> Gluten Free Licorice Candy: 3 to Consider
Gluten Free Licorice Candy: 3 to Consider
Licorice candy often contains wheat flour, thus gluten. Fortunately, there are more gluten-free licorice options now than ever before.
But damn, no manufacturer makes a gluten free version of my all-time favorite black licorice candy, licorice allsorts.
Beware: the product above contains gluten!
Given the growing interest in gluten-free foods of all kinds, where are the gluten free allsorts? Maybe it’s too hard to produce the right texture without wheat flour?
I’ll be writing to manufacturers to request it, and fortunes will be made. ;)
Allsorts aside, if you like the taste of black licorice, there are several gluten-free options you can order online. Some of them are more “natural” than others.
#1 Zagarese 100% Organic Gluten-Free, Sugar Free Licorice
Zagarese 100% Organic Licorice comes in 4 flavors, Original (shown above), Anise , Citrus & Mint
It’s organic licorice root extract and natural flavor extracts with the flavored varieties, with no sugar or artificial sweeteners added, or anything else.
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 I could get the black licorice flavored ones down was to chase them quickly with a small handful of the other flavours.
The reason I enjoyed licorice allsorts in my gluten days was because the fondant they contain mellows the bitter woody taste I usually dislike. And I just loved the round, sandy textured pink coconut one!
But I quite like Zagarese!
I’m older now, and therefore have matured in my tastes. Haha, probably not.
Maybe it’s because Zagarese is made with real licorice root. If you live in North America, most “licorice” candy is flavored with anise or synthetic substitutes. Anise lacks the sweetness of real licorice, so sugar must be added.
Some people are concerned about real licorice because the DGL (glycyrrhizin) in it is believed to exacerbate certain health problems in sensitive people. But most licorice from Europe (Zagarese is from Italy) is quite low in DGL, and anything put into candy tends to be deglycyrrhizinated. The licorice root in Zagarese is even lower in DGL to start with because it comes from a species (glycyrrhiza glabra) with a glycyrrhizin content of only 4- 5%. Zagarese doesn’t have to be deglycyrrhizinated, making it a more natural product overall.
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. It’s great to suck on. Good if you have bad breath, too. Crunching the pellets is a bit hard on my teeth, but after they’re sucked ’til even smaller, I’ll usually bite them a little.
The pieces are SO strongly licorice, and the aftertaste (which is the same as the “during” taste) lasts a while. One box, which is close to the size displayed in the picture above, lasts me a long time.
The links on this page are to Amazon to buy a pack of 6. It’s been quite hard for me to find Zagarese in stores. Perhaps you’ll be able to find it in your local candy or health store. If you like it, you can take advantage of the deal on Amazon.
Moving on …
#2 Gimble’s Scottie Dogs All Natural Licorice
Gimble’s Scottie Dogs All Natural Licorice, 11.5 oz bags (generous!) – deal on 12 packs via Amazon
From Cybele May of Candy Blog, I learned about Gimbal’s an American company that produces candy, including black licorice, free of the 8 most common food allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, gluten, soy, fish, and shell fish.
There is no risk of cross contamination with gluten with Gimbal’s candies. That is something you face with a few of the big companies who produce both gf and gluten-full candy lines.
Scottie Dogs are made with real licorice and anise and no artificial colors. They’re sweetened with corn syrup (not high fructose corn syrup, at least!)
They are really, really, really, really, really cute. I’m quite fond of real Scottie dogs, hence my 5 reallys. Maybe I would feel bad biting at these fine little things for that reason? :) Please read Cybele May’s review with up-close pictures of these candies here
Candy Blog is one of my favorite food review sites of all time. Thank you, Cybele, for creating it.
Yes, I do best on a Paleoish/hunter-gatherer type diet. Due to food allergies, etc. most commercial candy is risky for me. But I get SO much enjoyment from reading about it on her site, and memories of my candy eating days. Now I eat candy vicariously. :)
In her candy reviews, Cybele does her best to mention whether a candy is gluten-free or not, which I appreciate.
Looking for something more Twizzler-esque?
#3 Candy Tree’s Black Gluten-Free Licorice Twists
Candy Tree’s Black Gluten-Free Licorice Twists - 12 x 2.6 oz packages from Amazon
This isn’t made with real licorice. It’s licorice flavored. Instead of the usual wheat flour found in licorice twists, it contains rice flour. Hmm, could rice flour be used to make decent licorice allsorts? It would be nice if they could be made with potato flour and be totally grain free.
The company produces gluten candies, too, but they claim that they carefully wash the equipment so cross contamination risks are low.
You can get a smaller amounts of this product at Gluten Free Mall.
Another handy online resource for gluten free licorice and gluten free candy is Natural Candy Store
Click on “Special Diets” at the top of the site and you’ll find the link to the listings.