OK, I have to come clean. I’m a sucker for licorice. Strange thing is, the rest of the family hate it with a vengeance, which of course means more for me. Boo hoo.
When I was a kid, licorice came in two kinds: as a long rope, about a metre of it, bought from the school canteen and guaranteed to leave you bloated and black of tongue for the rest of the day. The other way was chocolate bullets – milk choc coated little pieces about an inch long, bought from the local deli for one cent each.
And at this point I must digress. In Australia, as in the rest of the world, regional differences determine the term for the convenience store. Here in South Australia, it’s a deli – which is short for Delicatessen – a place for buying lollies, tissues, the things you ran out of, and where truckies stop for sandwiches and sticky buns at lunch time. The place that’s open for extended hours. In eastern Australia they are called “Milk Bars” (go figure). In the rest of the world it’s the mini-mart, the 7-eleven… and so on.
When I was a kid we would take 20 cents of pocket money and go pick from the lolly counter – a few of those at two for a cent, a few of those at one cent each… the 2 cents each stuff was way extravagant, you never got your moneys worth from those. Twenty cents was enough to ensure a sugar high lasting a whole day, and feeling slightly sick for much of that time as well.
When I were a lad, chocolate bullets featured high on the list. They were cheap, and chocolate, and licorice. What more could anybody ask for?
Imagine my surprise, then, when the lady of the house came home with Ricci Dark Chocolate Coated Licorice. Maybe she likes me! After all, nobody else in the house will touch it. I’ve never heard of the manufacturer: Ricci Remond Chocolate Co – but they are Australian and from what I can find seem to have been around for some time. They have no web site, so it’s hard to find more about them.
Anyhow – the licorice!
The picture does not quite do justice to the sheer size of these pieces. They are huge – about 4 cm (1.5 inches) long, and the thickness of my little finger. The chocolate bullets of my youth were mere babies compared to these. As you can also see – there have been no glazing agents used, and being packed in a plain bag they are quite discoloured from being knocked about. No matter, it’s the taste that counts.
And here, I have to declare that the chocolate is a bit of a disappointment. There is plenty of it, but for being “dark” it is only 47%. And the licorice flavour tends to dominate. The licorice, though, is good. Very nice, not too sweet, and not too black. I could make myself seriously ill on these.
Given that I’m the only one in the house that will eat these, I can see that the huge 300 g pack is going to last me a long time.