Saturday, July 30, 2011

In defense of licorice

I've liked black licorice for as long as I can remember. Johnny Dempster, city bus driver who took me home from Kindergarten every day, used to give me and the other children on the bus what are now called "Licorice Kids". They had another less appropriate name back then, but they tasted good, anyway.

I bought a package of no-name black licorice twists for our 100 Day Practice Club party, and as I enjoyed munching on one, read the Nutrition Facts on the back. Wow! 20% of the daily value of iron? I'm always on the lookout for more iron - this is good news! And while the first ingredient is sugar (glucose-fructose), at least it's not high fructose corn syrup (that's further down the list :-)). The second ingredient is enriched wheat flour, and the third is blackstrap molasses - there's where the iron is coming from. And this candy actually has the beneficial herb licorice extract in it, not only anise oil (which flavors many licorice flavored things).

Health food! Well, maybe not quite, but I was curious what others had to say about healthy candy and found this. For some reason they left licorice off the list, but I can tell you how it measures up by their standards. One serving of four twists (four at a time? generous serving) contains only 1 gram of fat (no trans-fats) 1 gram of protein and 150 calories. If you cut that down to what I consider a serving, two pieces, that's .5 gram of fat and 75 calories, surpassing any of their top picks, I'm thinking.

For candy, not bad!

3/1/17 Edit: What?! Licorice has a dangerous side? Everything in moderation, with caution, I guess. Check it out:

And since I wrote this post, I've been buying Panda brand licorice: table molasses, wheat flour, cooking molasses, licorice extract, aniseed oil.  I didn't write down how many sticks would be required for 20% daily value of iron... This package says 15 pieces, 40 g (I never have that many at once!), gives 6%.  I noticed that it is sweetened 100% by molasses, but failed to notice that it does not contain BLACKSTRAP molasses, the one highest in iron! :-/

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