Once again, we all need to thank the glorious nation of Finland for yet another Panda licorice product!
All right, this review can go one of two ways:
1. I could be tasteful and classy and mention how this version of Panda contains all natural, fat free goodness of the popular classic flavor (my own personal addiction), as do the fantastic cherry and raspberry versions. Additionally, the Soft Herb version contains extracts of 18 different herbs, specifically:
* Peppermint leavesOK, to be fair, I am not sure what many of those herbs are, either. But it sounds healthy (and sort of like things actual pandas probably eat)...
* Shop vervain wort
* Orange leaves
* Marsh mallow root
* Glycyrrhiza glabra
* Blackberry leaves
* Plantain herb
* Torch weed flowers
* Thyme leaves
* Lungworth leaves
* Elder flowers
* Milfoil flowers
* Iceland moss
* Sage leaves
* Star anise
* Mallow flowers
* Primrose flowers
* Red poppy flowers
2. I will over-use the word "dude" and make copious stoner and hippie references. If you have actually read this blog before, I think we all know which way this is headed...
Aaw, dude...there's like, herbs in my candy, man. Seriously! Like, herbs! Uuuuhhh...I like it when my munchies are all, y'know, healthy. (And again, Panda is my addiction of choice.)
Looking at the pieces of Soft Herb, I didn't notice any difference between this version and Panda's classic black licorice. The smell is almost the same as well, maybe not as strong, but the molasses notes that I love are still there.
Taste-wise I was wondering how all the herbs would, like, make sweet love to my mouth. (Wait, that sounded wrong.) Actually, it's an interesting effect. I think I was expecting something woodsy or savory. Instead, it is almost as if they took classic black Panda and mentholated it. At first it's weird. After all, menthol is not really a taste you expect outside of cough drops.
Even weirder is that it really grows on you. Part of it is the flavor. The menthol has that quasi-minty taste, and it pairs well with the molasses. The chew is the same -- soft, and a tad sticky. What's neat is that it also leaves your mouth feeling both warm and cool at the same time, if you can imagine such a thing. I still prefer the classic black flavor over all others, but I really liked this one. I guarantee it'll be real easy to Finnish the box. (Get it? Finnish? Aaaaww, dude...ever notice how herbs make everything, like, sooooo funny?)
Finally, since I am indeed a giver, I am going to make a suggestion to those of you who are ingesting herbs above and beyond those contained in this licorice: You need to groove like the old school stoners did -- you know, back in the days of yore when herbs were really herbs, man. So sit back in your favorite beanbag chair, fire up some patchouli incense, grab a box of Soft Herb Panda Licorice, and munch out while contemplating the hidden cosmic meanings in the song American Pie. (Like, it's really deep, man, it goes like, waaaayyy beyond like, the day the music died, and like, Buddy Holly dying, y'know, in that bummer of a plane crash and all...) In fact, I am so generous that I have even provided a link to the song...in Finnish, of course.
Dude...hyvää päivänjatkoa! (That means "Dude...have a nice day!") And I mean it sincerely, with love and flowers for all of you. I'm just sorry I couldn't find a Finnish cover of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.
Sample from company
130 Calories per 15 pieces.
All Natural. Kosher. Suitable for vegetarians and vegans.