American Licorice Co., Bend, Ore.

When it comes to licorice, consumers are pretty particular about brands, flavors, shapes and styles, from American-made favorites to ropes to Australian and Finnish varieties. I’m no exception. So it was with admitted hesitation that I sampled new Natural Vines from American Licorice Co., maker of the popularRed Vines brand. It did not disappoint. The premium product, aimed at adult connoisseurs of licorice (like me), is made with all-natural ingredients. The soft, chewy, bite-size treat comes in two rich flavors: Strawberry (my fave) and Black (my father’s variety of choice). And I just love the packaging: a re-sealable pouch that can stand or hang from a peg in the candy aisle, dressed in a red vine pattern. (Go figure.)
Ingredients (Strawberry variety): Wheat flour, cane syrup, sugar, brown rice syrup, malic acid, natural strawberry flavor, beet juice (natural color), glycerin, licorice extract. Contains wheat.
S.R.P.: $3.49 per 8-oz. bag