I’m a big fan of black licorice, much to my wife Regina’s disgust. Black licorice has been deemed “old-fashioned” but much of the youts of today, and I think its popularity has dipped considerably from some historical heyday that I wasn’t alive to witness. But I guess I missed the memo, ’cause I’m hooked on that rich, slightly bitter, under-sweet, and chewy candy. I suppose I get this particular addiction from my Dad, who despite his mother’s warning that licorice was made up of “floor sweepings”, fell under the sway of black licorice as a wee lad. Whenever Dad comes into town, we make sure to stock plenty of excellent licorice in the house for him. He thanks us, and undoubtedly, his dentist does too.
But not all licorice is created equal. I’m not a fan of soft or overly sweet licorice. I don’t really dig that gooey Australian kind, for instance. And the plain ole black Twizzler holds no fascination for me. My favorites are the dense little licorice cats from the German company Katjes. They’re not easy to find. Only Cost Plus has them anywhere near where I live in Los Angeles. You might have to find them online, if you plan on seeking them out.
Katjes has a long line-up of licorice and other tasty candies. The triangular Ohren are excellent as well. The soft, little gumdrop Lakritz Batzen are nice. And the Salzige Heringe (Salted Herring) licorice are interesting (chewy and salty) but I’m grateful they don’t taste of actual herring. But the red bag o’ cats remains my favorite — the licorice kitties are quite hard, not too sweet, and loaded with flavor. I love ’em!
I’ve gotten Bennet intrigued, if not completely won over, by black licorice. He’s become a fan of the cats, so that’s progress. Perhaps we’ll have three generations of licorice lovers in the family. One can only hope.