Friday, June 13, 2008

Twizzlers (Strawberry)

Twizzler StrawberryIn the great lists of invented candy names, Twizzler has to be right up there at the top. Just look at them, they look like they’re twizzle.

It also fits because they really aren’t any other sort of candy. They’re not a chew like a taffy. They’re not chocolate. They’re not compressed dextrose. They’re not toffee, not caramel ... not marshmallow nor nougat. In fact, the only thing that adequately describes them is “Red Licorice” and even that’s confusing (especially when you get into flavors that aren’t red). While I’ve debated what to categorize these as before, I can only call them a wheat based chew. (Which sounds less than appealing.) Both Twizzler & Red Vines identify themselves as twists.


Twizzler Strawberry Twists are attractive little ropes. They’re insanely glossy and firm, but these were definitely fresh.

The bite is short, and when I say that it means that when you chew it up, it comes apart quite easily. So instead of becoming one chewy mass in the mouth, these become some sort of amalgam of smaller crumbles. (This is similar to how some caramels are dry, almost like a fudge and others are stringy and chewy like a taffy.)

The taste is sweet and mild, with more of the scent of strawberry jam than the taste of it. There’s no tang to it, it’s all mellow and sweet, kind of like a strawberry flavored pound cake.

I find them appealing, but not enough to eat them if they weren’t in front of me. I’ve had them in the candy cupboard since late March when I picked them up on sale at KMart. I think part of it is that red wheat based chews are simply not my thing. They’re a good thing, just not a good fit for me.

They’re a great candy option especially for mindless eating during the summer at the movies. Because they’re wheat based they’re rather low in calories. They do have a pinch of fat in there (1 gram per serving), which I’m guessing is to keep them supple. There are about 38 calories per twizzle.

Red Vines vs TwizzlerThere are a lot of folks who compare Twizzler and Red Vines. What I found a little surprising when I first started investigating the difference between the two earlier this year was that Red Vines are a raspberry flavor. Twizzler are strawberry. So they’re not really a one to one comparison. However, Red Vines does make a Pink Strawberry version, so I thought that would be an ideal place to start for a head-to-head.

Twizzler were introduced (I believe in the licorice variety) in 1929 though Y&S (Young & Smylie Licorice) was founded way back in 1845 in Lancaster, PA. The Hershey Company bought Y&S in 1977. Red Vines originated in 1920 (though the Strawberry variety came along much later), they’re made by the American Licorice Company then based in Chicago, IL (now in California & Oregon). So they have a concurrent regional evolution but are now on opposite sides of the continent.

The first difference is the color, obviously. The Twizzler are a deep and opaque red. The Red Vines are a strange pink that’s vaguely translucent.

Pink Strawberry Red VinesRed Vines Pink Strawberry smell like cotton candy, sweet and fresh, a little floral. Twizzler smell like strawberry jam, still sweet but more like preserves and perhaps boiled fruit.

And once you bite a Red Vine the difference becomes quite clear. Red Vines Pink Strawberry are tart. Not tingly tangy, just lightly sour (citric acid is listed on the ingredients, which does not appear on Twizzler).

The texture of Red Vines is more chewy than a Twizzler, a little more like dense dough and it holds together. It also sticks to the teeth.

So when it gets right down to it, they are different. Actually different enough that there’s no need to compare them (the old apples and oranges). Just try them both, eat whichever you have a preference for, though it’s entirely possible to like both.

Twizzler are Kosher and if you find the Canadian version, they’re nut free. The American package doesn’t have an allergen notice about tree nuts, peanuts or milk but does contain soy and wheat. They may also be suitable for vegans.

Related Candies

  1. Black Licorice Twists & Snaps
  2. Whoppers Milkshake Strawberry
  3. Kenny’s Licorice Pastels & Root Beer Twists
  4. Twizzlers Rainbow Twists
  5. Twerpz
Name: Strawberry Twizzlers
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Y&S Candies (Hershey's)
Place Purchased: KMart (Park LaBrea)
Price: $1.25
Size: 16 ounces
Calories per ounce: 94
Categories: Chew, United States, Hershey, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:49 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. My mother loves Strawberry Twizzlers, but in the realm of “wheat based chews” in the form of twists, I prefer Red Vines (raspberry). The texture and toughness of them appeals to me - it takes a bit more jaw power to devour them.

    Ultimately though, i’ll munch on either if I happen to have them in front of me.

    Comment by Ryan on 6/13/08 at 11:47 am #
  2. Cybele, didja know clicking on “chew” on your categories for this entry leads you to “chocolate?” It’s kinda like a time warp.

    And I <3 Twizzlers.  But I think I <3 Pull n’ Peels more.

    Comment by Tindy on 6/13/08 at 2:48 pm #
  3. I love Twizzlers.  They are my favorite movie candy.

    Comment by Sterfish on 6/13/08 at 6:17 pm #
  4. I like twizzlers because, since they’re wheat-based, they’re more like food than most candy.  Most candy you can just eat and eat and not feel any different… twizzlers are actually pretty filling.  I’m fond of the rainbow ones.

    Comment by Sara on 6/13/08 at 9:59 pm #

    Comment by david klein on 6/14/08 at 8:25 am #
  6. Forget the Twists, Pull’n'Peel are the best variety of Twizzlers.

    Comment by Jerry Colvin on 6/16/08 at 7:26 am #
  7. Twizzlers are the best candy nest to carmel chocolate.There so good.

    Comment by thesorce96 on 6/16/08 at 2:06 pm #
  8. to me, there’s no comparison. Red Vines have the mouthfeel and chew of a good licorice. Twizzlers are like colored, flavored clay. I hate that Twizzlers are the default “licorice” for most people, at least in my experience, because I find them fairly vile. 

    American Licorice doesn’t get off completely, either. Their “Superropes” of “licorice” are almost as bad—they have a nasty chemical flavor to them, regardless of what flavor they are supposed to be, similar to what you reported from the Licorice Snaps that you recently reviewed.

    Comment by Jim Kosmicki on 6/17/08 at 8:54 am #
  9. I like pull n peels too, Jerry.  I love the cherry ones!  I bought some cherry Twizzlers recently thinking they were pull n peels, but sadly they were just regular Twizzlers.  Still good though. :D I liked the Twizzler Rainbow too.
    Does anyone remember the twizzlers with watermelon goo in the center?  I loved those.

    Comment by Rita on 6/18/08 at 11:01 am #
  10. #5 says there is licorice root in the red also.
    someone with heart problems, does this not cause their heart rate to increase?  Knew was in the black, but did not think was in the strawberry licorice.

    Comment by Karen on 8/02/08 at 8:41 am #
  11. I love Twizzlers (strawberry). I go thru a gallon bag a week, i think im addicted but they are low in calories so no worries. I love love love them <3

    Comment by Vashti Abner on 8/29/09 at 2:03 pm #
  12. Oh my gosh I love Twizzlers!!! So yummy! I <3 the cherry bite sized ones the most though. smile and ive never heard of red vines before. Maybe not in Florida?

    Comment by DianaXX98 on 12/21/11 at 12:22 pm #
  13. So I have a question regarding Twizzlers that I would love to get to the bottom of… I have always loved the Strawberry Twizzlers and don’t even try to classify them with Red Vines as they so and feel so different, but I have a really hard time eating the Pull N Peel and the mini ones (halloween candy size). I would like to know why the texture and taste is so different! To me the flavor is really quite different, but most disturbing is the texture.  To me both of these varieties have an increased artificial taste to them and stick horrible to your teeth. Any thoughts on why they are so different?

    Comment by Paula on 11/01/12 at 11:41 am #
  14. Twizzlers rainbow twists are my fav twizzlers and the strawberry 2nd. Never tried the redvines liquorice but I will soon. Twizzlers make mouths happy smile

    Comment by Monster Sweets on 5/04/13 at 2:11 pm #
  15. Does anyone know why the price jumped this past month? In my area they are up by about 30 cents in a one or two month period. That’s a big leap for that short time frame.

    Comment by Max on 11/17/14 at 4:34 pm #
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