On one of our last excursions of 2016 to Brooklyn’s food market Smorgasburg we fell in love with a classic candy reimagined. Anya’s Licorice embodies many of the attributes we’ve all come to seek in foods: all-natural and made by hand in small batches. But beyond that, the brand has taken a familiar sweet treat and delivered both the ideal texture—well-balanced between soft and chewy—and flavors that pop. Regarding the classic black licorice, it’s not as intense as the traditional European versions which sometimes overwhelm the palate, but it’s above and beyond what one finds in an American candy aisle. The fruitier flavors—raspberry, mango and our personal favorite cherry—aren’t too saccharine or bitter. The latter delivers bright, tart notes that tease the tongue.
According to founder Anya Skwarek, red licorice hasn’t changed much since it was invented, back in the ’50s, as a variation of black licorice. Skwarek began producing the licorice in her home before expanding to a small commercial kitchen in Brooklyn. It’s important to mention that there is no high fructose corn syrup here. That’s implied by “all-natural” but that product is a common default for most candy-makers—as is dye, which also isn’t used here. Skwarek’s real fruit approach truly delivers a freshness rarely found in licorice and as a small business making a great product, it’s worth a try.
Order Anya’s Licorice online where a half dozen retails for $11—or find it in a handful of stores in New York and one in California.
Images courtesy of Anya’s Licorice