Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Kookaburra Licorice

Kookaburra LicoriceThose industry analysts say that licorice is the next big thing. It’s a trend. It’s fashionable. It’s hip. There will soon be licorice bars, licorice tastings ... licorice afficianado magazines. (Actually, I heard when I was a Miette Confiserie buying a Dutch assortment that they wanted to do a Sake tasting paired with licorice.)

I don’t know about all that, I’m not adverse to seeing more licorice available on the market, but I fully understand that some people simply don’t like it. Much like some folks don’t like coffee, root beer or cinnamon. (Otherwise referred to as irrational people, which does not apply, of course, to folks who don’t like cherry, butter popcorn Jelly Belly or Dr Pepper, who are perfectly rational.)

I got this ample sample of Australia’s own Kookaburra Licorice at the All Candy Expo.

Kookaburra LicoriceThese nuggets are pretty big, at least two bites in my-sized world. It’s a nice soft chew, sometimes I think it’s a little too soft, like they’re some sort of fleshy thumbs or something, so I left the bag open for a while. They didn’t get rock-hard stale, just a little drier.

I liked the flavor, definitely on the dark and smoky side even if it’s a little mild and more about the molasses than licorice. The first ingredient is treacle as well as some molasses, wheat syrup and raw sugar. These all go so well with the woodsy and very sweet qualities of real licorice. It’s very filling even though the caloric density is exceptionally low for candy: 92 calories per ounce. Kind of a “stick to your ribs” kind of candy treat.

Unlike many American licorices, this boasts real licorice extract ... as well as “natural flavors”, palm oil, soybean monglyceride, artificial colors (Red 40 & Blue #1 & Yellow #5) among other things.

I think as super-soft licorice goes I might prefer Panda (especially for the ingredients list), but this is pretty good stuff. As for the naming, a Kookaburra is a bird, a species of Kingfisher. (While it probably doesn’t have much to do with licorice, it’s far more related to Australia than the Panda is to Finnish licorice. And while we’re not on the subject, there’s also a Cocteau Twins song called Kookaburra, which has even less to do with the bird, as all CT songs are wont to do, than Pandas do with Finnish licorice ... have I digressed enough?)

Related Candies

  1. Kookaburra Choc Coated Liquorice
  2. Organic Finnska Soft Licorice
  3. Good & Plenty (Fresh from the Factory)
  4. Jelly Belly Licorice Bears
  5. Dutch Licorice
Name: Kookaburra Liquorice
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Kookaburra Licorice Co.
Place Purchased: samples from All Candy Expo
Price: unknown
Size: 10 ounces
Calories per ounce: 92
Categories: Licorice, Australia, Kookaburra

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:26 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. When I tried this stuff at the Expo I found it to be *too* soft. It stuck to every nook and cranny in my teeth and took forever to get it all cleaned out. wink

    Comment by Sera on 1/29/08 at 10:10 am #
  2. Hi Cybele. Could you explain the difference between treacle and molasses? I thought that they had the same meaning, they are just used in different countries (treacle in the U.K., molasses here).

    Comment by Anjanette on 1/29/08 at 1:02 pm #
  3. Speaking of music, don’t forget that Girl Scout standard (or is it elementary school standard?):

    Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree,
    Merry merry king of the bush is he,
    Laugh, kookaburra, laugh, kookaburra,
    Gay your life must be.

    I don’t particularly like licorice, but I read all your reviews of it anyway because my dad is a big fan of the ‘real’ stuff.  I buy him fancy brands at Trader Joe’s and Target and so on when gifting opportunities roll around.

    Comment by Tricia on 1/29/08 at 4:47 pm #
  4. I keep hearing about this All-Candy Expo, it looks it’s supplied you with enough candy and chocolate to keep you reviewing for months! Damnit we need things like that here in England, I’m running out of things to write about!

    Comment by Terry on 1/29/08 at 5:32 pm #
  5. heh—I read “treacle” as “tentacle” at first.  I think “fleshy thumbs” helped lead me there…definitely a vivid image, and rather alarming smile

    Comment by R on 1/29/08 at 6:13 pm #
  6. Cybele's avatar

    Terry - you should take a look at the biggest candy show in the world in Cologne.


    R - hmm, octopods with fleshy thumbs, I’m intrigued!

    Tricia - I should explore the stuff at Trader Joe’s, thanks for the reminder.

    Anjanette - I thought they were the same thing (just a different name) but now I’m guessing that molasses is darker than treacle ... I think I need to just get a hold of some treacle and compare it to my black strap molasses.

    Sera - yeah, let it dry out, it really helps that. (But of course then you have to wait, and candy is all about right now.)

    Comment by Cybele on 1/29/08 at 7:32 pm #
  7. Now all I need to find is a company willing to sponsor a trip for me to go to Cologne…

    Comment by Terry on 1/30/08 at 12:06 am #
  8. My dad is in love with this stuff.

    Comment by Shannon on 1/30/08 at 4:33 am #
  9. Well, here in Nebraska, we have Licorice International http://www.licoriceinternational.com/  which is heaven for ANYONE who even likes licorice. if you love licorice, like I do, it’s the best place on earth (and really, really dangerous to the pocketbook).

    so if it’s a trend, we’re ready for it here in Nebraska.

    I was teethed on hard black licorice sticks, and have loved the flavor ever since.

    Comment by Jim Kosmicki on 1/30/08 at 5:26 am #
  10. I work at the All Candy Expo at McCormick Place in Chicago. When the show ends I head to the American Licorice Booth to grab what leftovers I can. I think the Kookaburra licorice is great. It never lasts long enough to get hard. I guess I am a licorice fanatic. Everyone at the show wants chocolate and I go for the licorice.

    Comment by Mike on 4/12/08 at 5:14 am #
  11. I miss the callard and Barnes black licorice Toffees—I wonder why they went down the tubes?

    These Australian licorice is not very good. I thought they tasted just like raisons. I like raisons ok but give me nibs dark—a favorite.

    Comment by Don on 6/27/08 at 10:07 am #
  12. “These is not very good…” Well some English teacher is crying and I am too lazy to look up the correct spelling for raisen, raison, I should have stuck with “dried grapes.”

    Comment by Don on 6/27/08 at 10:10 am #
  13. A few weeks ago I tried to find some Callard and Bowser licorice (fond memories of annual stocking gift), only to find they had gone out of business.

    Led me to do some research, and I found black cat red and black licorice.  Great taste, but soft.  I’ve ordered panda and kookaburra, but I’m wondering if there are others anyone would recommend.

    There ought to be a law against selling the strawberry gunk they sell in theaters.  It tastes more like plastic then anything else identifiable as food.  It was tasting this…......that triggered the search for C&B.  Circuitous, sorry.

    Comment by Steven J. Smith M.D. on 9/09/09 at 1:58 pm #
  14. Hi Cybele,

    I was reading through the older blog posts and noticed that someone is looking for the old-fashioned Callard & Bowser Licorice Toffee (they called it callard & Barnes). We have two wonderful licorice toffees Walkers Licorice Toffee from England and Oatfields Licorice Toffee from Ireland.

    I have been meaning to write to you to see if you would like to review some of our treats. Let me know. Thanks.

    Comment by Elizabeth on 9/10/09 at 7:12 am #
  15. Cybele's avatar

    Dr. Smith - I found an excellent replacement for the old Callard & Bowser licorice toffee. It’s made by another UK toffee-maker named Walkers’ Nonsuch.

    I’ll probably review it next week, but here’s a preview picture.


    Comment by Cybele on 9/10/09 at 7:26 am #
  16. I prefer Lucky Country black licorice. Much stronger.

    Comment by Brian on 1/12/10 at 6:10 am #
  17. It is my absolute favorite. I was unsure when I first tried it, because it is soft and sticky, but once I got past that it has become my fav.  I’m ruined for other brands.  I love the deep woods/smokey flavor, and relish the chewiness of it.

    Comment by Lorna on 6/17/15 at 12:08 pm #
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