Hello. My name's Nathan, and I love Trader Joe's. My wife Sonia does too. She's a great shopper, has excellent taste and knows good value when she comes across it. As many of you know, Trader Joe's is unsurpassed in the world of good-value grocery stores, so we spend a lot of our time and money there. Although the store fairly consistently delivers great taste with its own unique line of food products, there are definitely some big-hits, and unfortunately, there are some misses...

After doing a couple of internet searches for reviews of TJ's food items, Sonia discerned an apparent dearth of good, quality reviews for the store's offerings. So, at her suggestion, we decided to embark on a journey of systematically reviewing every Trader Joe's product, resulting in the blog you are about to read...

A couple of months into our Trader Joe's rating adventure, an old college friend, Russ, who unbeknownst to me had been following our TJ's blog, decided that I had been slacking in my blogging duties (which, of course, I was) so he decided to contribute his own original TJ's reviews to the blog, thus enhancing it, making it more complete and adding to it a flavor of his own. He and his wife Sandy are also avid TJ's fans and, as you will soon discover, he is an excellent writer and is nearly as clever, witty and humble as I am.

Seriously though, Russ: You go, boy!

So here it is: "What's Good at Trader Joe's?"

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Trader Joe's Soft Licorice Twists

I hold these truths to be self-evident; that not all licorices are created equal.

There's the common licorice currency of Twizzlers. Chances are, it's the first brand you think of when you think licorice. But...c'mon. You even been satisfied by a Twizzler? No? Me neither. Those chewy, mostly flavorless wax sticks always made better straws then snacks, IMHO. Then there's the mystery plastic baggies at candy stores - could be decent stuff, could be (speaking from personal experience) harsh, salty, impossible to chew hard rubber nuggets.

So when Trader Joe's introduces not one but two new sacks o' licorice - Trader Joe's Soft Strawberry Licorice Twists and Trader Joe's Soft Black Licorice Twists - it's worth the ol' college try.

Naturally, they're both pretty similar in appearance and texture. It's a medium single cable style, cut up in roughly one inch sections. The chew feels a lot like, well, Twizzler Pull 'n Peels, except in singular strand form. That's been the sweet spot for licorice squish, personally - harder is too much a struggle, any softer feels too mushy. So, both bags got that going for them.

For flavor, though, there's a decided difference, that's more than black and red. Both Sandy and I preferred the black. It's a very mild, pleasant flavor, with a decent amount of anise, like a good black licorice should. It's enough to get the point of the flavor across without being offensive to the masses. Even if you're not a fan of black jelly beans, like my wife, it's an agreeable taste. The strawberry though? Not as good. The tart edge of strawberry comes across but doesn't have enough sweetness to really back up and fully develop it. It's only a halfway flavor, if you know what I mean.

Regardless of flavor differences, I like the lack of preservatives, the natural coloring, and the fact that even after sitting out opened overnight, each bite I just partook off was just as soft as when the seal was first cracked. And the price was pretty agreeable too - half pound of  decent candy for $2.49. Didn't have the little kiddos try it, it might still be a little chewy for lil chompers. It won't be an every time purchase by any stretch, but as long as these are on TJ's shelves, Twizzlers will never be on mine.

Bottom lines: Trader Joe's Soft Black Licorice Twists: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons and Trader Joe's Soft Strawberry Licorice Twists: 6.5 out of 10 Golden Spoons

2 comments:

  1. https://www.amazon.com/Australias-Darrell-Lea-Strawberry-Liquorice/dp/B009D145EY
    Have you tried these? TJ stores in my area (Northern CA) have them, although they were in and out of stock as the kind in this review appeared on shelves. The Darrell Lea is so amazing, IMO, that I can't imagine liking the strawberry in the bags. The flavor is so full - fruity and jammy and sweet and tangy. Husband and I have agreed that I really should not buy them, because they disappear quickly. And our kiddos don't like them (kids are weird).

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  2. I wonder why licorice have to have flour in there?

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