Friday, June 27, 2008

Twizzlers Licorice Twists

Twizzlers Licorice TwistsYou know what I love about Twizzlers? They call their licorice Twizzlers Licorice Twists. They don’t categorize it as a black licorice, which distinguishes it from the sad fruity red imitator. No, they just recognize that the word licorice is enough (and well, seeing the black twists in the package) to accurately describe this.

Twizzlers may not be innovative as a licorice twist product, but they’ve certainly been around for a while. Introduced in 1929, the Young & Smylie company was already around since 1849 making licorice flavored confections. Even as early as the 50s, licorice was considered a low-calorie alternative to other sugary treats. (Only about 30 calories per twist.)

Even if Twizzlers understands the classic appeal of licorice, it’s not that easy to find. I can find the Twizzlers Strawberry Twists in vending machines and convenience stores in a variety of sizes, including the bar of pull-apart twists. But the black stuff is hard to come by.


The twists are exceptionally shiny. They’re pliable, kind of like the plastic coating on copper wires, except of course that these bounce back.

The bite is pretty easy, and though they’re soft, they’re really not that easy to chew. They seem to get firmer as I tried to chew them up.

The flavor is only moderately licorice-y. It’s mellow and a bit woodsy, but lacks either a molasses & mineral complexity or even a pop of licorice or anise that lingers after swallowing.  It also leaves a filmy bit of stuff stuck to my molars. 

As drug store licorice goes, this is probably one of the least appealing I’ve had. I thought maybe I didn’t like it fresh, so I left the open bag out for a couple of days by a fan. It didn’t even get stale and it didn’t get better. It’s not horrible and I know it has its fans, but I’ve had this package for months and have actually had cravings for licorice but haven’t eaten it.

Related Candies

  1. Black Licorice Twists & Snaps
  2. Cinnamon Fire Twizzlers
  3. Kookaburra Licorice
  4. Twizzlers Rainbow Twists
  5. Salted Licorices: Djungelvral and Dubbel Zout
  6. Haribo Licorice Wheels
Name: Twizzlers Licorice Twists
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Twizzlers (Y&S Candies) / Hershey's
Place Purchased: KMart (Park LaBrea)
Price: $1.25
Size: 7 ounces
Calories per ounce: 92
Categories: Licorice, United States, Hershey, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:47 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. I found your blog last week, and I can’t stop myself from pouring over the pages!

    I love you the more and more I read! I aggree about the Twisslers and the Malt Candies, I love Malt!!!

    Thanks again for your blog!

    Comment by Melissa DiStefano on 6/27/08 at 9:22 am #
  2. If it is really good tasting licorice you are looking for try Switzer’s.  It is the best! It was off market for about 15 years and they just rereleased it two years ago.

    Comment by Jennifer on 6/27/08 at 11:38 am #
  3. For me liquorice comes in 2 broad types: plasticky and the-kind-I-like.
    I thought for years i didn’t like liquorice. Had a bite of Mums one day - and loved it. She was eating fresh Darrell Lea, strong flavour and really soft, matt texture. Realised I didn’t like tasteless, chewy, shiny, plastic liquorice, but I LOVE fresh soft liquorice.
    (Not altogether a blessing .. didn’t really need another candy to add to my list of cravings!)

    Comment by Anne on 6/27/08 at 6:25 pm #
  4. I’m confused about the dates in this: Introduced in 1929, the Young & Smylie company was already around since 1949 making licorice flavored confections. Should they be reversed, or is that second date really 1849, or 1919, or… [yeah, I could go do the research myself, but I’m doing this as a favor for all your other readers! :^]

    Comment by Tricia on 6/28/08 at 9:07 am #
  5. Companys here don’t bother saying when something is black liquorice either, if they say liquorice, it’s taken as a given.

    Comment by Terry on 6/29/08 at 2:03 am #
  6. They might be benign, but that is one cool photo. I’m going home to eat a bag of Lucky Country black licorice right now.

    Comment by Jeanna on 6/30/08 at 12:20 pm #
  7. Cybele's avatar

    Melissa - thanks for stopping by!

    Jennifer - I’ve heard that Switzer’s is back, but I haven’t found it yet. I did love their big planks they did when I was a kid. (I think they were supposed to be peeled apart into twists.)

    Anne - I’m finding there’s a huge world of the Aussie soft style out there, and it’s not all the same. (Luckily it’s not as calorie intense as some other candies.)

    Tricia - eek! Typo. (How often do I have to type abotu something in the 1800s on candy blog?)

    Terry - yeah, the UK has pretty good standards when it comes to this kind of stuff.

    Jeanna - I had a tiny back of Lucky Country for review ... but then I ate it. Maybe I’ll pick more up soon.

    Comment by Cybele on 7/01/08 at 2:41 pm #
  8. If you have a Cracker Barrel in your area that is where i found it.  I have some here but it is stale… Sigh..

    Comment by Jennifer on 7/02/08 at 12:35 pm #
  9. Have you tried Young & Smylie brand of licorice? I recently noticed it in the candy aisle of the local Safeway.

    The only flavour that was available was Strawberry (no.1 - maybe there are more? 2? 3? 4?)

    Even though the package is touted as being “since 1845” it’s still a Hershey owned brand, but wiki has some interesting history.

    Otherwise, this looks(it’s a log) and tastes(to me) pretty different from Twizzler’s or Red Vines (I ate tons of the original kind in high school). It’s a lot softer, sweeter, and the strawberry flavour is much stronger (in my opinion) though it might be a bit artifical.

    Having grown up on Cadbury’s, I can’t seem to like Hersheys (especially since they don’t use decent cacao beans and tend to destroy them), but these seem like a pretty good alternative.

    Comment by Wishy on 7/02/08 at 6:14 pm #
  10. Cybele's avatar

    Jennifer - nope, no Cracker Barrels around here (but I had a fabulous berry cobbler there once while driving across the country).

    Wishy - I saw the Y&S;at Long’s Drug Store over the weekend, but all they had was the Strawberry that you mention. Their press release says that they’re supposed to have black licorice, so I’m hoping to find that.

    Comment by Cybele on 7/02/08 at 7:24 pm #
  11. I bought a bag of these disgusting plastic things by accident. I wanted to get American Licorice Co’s Vines instead of these tar-flavored things, but thought, “Hey, licorice is licorice. How different can they be.” Idiot me! I didn’t look at the ingredients. After I got them home and took one out to satisfy my licorice craving, I nearly spit it out again. Then I looked at the ingredients: ARTIFICIALLY FLAVORED! I dumped the rest of these unfit-for-dogs treats into the garbage and picked up a bag of VInes. Ingredients: Licorice Extract and Natural Flavor! Whoo!

    Comment by Bill on 12/26/10 at 12:32 pm #
  12. Twizzlers don’t seem to take their black licorice seriously since i guess it doesn’t sell as well as fruity licorice.  That said , Bill isn’t entirely correct about the flavoring.

    Twizzlers include licorice extract, not only fake flavors. Hence the “natural and artificial flavoring”.

    They’re okay for cheap licorice.  So far, my favorite has been Gimbal’s Scottie Dogs.

    FYI licorice lovers, licorice extract can cause interactions. If you have a lot of it (a bag or two), it can make your ankles swell and affects blood pressure, and also can affect your hormones! Even Twizzlers has made my ankles swell after a minor binge one week when I had a lot of stress. Also I skipped a period, first ever, until I stopped nibbling the Twizzlers. Weird, huh?

    So I wouldn’t eat licorice within a week of surgery or if I had heart problems.

    Comment by Christy on 10/10/12 at 2:48 pm #
  13. For a couple or three years, I’d developed a Twizzlers bits habit and enjoyed munching 5 or six pieces in my mouth at a time. Then, I thought it was time to stop.

    Now, I decided to once more treat myself to a nightly taste of Twizzlers.  So, I went online and ordered two bags full from, and I’m both disappointed and puzzled.  The back of the package states the ingredients, and along with a lot of artificialities on the list is The Hershey Company’s inclusion: “contains 2% or less of: licorice extract” and assorted stuff.

    Do you whether or not they’ve changed their recipe in recent times?  I’d sure appreciate it if you have that information and would forward it to me.

    BTW, it happens that I’m a playwright, too.  You might Google myh full name and see how akin we are to the muse.


    Best wishes,


    Comment by Erwin H. Lerner on 10/13/13 at 1:31 pm #
  14. Twizzlers doesn’t boast any claim to licorice. This package I have simply says “low fat snack Twizzlers Bites.


    Comment by Erwin H. Lerner on 10/13/13 at 1:34 pm #
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