Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Panda Bars

Name: Panda Bars: Licorice, Raspberry & Strawberry
Brand: Panda
Place Purchased: Wild Oats
Price: $.89 (on sale)
Size: 1.125 ounces
Calories per ounce: 89
Type: Licorice/Chew

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I bought these at a natural food store. I think the reason people interested in they kinds of food they eat like these is that they have no refined sugar in them. The ingredients list is pretty short (with some variation based on the flavor): molasses, wheat

flower

flour, licorice extract, natural flavor (aniseed oil). Pretty simple. The interesting part is that these are Finnish. Just like the Lemon Lakritsi only without the racially insensitive packaging. Who could be offended by Panda bears? Actually, I’ve passed over these bars for years because I had them confused with Australian licorice I bought in bulk. I mean really, who expects a Panda on a product from Finland of all places? (Okay and I guess it wouldn’t belong on an Australian product either, that should have a Koala or Kangaroo on it.)

The bars are rather simple. A bit thick rope of not quite soft candy.

Licorice: Nice and glossy/dark on the outside. It has a good smokey, woodsy smell that gives off a lot of anise scent. The bit itself is pretty soft and the molasses flavors are pretty evident. Molasses has always been a good base for spicy flavors and licorice is a natural to combine with it as it offsets the very sweet aftertaste true licorice has.

Raspberry: Fragrant without being too perfumy this raspberry bar doesn’t really have much berry flavor to me. The chew isn’t as molassesy, not as woodsy tasting. It’s tart and of course has a nice robust chew but the flavor doesn’t really match the texture and I wanted more berry in there.

Strawberry: Sweet smelling with an immediate tart bite to it, it definitely feels more like a berry bar. No woodsy hints from the molasses here either.

The licorice bar has to be my new favorite. Easy to bite, mellow and with a strong pop of flavor. It’s a bit pricey for licorice and I’ll probably stick with licorice pastels now and in the future, but if I’m in the store and need a little sweet fix, this might do the trick.

Rating - 8 out of 10

POSTED BY Cybele AT 1:51 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry     All NaturalCandyReviewPandaLicorice Candy8-TastyFinland

Comments
  1. Now, with even MORE panda!  Who knew that pandas tasted like licorice?

    Comment by Travis Smith on 12/14/05 at 4:52 pm #
  2. “wheat flower”? Must have had that Dagoba floral line or the Turkish delight flavoring on your brain to generate that slip of the fingers… :^)

    That aside, my Dad likes real licorice (and horehound drops); maybe I’ll send a few of these for his stocking.

    Comment by Tricia on 12/14/05 at 7:57 pm #
  3. Tricia - holy moly! That’s a real organic slip of the tongue!

    Comment by cybele on 12/15/05 at 3:49 pm #
  4. They’re very expensive usually, but at the Pavilion’s here in Rolling Hills Estates, they are on sale for 34 cents each, and around sixty cents for a small box.

    Comment by christina on 12/15/05 at 4:02 pm #
  5. It’s funny, but Fazer doesn’t offer the strawberry and raspberry variety here in Finland.

    If you want to try other Finnish candies, I’d be willing to swap cheeze-its for Finnish candies…just send me an email and we’ll see if we can’t work out something. Ever try the eastertime Mignon Egg? smile

    Comment by hfb on 2/07/06 at 12:46 am #
  6. I recently read about Panda factory’s history. It really seems to be just a coincidence that the panda got into it. You can read yourself at: http://www.panda.fi/engl/historia.php (It’s in English.)

    Comment by Inkeri on 9/07/07 at 5:38 am #
  7. They also sell boxes of ‘bites’ but the package has the same look.  I love to eat the bites dipped in a sprinkle of salt.  Started that after reading about salty licorice from finland or australia (can’t remember which).  Got my whole family doing it.  My 2yo has been doing it since she was 1.  Guess I can’t buy licorice any more when I don’t want to share my candy.

    Comment by Rachel on 8/22/08 at 3:31 am #
  8. I love the Raspberry Licorice bars and would love to try the Strawberry ones, but have never seen them. They sell them for .69 here. And you can find them in the standard licorice flavor too. Much better then any twizzler!

    Comment by danielle on 2/22/10 at 6:28 pm #
  9. how can you buy panda licorice through the internet? My local grocery store just stopped selling it.

    Comment by michele on 4/09/10 at 4:55 am #
  10. Where can I buy Panda Black Licorice in my area?

    Comment by Tina on 4/09/10 at 4:29 pm #
  11. I find Panda Licorice in the ‘Healthy Food’ area of most gorcery stores.
    I LOVE the black licorice ones but the others are gross.  They taste nothing like licorice. I will not be buying any but the black.  My hubby thought the same thing. The texture is weird too

    Comment by JEWEL on 4/27/10 at 7:49 pm #

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