Monday, April 27, 2009

Leaf Schoolchalk, Allsorts & Pipes

Leaf SchoolchalkI got an email from Leaf to try their new fruit Schoolchalk licorice.

I’ve had my fair share of skoolkrijt (schoolchalk) licorice on the past few years, after being given some by a coworker returning from a vacation. Since then I’ve bought pounds and pounds of the stuff to eat over and above the normal Candy Blog review queue. For those who have never had it, it’s a mild fondant/cream inside a black licorice tube, then covered in a crunchy, slightly minted candy shell. The little pieces look like blackboard chalk.

The idea of fruit flavored licorice was more than intriguing. I had no idea what it’d be like ... would it be flavored licorice, like Red Vines/Twizzlers or the traditional black stuff? Would it be white?

Leaf SchoolchalkThe answers came quickly as the box arrived and I opened it up.

The package explains it all pretty well - the candy coating outside is pastel colored and lightly flavored, then a black licorice rope filled with a creamy flavored center. There were three flavors: Lemon, Apple and Raspberry.

I am accustomed to the Venco brand of licorice chalk, but this was pretty much the same shape and size. One inch long and about one half an inch in diameter.

Leaf Schoolchalk

The pieces look an awful lot like chalk. They smell an awful lot like raspberry flavor ... doesn’t matter which piece I pick out of the assortment, they all smell like sticky, sweet, floral raspberry body wash. I separated out the pieces and dove in.

Raspberry is pink, of course. The crunchy shell is all sweetness, the cream center is more sweetness of a deeper more jam-flavor. The licorice is hard to discern, it contributes a slight woodsy and molasses note to the whole thing, but chewing quickly means missing it entirely.

Apple is light green. These were rather vague on the outside, perhaps because of the strong raspberry thing going on. On the inside though, the cream center is very strong and tastes of apple juice. The licorice is a nice texture variation, but there is no anise, no molasses, not beet-like root notes. I did not like apple.

Lemon in the lightest yellow is the redeemer here. The shell has a kiss of sweet lemon essence, like lemon balm. The cream center, though, is like a regular Skoolkrijt, a bit minty/menthol. The black licorice notes aren’t very strong, but dark and tasty.

I would buy just Yellow Chalk. I would not buy this fruit Schoolchalk. As it is, I’m just picking out the yellow stuff to eat. Eating the other flavors last week gave me a tummy ache and spoiled my appetite for dinner.

Made in Slovakia. I gave the Lemon a 7 out of 10, the rest a 5 out of 10.

Leaf Liquorice AllsortsThe nice thing about the Leaf folks was that they were happy send along some of their other classic products to give me a sense of their product line. So after the Schoolchalk, I visited with their Licorice Allsorts.

Allsorts vary from company to company but are generally mild, sandwiched squares of flavored fondant and licorice along with various pieces of coconut fondant and the occasional jelly button covered in nonpareils.

I loved the colors and font on this package.

Leaf Liquorice Allsorts

My favorite was the little cream filled licorice tube. The outside was a tough and only mildly spicy licorice with a lemon cream center. Easy to eat in one bite.

Next came the plain licorice bites. Tough to chew but a good woodsy flavor along with some beets & charcoal.

Chocolate sandwiches had a slight cocoa flavor to them. The licorice slabs were less flavorful than the plain bites, I figure they must leach flavor into the fondant. The yellow layers were lightly lemon and the pink ones might be a slight strawberry.

Leaf Liquorice AllsortsI was fond of the blue jelly dots, though the nonpareil crunchies kind of fell off large parts of them, and there were only four in the whole bag. They’re still so cute ... I wonder how necessary the blue food coloring is and if anyone makes a white version. The jelly center is lightly anise, soft and smooth.

The little pink and yellow circles were coconut. There may have been some flavor in there as well, but the coconut was the big player here. The licorice centers were softer than the other pieces.

On the whole the Allsorts were pleasant. I found myself picking through the assortment and finding enough to eat in there and nothing left over at the end that I found so unpalatable that I would throw it out (and I’m not shy about throwing out candy I don’t like). They’re pretty to look at and don’t necessarily get stale even when left sitting open on my desk overnight.

Made in Denmark. I give them a 7 out of 10

Leaf Liquorice PipesFinally, thrown in the box amongst the bags of Allsorts & Schoolchalk were these little individually wrapped Liquorice Pipes.

I know that licorice shapes are pretty popular, and in many European countries there are dozens. Here in the states I think that licorce comes in whips (twists or laces) and perhaps Scottie dogs, and that’s pretty much it.

I have no idea how licorice and pipes became so intertwined, but from the first moment I opened this package, I felt that Leaf had this one nailed.

Leaf Liquorice Pipes

Not only is this piece of black, wheat flour based & molasses sweetened licorice shaped like an old tobacco pipe ... it has glowing pink embers in the bowl!

The licorice is softer and maybe even denser than the others, perhaps because they’re individually wrapped. They smell like toffee, anise and a little touch of sulfur, figs and banana notes. The licorice isn’t that strong, not like other “Finnish” licorice like Panda. It has more of a dark & mild spice cookie-like texture and flavor.

Made in Italy. I give them a 7 out of 10.

Leaf is a Finnish brand but available widely in Canada at drug stores & large retailers (WalMart, Dollarmax, London Drugs, etc.). In the United States they may be harder to find, so stick to import shops.

Overall, one of the cool things about licorice and the family of licorice candies is that it’s rather low in calories (usually about 100 to 110 calories per ounce), colorful and fun and with some fun flavor combinations. They can be very satisfying because of the wheat flour ingredient, but of course that means they’re unsuitable for those with wheat & gluten issues. Schoolchalk contains gelatin, so is not suitable for vegetarians.

Related Candies

  1. Darrell Lea Licorice & Ginger
  2. Young & Smylie Traditional Licorice
  3. Black Licorice Twists & Snaps
  4. Licorice Assortment
  5. Bassett’s Licorice Allsorts
  6. Dutch Licorice
Name: Schoolchalk, Allsorts & Liquorice Pipes
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Leaf
Place Purchased: samples from Leaf
Price: unknown
Size: 7 ounces, 10.6 ounces & .6 ounces
Calories per ounce: 106, 99 & unknown
Categories: Licorice, Italy

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:58 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. You really like this stuff? I thought no one really liked it. But it’s good that people like different stuff.

    Comment by Riel on 4/27/09 at 2:50 pm #
  2. Sera's avatar

    Oh, I love schoolkrijt so much! I’d love to try these fruit flavors for myself. The Allsorts packs IS adorable, so art deco!

    Comment by Sera on 4/27/09 at 3:23 pm #
  3. gemgrrl's avatar

    I LOVE black licorice but I’ve never heard of schoolkrijt; it looks charming & sounds tasty!
    Must try to find some.  My favorite allsorts are the coconut ones.  Yum!  I will gladly save you all the blue jelly dots, if you want.  I always throw them away.

    Comment by gemgrrl on 4/28/09 at 5:29 am #
  4. Wow. I’d forgotten all about licorice pipes! When I was growing up my family would spend a week in Rockport, Massachusetts every year. We would always bring home a big, assorted bucket of penny candy from the country store on Bearskin Neck. It would last us three kids all Summer, since my mom would ration it out carefully. I always chose the licorice pipe. I loved the licorice… still do! Haven’t thought about it for years. Thanks for starting my morning with a good memory!

    Comment by Chip on 4/28/09 at 6:31 am #
  5. Do you know where you can purchase the licorice pipes?

    Comment by Maura on 4/28/09 at 7:12 am #
  6. This stuff looks absolutely gross!!!! Especially the chalk, and somehow I’d love to try it. Hahahah! Where do you fond this stuff????

    Comment by Chocolate Nerd on 4/28/09 at 7:25 am #
  7. wow!!! this really looks tasty and yummy!! I love those pink little sprinkles on it! smile

    Comment by mgraced on 4/30/09 at 7:55 am #
  8. Licorice pipes! That’s a huge nostalgia hit for me! What memories of those…and of the book Penny Candy.

    Comment by CleanSimple on 5/03/09 at 4:30 pm #
  9. I love Licorice:)

    Comment by foodcreate on 5/18/09 at 6:21 pm #
  10. I purchased a package of the Schoolchalk at a local fundraiser at a bank. There were samples and I tried them and loved them! My fave are the raspberry and the green apple! Off to have a few.

    Comment by Sheri on 8/29/09 at 4:47 pm #
  11. I absolutely loved the schoolchalk. I also bought some at a fundraiser. Where can you buy this stuff?

    Comment by Mary Margaret on 3/31/10 at 4:53 pm #
  12. I’m Canadian and used to lovvvve eating that brand of licorice allsorts and Bassett’s too! I could find allsorts in most drug and grocery stores, even back in the 70s.

    Funny to like them so much given how I don’t like black licorice at all! I avoided black jellybeans for that reason. The other flavors in allsorts made the black licorice okay for me. I didn’t like the pure black licorice pieces or the blue jelly dots, though. Yet, I would usually eat the ones I didn’t like even so, as long as I had one of the other flavors to chase them down, especially the coconut ones, my all-time favorite. But if you and I were sharing a bag, Cybele, I would give you the plain black and blue jelly dots for sure. smile

    I can’t eat licorice allsorts any more because I must avoid gluten. I have been searching the net for gluten free allsorts, but they don’t exist, it seems. :( Cybele, have you ever seen anything like that, or something that would work as a compromise, perhaps black licorice that is gluten free + some kind of candy that tastes like the other parts of allsorts so I could cobble something together?

    Comment by Lillea on 2/14/11 at 4:53 pm #
  13. Cybele's avatar

    Lillea - I think Black Ace Licorice is your best bet for buttons, they’re definitely gluten free. Also, Gimbal’s makes a lot of licorice products, like Scotty Dogs that are gluten free. But I’m not sure the other little layered things can be made without wheat flour. But if someone does, they’d make a fortune!

    Comment by Cybele on 2/14/11 at 5:14 pm #
  14. Thank you! I will have a look at those options for sure.

    Wow, yes, I can imagine how profitable GF allsorts could be given the demand for gluten free foods. I so so hope that someone will manage to create something like that - well, as long as it’s tasty. haha smile

    Comment by Lillea on 2/14/11 at 5:31 pm #
  15. I was doing some research last night, and given how much I love the coconut allsort, maybe I can create my own rustic gf version by using one of the gf black licorices you mentioned topped with a piece of a classic confection called “coconut ice bar” - which I have never had, but sounds great:

    I didn’t find a review of that product on your blog, but maybe I didn’t search carefully enough? I read your review of Blue Ribbon Neapolitan Coconut Bar, which sounds pretty good too, but I think I’d like to skip the cocoa in what I create.

    I found recipes for coconut ice bars online, too. Sounds so yummy!

    Comment by Lillea on 2/15/11 at 5:49 pm #
  16. Cybele's avatar

    Lillea - I’ve sampled the coconut ice but never reviewed it. It’s much sweeter than the Neapolitan product and has a creamier texture because the coconut flakes are smaller.

    Comment by Cybele on 2/15/11 at 5:51 pm #
  17. Thanks! Less sweet sounds better for me, so that’s good to know!

    Comment by Lillea on 2/15/11 at 5:56 pm #
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