Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Halva Finnish Soft Strawberry Licorice

Halva Finnish Soft Strawberry LicoriceChewy, fruity and soft red licorice is just the thing on a hot summer day. It travels better than chocolate and of course the tart and fragrant flavor can give a little burst of thirst quenching without all that pesky drinking.

I picked up this package of Halva Strawberry Finnish Soft Licorice when I was at the ISM Cologne candy far earlier this year. I knew that they sold it at Cost Plus World Market here in the United States, so the brand gets around. The Halva brand is widely sold in Finland and is generally affordable but not necessarily gourmet.

The package is nicely designed, the format reminds me of the classic box of raisins. The stark and modern design uses a lot of white space, a bold photo of the candy (that actually looks like the candy) and some brief descriptions.

Halva Strawberry Licorice

Each strip is about one and a half inches long and are soft and pliable, quite shiny. They have a coating of beeswax and oil, so they’re a little greasy. They’re slightly translucent and a light shade of red.

They don’t smell like much, but once I bit into them I got a lot of other sensory input. The texture is soft and chewy, though a little gummy and doughy. The strawberry flavor is nice, it’s very smooth but mostly middle of the road, not deep and jammy like Panda Strawberry Licorice and not crumbly and artificial like Twizzlers either. It’s satisfying in the sense that it fills me up, but irritating that it sticks to my teeth. The red food coloring has no perceptible flavor, so I enjoyed that part. The light tartness kept it all from feeling like it was too sticky.

The base of the candy is made from glucose-fructose syrup and wheat flour.  In case you’re wondering if glucose-fructose syrup is pretty much the same thing as high fructose corn syrup, it is except that it’s probably not derived from corn. Use of glucose-fructose syrup is quite rare in American candies, not because of some high standards candy makers have or any health reasons for shunning them. Simply put, many of the sugars that candy makers choose are because of the way they perform physically and chemically. In a soda, HFCS will sweeten and bulk just the same as sucrose. But in a caramel, the free fructose (it’s bonded to a glucose molecule in sucrose and isn’t unbonded until well into the heating process of caramelization) will not work at all as the sole sugar. In the case of a wheat based chew like red licorice, it turns out you can use glucose-fructose syrup quite nicely.

Related Candies

  1. Panda Blueberry Liquorice
  2. Halva Luxus Lakritsi
  3. Natural Vines Strawberry
  4. Broadway Strawberry Rolls
  5. Twizzlers (Strawberry)
  6. Panda Bars

Name: Finnish Soft Strawberry Licorice
Brand: Halva
Place Purchased: samples from Halva (ISM Cologne)
Price: $2.99 retail
Size: 7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 99
Categories: Candy, Chews, 6-Tempting, Finland

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:09 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewChews6-TemptingFinland

  1. May I suggest another red Finnish licorice to try? It’s called Tubi’s Tire Tread licorice and it comes in black and red; sticks and super thick chunks. You can buy it from an online company called iherb for super cheap. I love the stuff. The red variety actually has a strawberry flavor to it.  It’s nothing like a Nib or Twizzlers. You have to try it!

    Comment by Laura Vasic on 4/16/12 at 3:28 am #
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