Thursday, September 3, 2009

Van Slooten Lakrids Figurer

Van Slooten Lakrids FigurerI’m still trying to love salted licorice.

In my current attempt, I’ve been looking for very lightly salted stuff and hoping to find non-ammonium versions.

The latest item I found was this cute little can from Van Slooten called Lakrids Figurer which features both sweet and salty liquorice in one package. It’s Dutch, so it does feature ammonium chloride as the salt of choice.

But the package was just so cute and so were the little licorice pieces inside. I had their Autodrop Total Loss mix before and was enchanted with the imaginative shapes they make.

Salty Lakrids FigurerThe clever part about the assortment was that there were both kinds of licorice. They were coded - four of the animal shapes were salted and three were sweet.

Think of them like animal crackers! Or perhaps some sort of licorice roulette if you don’t know the key.

The salty licorice shapes were Zebra, Elephant, Lion and Kangaroo. Each was about an inch or inch and a quarter at the longest.

They’re soft and pliable, though not quite chewy like Dots. The immediate taste on the tongue is not quite salt but more like a savory sizzle, a little smoky. Once I chewed it a little I got some notes of ground pepper and woodsy licorice. But later the salt turned a little odd, as it usually does. When I exhaled it was a bit like ammonia and also a bit rusty tasting.

I have to say that I did very well with these overall. If I managed to grab one by mistake when hunting for the sweet ones, it wasn’t the end of the world.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Sweet Lakrids Figurer

The sweet figures were Koala, Crocodile and Turtle.

I was trying to figure out if there was a reason for the different animals being salty or sweet. I tried breaking it down by species type, by habitat and even used the Wallace Line. There is no logic for the consumer as far as I can tell.

They aren’t easily sweet - putting it on the tongue to dissolve is rather subtle - not quite salty but definitely deep and smoky with molasses, anise and burnt toffee notes.

Rating: 7 out of 10

They texture is a cross between a gumdrop and something a little denser but not as hard as some other licorice cakes or coins. There’s no wheat in it, like most American and Aussie style products. I also found them very soothing to my throat - even the salty ones.

Even though I found the salty ones edible, they’re still not quite my style ... though I would definitely recommend them as a “starter” salty licorice for those looking to broaden their candy experiences. They do get a little stuck in my teeth.

So far I like the Van Slooten stuff I’ve had though I don’t think I’ve found their item that’s precisely suited to me yet. I’ll keep looking.

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Name: Lakrids Figurer (Licorice Figures)
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Van Slooten
Place Purchased: Mel & Rose (West Hollywood)
Price: $3.95
Size: 8.8 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Licorice, Netherlands

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:57 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. Cybele—I know you are a black licorice fan and I have a question for you.  My daughter *loves* black licorice, but she just got braces so sticky candy is a no no.  Do you know of some licorice that is good but more solid—less sticky (hope this is making sense).  She would be so grateful if you could find her an alternative to the Trader Joe’s Scotty Dogs which she loves but has had to give up.

    Comment by Julie on 9/04/09 at 10:49 am #
  2. Your link to total loss is messed up! I only get to your front page… look at it and you’ll see!

    Comment by Veronica on 9/05/09 at 10:03 am #
  3. Cybele's avatar

    Veronice - sorry about that.

    Julie - I think either hard candies or the more solid licorice is the way to go. I know it lacks the chewy factor ... unless she likes Twizzlers/ Red Vines - they tend to be less sticky but little chunks can probably still get lodged in the braces.

    Licorice Pastels may be good because they’re such small pieces to begin with.

    Comment by Cybele on 9/05/09 at 10:06 am #
  4. Where can I buy these?

    Comment by Susan Friend on 9/23/09 at 5:36 pm #
  5. Funny thing is that ‘Lakrids Figurer’ is the Danish name, but the product is Dutch. Where did you taste the licorice?

    Comment by Rune Hansen on 1/30/11 at 7:18 am #
  6. I’ve bought these but I think it had a shitty taste. About half of them taste at least somewhat like what I would expect but some got some weird which is likely anise taste. F—- that.

    Here in Sweden / Scandinavia we’ve got good licorice and we’ve got it with ammoniumchloride.

    Something like Malaco lakritssnören would have a much better licorice taste and if you want to go salty their (Malaco) Djungelvrål is also excellent.

    For a mild soft alternative to the snören you could for instance go Pinguin licorice whatever those are actually called. Another smooth but good alternative is also Malaco Gott & Blandat which will have both fruit gums and licorice in them.

    I haven’t eaten the Haribo licorice coins for instance because I’m vegan so what I eat now is very limited but I would assume that they are ok to.

    Comment by Johan Krüger Haglert on 3/17/13 at 8:13 am #
  7. Julie: What about different kinds of Malaco Leaf Läkerol? Like Läkerol Special or Original or whatever is the latest flavor they have?

    Those are small tablets made of gummi arabicum, actual hard licorice I’m not much of a fan of (Turkish peper possibly?) but these will be smaller in volume and not as soft but more “melting” in consistency and they are sugar free to even if some sticks I guess it doesn’t matter all that much.

    Comment by Johan Krüger Haglert on 3/17/13 at 8:16 am #
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