ultimately I was left with a dozen of them in the bottom of the can.

I would eat these again, especially for the milder gummi varieties. They’re also pretty and I like the compact, easy to open and close package.

Candy Gurus tried their Fruit Gums called Fun & Sun Fruit Gum

Related Candies

  1. 12 European Licorices
  2. Van Slooten Lakrids Figurer
  3. Albanese Gummi Butterflies
  4. Van Slooten - Autodrop Total Loss
  5. Licorice Assortment
  6. Dutch Licorice


Name: Flowers & Butterflies Mix of Sugared Liquorice
    RATING:
  • SUPERB
  • YUMMY
  • TASTY
  • WORTH IT
  • TEMPTING
  • PLEASANT
  • BENIGN
  • UNAPPEALING
  • APPALLING
  • INEDIBLE
Brand: Van Slooten
Place Purchased: Cost Plus World Market (Park LaBrea)
Price: $3.99
Size: 8.82 ounces
Calories per ounce: 102
Categories: Candy, Van Slooten, Gummi Candy, Jelly Candy, Licorice Candy, 7-Worth It, Netherlands, Cost Plus

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:52 pm     CandyReviewVan SlootenGummi CandyJelly CandyLicorice Candy7-Worth ItNetherlandsCost PlusComments (9)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Van Slooten Lakrids Figurer

Van Slooten Lakrids FigurerI’m still trying to love salted licorice.

In my current attempt, I’ve been looking for very lightly salted stuff and hoping to find non-ammonium versions.

The latest item I found was this cute little can from Van Slooten called Lakrids Figurer which features both sweet and salty liquorice in one package. It’s Dutch, so it does feature ammonium chloride as the salt of choice.

But the package was just so cute and so were the little licorice pieces inside. I had their Autodrop Total Loss mix before and was enchanted with the imaginative shapes they make.

Salty Lakrids FigurerThe clever part about the assortment was that there were both kinds of licorice. They were coded - four of the animal shapes were salted and three were sweet.

Think of them like animal crackers! Or perhaps some sort of licorice roulette if you don’t know the key.

The salty licorice shapes were Zebra, Elephant, Lion and Kangaroo. Each was about an inch or inch and a quarter at the longest.

They’re soft and pliable, though not quite chewy like Dots. The immediate taste on the tongue is not quite salt but more like a savory sizzle, a little smoky. Once I chewed it a little I got some notes of ground pepper and woodsy licorice. But later the salt turned a little odd, as it usually does. When I exhaled it was a bit like ammonia and also a bit rusty tasting.

I have to say that I did very well with these overall. If I managed to grab one by mistake when hunting for the sweet ones, it wasn’t the end of the world.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Sweet Lakrids Figurer

The sweet figures were Koala, Crocodile and Turtle.

I was trying to figure out if there was a reason for the different animals being salty or sweet. I tried breaking it down by species type, by habitat and even used the Wallace Line. There is no logic for the consumer as far as I can tell.

They aren’t easily sweet - putting it on the tongue to dissolve is rather subtle - not quite salty but definitely deep and smoky with molasses, anise and burnt toffee notes.

Rating: 7 out of 10

They texture is a cross between a gumdrop and something a little denser but not as hard as some other licorice cakes or coins. There’s no wheat in it, like most American and Aussie style products. I also found them very soothing to my throat - even the salty ones.

Even though I found the salty ones edible, they’re still not quite my style ... though I would definitely recommend them as a “starter” salty licorice for those looking to broaden their candy experiences. They do get a little stuck in my teeth.

So far I like the Van Slooten stuff I’ve had though I don’t think I’ve found their item that’s precisely suited to me yet. I’ll keep looking.

Related Candies

  1. Venco Drop Toppers - Salmiak & Mint
  2. Wolfgang Skipjacks & Jungle Jacks
  3. Licorice Assortment
  4. Good & Plenty (Fresh from the Factory)
  5. House of Chocolate Blues
  6. Salted Licorices: Djungelvral and Dubbel Zout
Name: Lakrids Figurer (Licorice Figures)
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Van Slooten
Place Purchased: Mel & Rose (West Hollywood)
Price: $3.95
Size: 8.8 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Licorice, Netherlands

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:57 pm     Comments (7)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Van Slooten - Autodrop Total Loss

Autodrop Total LossSometimes I buy candy just because of what it’s called.

In this case, it’s an assortment of little car shaped candies called Autodrop Total Loss. It includes 11 different flavors in one bag (Elf Heerlijke Smaken in een Zak).

I thought that the “total loss” thing meant something different in Dutch, but honestly I can’t figure out if it’s a cognate or not. I thought maybe it was something like “massive pile up” but internet translators are only good with verbatim things, not interpretive use of language.

The purple bag has whimsical drawings of cars motoring down the street, making little “toet, toet” sounds, which I’m guessing is like “putt, putt”. The style of the drawings reminds me of Quentin Blake (whom many of us were introduced to via Charlie & the Chocolate Factory).

Total Loss (no really, that's what it's called)

  • Klein Zacht Fiatje (little black car) - this is sweet and a little woodsy tasting. Not quite licorice, it’s a little like brown sugar but maybe a little hint of menthol in there. It’s chewy and soft, reminds me a bit of those old Pine Brothers cough drops (before they got really stale).
  •  

  • Zacht Kadettje is the larger car driving to the left, it has two layers, a light layer on the bottom and a black layer on the top. It’s much like the Klein Zacht Fiatje, the base layer is a little more like a mello-creme, kind of soft and grainy and less chewy. Still a very mellow woodsy flavor.
  •  

  • Dubbele Dubbeldekker (red & black bus) is a firm, berry flavored “fruit gum” candy with a little hint of licorice to it, a little dash of mild salt. It’s kind of odd, the berry isn’t that strong, but neither is the licorice.
  •  

  • Aardbei Rode Cadillac (red gummi Caddy) is a strawberry fruit gum. It’s soft and has a pretty intense flavor. Not quite as floral or aromatic as the German strawberry candies I’ve had, this one is more like a strawberry jam flavor. 
  •  

  • Bovsrucht Paarse Chevy is pretty much the same as the Caddy, a mild cassis or cherry, depending on the color. Again, it tastes more like the preseves of the fruits than the fresh ones. (Not a bad thing, just different.) 
  •  

  • Dubbel Frisse Fruit Limo came in a couple of color combos: green and red or red and yellow. The green & red tasted a bit like lime & strawberry.  Red and yellow was a similar mild lemon and berry (but possibly cassis, I can’t be sure).
  •  

  • Romige Rolls (beige Rolls Royce) was a dreamy caramelized mellow cream. Kind of like the crust of a toasted marshmallow. I ate them several different ways. I sucked on them like a lozenge (though they do get a little grainy towards the center) and others I just chewed up. They’re much harder than candy corn, probably because they have some sort of thickener/binder like gelatin in them. I believe the translation of the word toffeeschium is “toffee foam” which is pretty much what this was. Tasty simplicity.
  •  

  • Colaflesje Op Wieland (Cola bottle on wheels) - this one was easy. It was a mild and tangy cola gummi. A little too much on the tangy side and not enough cola, but still, a tasty and comforting piece.
  • If I were able to translate all the descriptions in the shop I would have known that none of the black ones were actually licorice, so with my expectations now set aside, these were tasty and fun. The variety is huge and the molding of all the items is fun and different. I don’t see myself buying this particular mix again, but there are other Autodrops that are actually licorice (called Drop Donders that includes sweet, salt, honey and salmiak licorice) that I might give a try based on the quality of this product.

    Autodrops contain gelatin so are unsuitable for vegetarians (and don’t appear to be Kosher either).

    Many thanks to Babelfish for helping me at least translate some of the words from the package.

    Related Candies

    1. Licorice Assortment
    2. Brach’s Autumn Mix
    3. Haribo Fizzy Cola
    4. Bassett’s Licorice Allsorts
    5. Frugal Swedish Sweets
    Name: Autodrop Total Loss
      RATING:
    • 10 SUPERB
    • 9 YUMMY
    • 8 TASTY
    • 7 WORTH IT
    • 6 TEMPTING
    • 5 PLEASANT
    • 4 BENIGN
    • 3 UNAPPEALING
    • 2 APPALLING
    • 1 INEDIBLE
    Brand: Van Slooten
    Place Purchased: Holland's Best (San Jose)
    Price: $3.15
    Size: 6.17 ounces
    Calories per ounce: unknown
    Categories: Gummi, Netherlands

    POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:46 am     Comments (8)

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