Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Dutch Licorice

Happy Licorice Day! Did you know it’s National Licorice Day?

So, it’ll be all licorice all day here on Candy Blog ... if you don’t like the black stuff, just move along and come back tomorrow and it’ll be something chocolate or maybe something nutty or perhaps something sour. If you do like licorice, well, browse around through my archives by clicking on the Licorice category for all the licorice reviews.

I picked up an assortment of Dutch licorices when I was in Pittsburgh. Because this is real licorice which can have side effects when consumed in large quantities, I’ve been tasting it responsibly for the past six weeks or so.

imageBeehive Honey Licorice - these little black beehives boast 8% honey! They’re smooth and soft and instead of the strong charcoal flavor of molasses as a base, these boast a fine honey flavor with the nice woodsy and sweet qualities of licorice. They really don’t taste anything like a licorice vine that I’m accustomed to, reminding me more of an herbal tea.

imageKatjes (kittens) - these are dark looking and a little firmer with glossy black coats. The licorice flavor is strong and melts away to be rather watery on the tongue because it doesn’t have molasses or wheat flour in it like many of the vines do. Good flavor and good balance. Of all of them these went best with coffee because of the clarity of the flavor. I actually enjoy the mix of coffee and anise or licorice together, which I think is a pretty common Italian combination.

imageZout (salt) - yes, this is the single salt version of the Dubbel Zout I tried after Christmas. These are lozenge shaped (diamond) and bear the Zout label on them, lest you get confused in a mixed bag! Wow, I’m so glad I gave these another try. They certainly have a zing to them, though it’s not the same electric thing that I had with the DZ. The salt really brings out the licorice flavor without tasting too sweet (which licorice often suffers from). This version also doesn’t have the strong ammonia quality that the others I’ve tried, though towards the end where I was finding little bits in my teeth I did get the strange sensation of basement or catbox. I’m still not sold on it, but I didn’t spit out ANY of the pieces I ate. (I know, faint praise.)

imageKlene Muntdrop - a little coin, mine came in denominations of 1, 5 & 10. Very mild, not too sweet. I let mine get stale (not on purpose, but it seems that a paper bag isn’t the proper way to store them), but they’re kind of pleasant that way too. They melt away into a kind of woodsy, sticky goo. Still, there’s an odd note to the flavor that’s slightly acidic and slightly musty. I’ve had a bit of a cold lately and these are kind of nice in a “keep your throat happy” way.

imageWax Seals - I have no idea what these are called or who makes them, but they’re fantastic! They look like little stamps made in wax, like you’d seal a letter, but maybe they’re coins. They’re mellow and smooth and ultra soft (where the other ones go stiff and hard in the paper bag, these stayed soft and yielding). They have a good molasses bite without the wheat flour doughy quality that some other American and German vines can get.

If you’re feeling adventurous, just get a mix of things. The cool part is that each little licorice is quite unique in how it looks and it shouldn’t be hard to find them again and get just the ones you liked. I only gave these a 6 out of 10 as an average, but a mix of the beehives and wax seals would get an 8 out of 10 on their own.

Name: Assorted Dutch Licorice
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: unknown
Place Purchased: Baldinger's (Zelienople, PA)
Price: $6.00 pound
Size: 4 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Licorice, Holland

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:44 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. These all sound really unique!  I’d love to try them… I’m a bigger fan of red licorice than black, but black licorice done right can be so satisfying at times.  I’m intrigued by the little honey beehives- 8% honey?!

    I’m actually going to be celebrating -hopefully- this Nat’l Licorice Day because my package from Brian SHOULD be on its way! 

    Thanks for sharing! =)

    Comment by Kirsten on 4/12/06 at 4:41 am #
  2. I vote for an attempt at double salted licorice! That’s my fave.

    Comment by Carly on 4/12/06 at 6:24 am #
  3. National Licorice Day!

    Who knew? Luckily I’ve got a new pack of honey drops to celebrate with.

    Here’s a nice online source with seven pages of licorice! Mostly Dutch, but also from many other countries. I often buy from them. Mmmmm: Salty? Double salt? Triple? Hard? Soft? Liquid? Powder? Cats? Herring? Mint? Honey? Raspberry??

    I’ll have to try these Irish liquorice toffees:

    I think those last ones you viewed are Pontefract Cakes from England:

    Comment by desertwind on 4/12/06 at 2:14 pm #
  4. Cybele's avatar

    Desertwind - good call on the last ones! I think that’s it. (I could have pulled them from the wrong bin at the candy shop.)

    These looked good too:

    Carly - I’ve done the dubbel zout! I just couldn’t handle it. I’ll try again, but I think I need to work my way up to it.

    Kirsten - looks like an excellent selection Brian’s passing along! Congrats on your score!

    Comment by Cybele on 4/12/06 at 5:34 pm #
  5. Ah, Mint Nopjes! Excellent choice, Cybele.

    OT, but if you do order from this site, I’ll bet you’d enjoy

    Comment by desertwind on 4/12/06 at 7:01 pm #
  6. This looks like fun! (in a cheesy little town fair sort of way)

    Comment by desertwind on 4/12/06 at 7:07 pm #
  7. Cybele, it’s definitely an aquired taste. But once you aquire it… oh man, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. The only place I’ve been able to get them in the States is this little candy shop in Carmel.

    Comment by Carly on 4/13/06 at 7:07 am #
  8. I’m a HUGE licorice fan and have tried many types from around the world. My personal favorite source is Licorice International at You’ll find all the types of licorice mentioned here and many many others! I love the raspberry licorice from Australia and various types of Dutch licorice. I can’t take the really super salty ones, but love the muntdrop coins and the Kokindjes buttons (a bit softer but still strong licorice flavor). I don’t care for any of the honey ones myself, but be sure to try the strawberry licorice and licorice/caramel drops. Very unique flavors! Unfortunately one of my favorites was discontinued, apricot-filled licorice logs. Yum!

    Comment by Mary Jo Sminkey on 4/20/06 at 7:35 pm #
  9. Does anybody know the calorie information for Katjes Licorice Cats?

    Comment by Natalie on 6/03/06 at 2:17 pm #
  10. Hi,  cool page.  The stamped wax licourice candies you mentioned are called Pontefract Cakes.  I believe they’re from Haribo, but I’m not sure.  Personally, I love Dubbel Zout, btw. smile

    Comment by Daniel on 6/06/06 at 5:18 am #
  11. Cybele's avatar

    Natalie - I’m afraid I haven’t found any of these pre-packaged with dietary info on them, only in bulk. They’re usually fat free, so I wouldn’t expect them to have more than 130 calories per ounce.

    Daniel - yeah, I suspected that’s what they were after poking around on all those sites. I think I might be able to handle the single zout now, as I’m working up my tolerance ... dubbel zout is a long way off!

    Comment by Cybele on 6/13/06 at 12:17 pm #
  12. I am trying to find a diamond shape hard gummy-type candy which is half black licorice and half fruity flavor?  I tried it in Poland but from a Finnish gal and faIled to look at the bag.  Does anyone know what I am talikng about?  Thanks!

    Comment by Trish on 8/10/06 at 11:45 am #
  13. we all black Licorice / Drop / Liquorice
    here are the brands name
    Albert Heijn
    Braskamp /Meenk
    Dropop Lekkerland
    Kraepelien & Holm
    Red Band
    Van Slooten
    Van Vliet
    Wybert & Potters
    we sell in bulk or small Bags, also known as Holland Pastry & Gift Shop, is located in San Jose, California. We have been serving our Dutch and Indonesian customers since 1949.

    Comment by klaas on 4/27/07 at 10:36 am #
  14. I need to know where I can find Dutch Licorice in Ocean Park California or Santa Monica, California.
    e-mail address is
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Phone No. is 435-586-7595

    Comment by Carol Howe on 5/09/07 at 4:58 pm #
  15. Hi!
    I am from a Norwegian heritage and we love licorice!  We just ordered $300 for our family reunion!  We get ours from Holland American Bakery in NJ - they do
    mail order. You should really try “Chalk” - similar in construction to good and plenty, but with more of a menthol taste and a larger licorice to candy ratio. It’s called Schoolkruit.  Other favorites: Scheepstouw, Schinzout, Drop Haringen, Heksheyl Gevulde Staafjes , Kokindjes, Salimiak Pastilles.  Where to get it:

    Comment by Valerie on 7/25/07 at 5:56 pm #
  16. Hi. I am interested in purchasing Assorted Dutch Licorice and some extra from Klene Muntdrop. What is the best way to go about it?
    Please let me know, Dorit

    Comment by Dorit Feldman on 11/27/07 at 5:30 am #
  17. The liquorice shown that you refer to as ‘wax seals’ are in fact Pontefract Cakes, probably the best known liquorice in the world. The cakes are based on the design of the siege coins that were produced in Pontefract castle during the time when it was besieged during the English Civil war. Pontefract has a long heritage of liquorice. It was first introduced into the town in the middle ages (circa 1600) by visiting monks. It has been grown in Pontefract since then until the 1960’s as the soil in the town is perfect for its cultivation. At the turn of the 20th century there were as many as 20 factories in the town all producing liquorice and the liquorice fields abounded around the town. By the 1960’s it was not commercially viable to grow the crops as it was cheaper to import. Sadly there are now just 2 factories, Haribo and Wilkinsons in the town but there is still a wonderful aroma of liquorice over the town on most days.
    We celebrate our heritage by holding a Liquorice Festival each year. This is an 8 day festival culminating in a procession through the town, world class street acts, and a liquorice market all on the final day. This year the festival runs from 6 - 13th july 2008 (website Liquorice lovers would love the market where they can sample liquorice beer (fabulous), cheese, bread, bacon, sausages, ice cream as well as all the traditional liquorice sweets.

    Comment by peter on 12/07/07 at 7:16 am #
  18. looking for gollia it’s a licorice from italy

    Comment by rocco rugnetta on 9/01/11 at 3:54 pm #
  19. Rocco - I think this is the stuff you mean. Golia, it’s made by Perfetti van Melle.

    Comment by cybele on 9/01/11 at 4:01 pm #
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