“ Brand: Panda / Type: Liquorice „
I bought some of these Panda liquorice bars after reading a review on here and thought these would be right up my street. I've reviewed some liquorice allsorts on here before so normally I am a fan of liquorice although I'm reviewing my taste buds after eating these sticks of pure liquorice as I'm now confused about what I like and don't like.
I bought 4 of these bars in one single packet from Holland and Barrett for £1.85. The packet was a yellow and black colour and looked quite straightforward, no gimmicks or anything on the packet. Inside were 4 individually wrapped bars, all in yellow and black plastic. When I opened the first one I could smell it straight away and it smelt like liquorice (as you would hope from a bar of liquorice!). It was quite a strong smell but I liked it. The bar itself is long and flat and a very dark brown colour. It looks smooth and has quite a shiny appearance.
It was very chewy when I bit into it which was nice, not so soft that it was mushy but stiff enough for there to be a good chew on it. At first I liked the flavour in my mouth but then I felt that it got a bit too much for me. As I have said, I am of the opinion that I am a fan of liquorice but eating these I found myself thinking that I didn't really like them. I got through half the bar before giving it to my other half who incidentally really liked it.
I think it wasn't sweet enough for me. I had bought these bars as they were meant to be a healthy option of a snack as opposed to biscuits or chocolate and when you read the ingredients they are a very natural bar and one I wouldn't feel too guilty eating. I just didn't find the experience of eating them pleasurable and therefore my foray into Panda bars has come to an abrupt end.
I'm kind of thinking my enjoyment of liquorice relies on the addition of a lot of sugar and probably other flavourings which is why I like allsorts so much and not the actual liquorice bars themselves!
There is no doubt about it, I love to snack! I am constantly picking up new things when I go shopping to give them a try. However, it is important to me that at least some of the things that I buy are slightly more towards the healthy end of the scale and so when I saw this Panda Licorice Bar and all its claims of being all natural and low fat I thought that I would give it a try.
I picked this up in Sainsbury's and it cost me 45 pence for a single 32g bar. The licorice bar is long and thin and comes in a plastic wrapping. I have to admit that the packaging of the bar really appealed to me. It was mainly black with yellow accents and also featured a picture of a charming little cartoon panda.
Upon opening the packaging I was instantly hit with the distinctive smell of licorice and this gave me quite high hopes for the licorice. Immediately upon biting into the bar I noticed a difference in the texture that I had been used to when eating licorice previously. I had been used to licorice being incredibly tough and actually quite difficult to eat but this definitely wasn't the case with this Panda bar. It was very soft and very easy to bite through, not anything like the struggle I have had in the past! I really enjoyed this difference in texture. It is something I had never come across in all my licorice eating years and it definitely made a pleasant change!
Licorice is definitely one of those tastes that you will either love or hate and I really love it! Therefore I was a little disappointed with the flavour of the Panda bar. It was a lot more subtle than I had tasted in the past. It just didn't have the bite I was looking for. It definitely wasn't unpleasant but it just wasn't very strong tasting. However, I know a lot of people are put off by the strong taste of other licorice and so I would definitely recommend that they give this a try. I would also say that other licorice does tend to leave a slightly unpleasant aftertaste but the complete opposite is true of the Panda bar. It left a really lovely, almost creamy, aftertaste in my mouth that I really enjoyed.
So what about Panda's claims that its licorice is all natural? Well after looking up the list of ingredients I was very shocked to see that there were only four; molasses syrup, wheat flour, licorice extract, and natural flavouring (aniseed oil)! So that's no artificial colours or flavours and no preservatives! It is also a very low fat treat containing just 0.1g and 99 calories per bar. For the purposes of comparison a standard Mars bar contains 260 calories! For me this is definitely a good alternative to slightly less healthy snacks that satisfies my sweet tooth.
After having enjoyed this bar I did a little more research on the Panda licorice and found that they do several other flavours, including raspberry and blueberry, that I would be very eager to try. These don't seem to be as widely available to buy but the best places to go seem to be health food shops such as Holland and Barratt.
On the whole, I was really impressed by the Panda Licorice bars. They provide a fairly healthy, all natural snack for when I want something a little sweeter. Yes, they lack a little of the strong flavour that I am used to but the soft and easy to eat texture more than makes up for this. I will definitely be buying these again and I will hopefully be able to track down some of the other flavours as well!
When I was in the Health Food shop browsing around I noticed Panda licorice which is available in a pack of four bars or in a bag. Being a fan of licorice and all things sweet I decided to give them a try. I paid £1.69 for four bars which I think is reasonable as they are better for you than chocolate and other sugary treats.
They are manufactured from all natural ingredients which are:
Molasses, wheat flour, syrup, licorice extract, natural flavour (aniseed oil)
Panda licorice contains less than 0.5% fat!
They also contain no junk!
*No added colours
*No added salt
*No artificial flavours
*99 % fat free
They are also suitable for vegetarians and vegan consumption.
Each bar comes individually wrapped for freshness which stops me from eating more than one at a time. The wrapper easily tears open to reveal the dark black stick of licorice. I am immediately greeted with the sweet smell and can't wait to take a bite. My teeth sink easily into the bar and the taste is divine. It has a different texture to any other food I have tried, it is soft and smooth. The delicate flavour and texture make me eat it slowly and enjoy each bite savouring every mouthful. Being made up of all natural ingredients you get to experience the real taste of licorice just how it should be. After eating the taste remains in my mouth for a while with no nasty after taste and I am pleased to say it doesn't stick to my teeth.
It is a really high quality licorice that makes for a perfect snack during the day, giving you a sweet treat without all the sugar and high fat that other sweet treats contain. I find that one bar easily satisfies my sweet craving. Unlike other sweets that leave me feeling sluggish Panda licorice gives me a little energy boost.
Not everyone likes licorice, as it is a bit of a desired taste but if you do you will be in for a real treat. Luckily for me I am the only person in my family that enjoys licorice so I get to eat all four bars to myself - not all at once of course!
Apparently licorice root is known to be used for relaxing the body and mind and helps reduce stress. I'm not sure how true this is, but it does make me feel happy and relaxed in the afternoon.
There are other varieties available which I'm yet to try which are:
PANDA FILLED LICORICE
Unfortunately they are not widely available; I have only ever seen them in Boots and in Health Food Shops. However you can find them online from places such as eBay and Amazon.
To find out more visit their website: www.panda.fi/engl
Panda All Natural Lemon Filled Liquorice Bars 28g The real taste of liquorice, made from all natural ingredients, with a lemon flavoured filling. Made by Panda since 1928, in Finland, made from natural colours and flavours, only made using real liquorice root, vegetarian society approved, Kosher and Halal friendly.