> Gluten Free Licorice Candy: 3 to Consider
Gluten Free Licorice Candy: 3 to Consider
Licorice candy often contains wheat flour, but fortunately the number of good gluten-free licorice products on the market is growing.
So far, no manufacturer makes a GF version of my all time favourite licorice candy: licorice allsorts.
Beware: the candy above contains gluten!
With the increasing demand for gluten-free foods of all kinds, where are the GF allsorts? Perhaps it’s too hard to produce the right texture without wheat flour.
If you like the taste of black licorice, there are several gluten-free options that you can order online.
#1 Zagarese 100% Organic Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Licorice
Zagarese 100% Organic Licorice comes in 4 flavors, Original (shown above), Anise , Citrus & Mint
Zagarese is made with organic licorice root. Natural flavor extracts are added to the flavored varieties. There are no added sugars or artificial sweeteners.
I don’t normally like the taste of black licorice naked, so to speak. When I was a kid I loved jelly beans, but the only way that I could get the black licorice flavoured ones down was to chase them quickly with a small handful of the other flavours. With my favourite, licorice allsorts, the fondant mellowed the bitter woody taste of black licorice that I disliked.
But I quite like Zagarese. Maybe it’s because Zagarese is made with real licorice root. If you live in North America, most licorice candy is flavoured with anise or synthetic substitutes. Anise lacks the sweetness of real licorice, so sugar must be added to anise flavoured candy.
Some people are concerned about real licorice because it contains DGL (glycyrrhizin). DGL can exacerbate certain health problems in sensitive people. Fortunately, most of the licorice from Europe is quite low in DGL, and anything put into candy tends to be deglycyrrhizinated. The licorice root in Zagarese, from Italy, is very low in DGL because it comes from a species called glycyrrhiza glabra that has a DGL content of only 4- 5%. That means that it doesn’t have to be deglycyrrhizinated, so Zagarese candy is more natural (minimally processed) compared to most other licorice candy.
Back to the fun stuff:
The little flip top box is easy to carry in my pocket.
Each candy is very small, a wee oblong pellet. They’re great to suck on. Good if you have bad breath, too. Crunching the pellets is hard on my teeth, but after they’re sucked for a while – until they’re slightly smaller – I’ll usually bite them a little.
The flavour is strongly licorice and the aftertaste (which is the same as the “during” taste) lingers.
The links on this page are to Amazon to buy a pack of six. It’s hard for me to find Zagarese in Canadian stores. Perhaps you’ll be able to find it in your local candy or health store. If you like it then you can take advantage of the deal for multiple boxes on Amazon.
#2 Gimble’s Scottie Dogs All Natural Licorice
From Cybele May of Candy Blog, I learned about Gimbal’s. They produce candy, including black licorice, that’s free of the 8 most common food allergens: gluten, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, fish and shell fish.
They’re produced in a gluten-free facility so there is no risk of cross contamination.
Scottie Dogs are made with real licorice and anise and no artificial colors. They’re sweetened with corn syrup (but not high fructose corn syrup).
Looking for something more Twizzler-esque?
#3 Candy Tree’s Black Gluten-Free Licorice Twists
This product isn’t made with real licorice, it’s licorice flavoured. Instead of wheat flour that is found in traditional licorice twists, it contains rice flour (I wonder if rice flour could be used to make decent licorice allsorts. It would be even better if they could be made with potato flour and be totally grain free).
The company produces candies that contain gluten too, but they claim that they carefully wash the equipment in their factory so cross contamination risk is low.
You can order small packages of this product from Gluten Free Mall.
Natural Candy Store is also a good online source for GF licorice and candy.
What’s your favourite gluten-free candy?