Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Panda Licorice: Cherry

Aah, yes...from the far northern splendor of Finland comes a new candy that is as luscious and yummy as a tropical sunset!

One item on the list of treats not often kept in my house is Panda Licorice. Here's an embarrassing but true fact: I have been known to finish an entire box...all by one day. Yes, I know how shameful that is. And guess what? I DO NOT CARE! It's totally worth it! Anyway, the makers of Panda were kind enough to ask me if I would like to review their new Cherry Panda. As if there was any chance I was going to say no?

Cherry Panda, along with my beloved classic black Panda, now comes in some new packaging. You can get it in boxes, in resealable pouches, and in individual bars. (We used the box for this review because it photographed the best.)

Each little chew is an extruded tube whose cross section vaguely resembles a dried lotus flower. The shape of Panda always reminds me of something that might have come out of a Play-Doh Fun Factory. (Hey, back in the day you were the coolest if you had a Fun Factory.)

The smell is vaguely spicy. I almost wouldn't call it cherry -- but it is definitely fruity. The texture is the soft, yet slightly sticky chew that I love about Panda.

But it's really all about the cherry flavor. I was wondering how the cherry was going to be pulled off. I feared that it would be either akin to cheap cherry cough medicine, or maybe like one of those cherry flavored "juices" that are mass-marketed for kids. Or worse yet, some unholy six-fingered, cyclops love child of the two.

But somehow, magically, Panda manages to avoid either. Have you ever had a black cherry that, while ripe, was just this close to being a little too bitter? That's the flavor that Panda has harnessed. It's juicy and sweet, but there is just enough tartness to keep it interesting.

Once the cherry taste wanes a bit, you start to notice the molasses flavor of classic Panda. I absolutely love this flavor. True fact (again): I ate half the box over the course of the night. Not only that, but the Significant Other had some and liked it -- and he hates licorice. It is just that good.

If you need any incentive beyond just taste, the chews are also:
- Fat Free
- Preservative Free
- Artificial Flavor Free
- Kosher
And it has that adorable panda as a mascot. What's not to love? You need to get some of this as quickly as possible, lean back in your favorite comfy chair, and munch out while listening to some classic Ramones Finnish, of course.

Hyvää ruokahalua! (That's Finnish for "bon appétit," because, y'know, I'm like all sophisticated 'n' stuff.)


Sample from company

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