Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Halva Luxus Lakritsi

Halva Luxus LakritsiI spotted these new hexagonal boxes of Finnish licorice at Cost Plus World Market. They were rather expensive, but they were also over one pound, so the value wasn’t too bad.

I like the licorice style known as Rockies, they’re a black licorice tube filled with a cream, which is usually flavored. Many European versions are made with salted licorice, but according to this list of ingredients, it was sweet licorice. This package didn’t say what the flavors were (there was another variety that were filled with a pastel cream that said Fruit) but the ingredients mentioned cocoa, mint, coffee and toffee flavors.

The illustration on the box appears to show four varieties (white, caramel, gray and brown) but I could really only discern three ... and I ate the whole box.

Halva Luxus Lakritsi

They were just a little sticky in spots but were fresh and moist. The bag smelled nicely of licorice and toffee with a little hint of smoke, beets and molasses. Each is about 3/4 of an inch long and varied in diameter, though most were about 1/3 of an inch.

The middle pieces, the light beige ones were a coffee flavored center. This was fascinating. I like the combination of licorice and coffee and it’s not an easy pair to find together. The center is a little grainy, like frosting. It’s sweet and has a very mellow coffee and toffee note to it. The licorice flavors and the texture of the licorice chew were at the front with the most dominance. I found myself picking through the package to find these.

Halva Luxus Lakritsi

The darkest looking centers were chocolate, I think. It was a sort of Tootsie Roll version of chocolate. There were some vague cocoa notes but it was rather empty and couldn’t compete with the licorice and sugar flavors.

Halva Luxus Lakritsi

The white ones appear to be mint. The mint fondant filling is soft with a bit of a crumble though not completely dry. The minty notes are peppermint and menthol. It’s a strange combination with the licorice, the whole thing has a medicated vibe but it’s also fresh and doesn’t feel heavy like some other licorice can. The mint though was very strong and overshadowed the licorice notes.

Overall in this mix, the actual licorice wasn’t that strong. I liked it, it made it very munchable without giving me that feeling that I was eating too much licorice (it can have side effects) but it also left me wanting more licorice/anise punch.

I don’t know why there aren’t American licorice candies like this, it’s rather like Licorice Allsorts, but without the coconut.  I’d venture that many folks who say they don’t like licorice might like it in this version where it’s just a container, not the main event.

I saw that Cost Plus World Market also carries the plain licorice and salted licorice from Halva, I’m thinking I might want to try their straight varieties. I get the impression that this isn’t the most elegant variety from Finland (which is known for its licorice), it’s more like the kid’s version of licorice or mass-produced like Twizzlers or Red Vines though I’m guessing with better ingredients (but perhaps some Finnish readers can help with that).

These contain gelatin, so are not vegetarian.

Related Candies

  1. Panda Soft Herb Licorice and Licorice Cremes
  2. Organic Finnska Soft Licorice
  3. Licorice Assortment
  4. Fazer Lemon Lakritsi

POSTED BY Cybele AT 3:24 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyReviewLicorice Candy7-Worth ItFinlandCost Plus

Comments
  1. Thanks Cybele, I really enjoy reading your reviews! As a Finn I find it especially interesting to see what you think of Finnish candies.

    Indeed, despite its name Halva Luxus Lakritsi isn’t the most elegant variety of licorice from Finland. I think Kouvolan lakritsi and Porvoon lakritsi compete for that place. Both varieties are somewhat grainy with a strong molasses flavor. They are usually sold at country fairs fresh from the factory aisle. Too bad it’s hard to find them overseas. Oh well, Panda makes some good licorice too…

    Comment by Timo on 11/13/10 at 5:44 pm #
  2. Yes Halva really is one of the cheaper brands and isn’t 100% licorice company. A real finnish licorice product looks like this http://www.lakumesta.fi/product_pictures/big/23-30-palalaku200g.jpg . It’s all licorice, sometimes flavored but no fillings etc. If you eat it fresh it’s really soft and delicious full taste.
    I can grab a good kouvola or porvoo-licorice for you, without any revenues if u’d like.

    Comment by a. on 12/23/10 at 6:05 pm #
  3. I disagree with the aforementioned comments. Halva makes excellent licorice. You cannot compare filled and unfilled licorice. For the
    best licorice on the market, please try Halva’s “Wanhan Ajan Laku” bag. It is traditional really soft and fresh licorice the likes of whic you cannot find on the market
    (please see http://www.halva.fi/english/www/popupcard.php?id=174). The pieces are star shaped, with airholes in them. The airholes underlines the soft texture feeling in the mouth. I recommend warmly. John

    Comment by John on 3/04/11 at 2:30 pm #
  4. The grey variety shown on the packaging could be salmiak filling, which would also explain why it was missing (it being so divisive a flavour).

    Comment by anonymous on 4/22/12 at 11:24 am #

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