Saturday, May 3, 2008

Golia Caramelle Respira

One of the good things about moving back home to SoCal is that I have been able to revisit many of my old foodie stomping grounds.
One of which is a long standing chain of Italian groceries in the L.A. area called Claro's.

Claro's has a rather impressive candy selection at my local store and I picked up a bag of what I thought was licorice.

The small semi-hard lozenges are indeed made with licorice but imagine my surprise when I realized they were very, very strong to the point it made me think they were mentholated!
What I didn't notice on the bag until I had one in my mouth is that it also says "respira" Yes, my lovely bag of licorice was actually a lovely bag of cough drops!

The thing is a mentholy licorice is oddly addicting. Oh, sure I had a pretty big "WTF?!" moment at first but once you get over the shock the licorice it's self is dark and has a deep molasses note to it (yes, once again it reminded me of Panda) there is a little anise working around in there as well. As best I could tell from my limited Italian and the help of Babel Fish there is no actual menthol in the drops but it does have licorice juice (which accounts for the strong flavor) and once you are used to it, it actually reminded me a lot of Sambuca or Anisette. Minus the fact that it stains your tongue a lovely dark brown it did leave my mouth feeling tingly and clean. And while I had no cough to start with I would certainly prefer these over a standard drop any day.

Even if they weren't what I expected I am going to keep a stash of these on hand,

Claro's Italian Market

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