Saturday, December 17, 2011
My Favorite Things #1: Licorice Allsorts
My friends tease me mercilessly every time I mention my deep and abiding fondness for licorice allsorts. If I complain that my local CVS has stopped carrying them, they suggest I try a store that caters more to the elderly. They tell me to check the rack between the Circus Peanuts and the Root Beer Barrels, and sometimes they even cite FDA warnings about overdosing on licorice, telling me that my favorite candy is going to KILL ME.
No amount of mockery on their part, however, can change the fact that Bassett's Allsorts are no longer for sale at the store just up the road. Sure, they have them in the bulk candy section of Wegmans, but they look suspiciously old and dusty ("You don't say!" my friends reply. "That's because they stopped manufacturing them in 1890!". So in a fit of desperation I ordered a twelve-bag mega-pack online-- not Bassett's, but Kookaburra, which I'd only had once before. The flavor is quite different. Bassett's are thickly coated with a candy that seems to have a coconut element. Kookaburra's are much more pillowy and airy around the licorice. But there's less variation in texture because there are none of the nonpareil type, and I've decided I don't like them as much. Still, in a pinch, they will do.
I'd like to say I'm waiting for a renewed trend in this particular candy, but since haute comfort foods and food trucks are super-popular right now, and people still can't get behind a back-to-basics candy like allsorts, I think it's missed its window. I'll just have to find a better old-lady store.