Thursday, November 4, 2010
Perfetti Van Melle Golia
Long ago there was a cough drop line called Pine Bros Throat Drops. They were a glycerin drop, kind of like a hard gummi. They came in a variety of flavors like cherry, honey and licorice. I bought them often and ate them like candy, even though they said medicated on the package.
I bought this box pictured here on eBay knowing full well that I couldn’t actually eat them as they’re at least 15 years old. I just wanted to take their picture and remember them.
But I haven’t stopped looking for a replacement for them. The melt was smooth and even for a cruncher like me, they lasted a long time. And they really did soothe the throat.
Then a few years ago Gigi wrote about something that sounded similar, Golia Respira
I finally found this roll of Respira Golia at Mel & Rose Wine & Liquors. They were expensive ($2.50), but at least the little roll was cheaper than the box or bag version. (And certainly within their best by date, unlike old Pine Bros on eBay.) They’re made by Perfetti Van Melle, known best for their rolls of Mentos.
The wrapper says they’re caramelle gommose which I take to mean gummy candies and alla liquirizia which I know means with licorice. They’re made with both gum arabic and glycerine.
They don’t smell like my much beloved cough drops, but they do smell compelling. It’s a mix of smoke, black pepper and incense. The pieces are large, about 3/4 of an inch in diameter and about 1/3 of an inch high. They sound like bakelite, crisp and hard, but they’re not. They’re a bit pliable in the mouth. The first flavor at the front is licorice, the light and true flavor of licorice which is sweet and a little syrupy. There are notes of anise and clove and of course a pervasive menthol, as that’s what the Respira part of the name is about (breathing).
They get quite soft but never soft enough to pull apart, just dissolve slowly and steadily.
I loved the strong eucalyptus flavor and background of licorice. They are slick and soothing and also, because they’re soft there are no little sores created by sharp edged voids like hard cough drops can do. But they’re really medicinal tasting, so they’re not a casual endeavor and everyone around you will know that you’ve been eating them. I know there are other versions of these, I’m hoping I can find something that’s a little more soothing, like the classic Honey Lemon Pine Bros Drops.
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.