The classic Raspberry Strap is back to stay!
Ever since I can remember, I have NOT been a fan of berries, except strawberries. Raspberry has always been in a grey-zone for me though - don't like the real thing, quite like the "fake" flavour. And since I have always enjoyed liquorice... naturally, raspberry twirls (as the Americans would call them) were a favoured treat for me whenever Dad would come back from a business trip in the States. Then I discovered them in NZ, and that was it - my new go-to naughty treat.
Fast-forward a few years, and I happened upon Raspberry Chocolate Logs in the supermarket... SO VERY YES! And thus my favoured treat was replaced. And now here we are with Raspberry Licorice Straps also from RJ's... and while I still do love the choc logs, these are wonderful for those times when I want 'sweet' but not 'chocolate sweet'... plus they are fun to play with too. I have a 'thing' for tying ribbon-shaped things into knots. Don't ask me, even *I* don't know why... it's probably an OCD thing below the level of conscious thought. Either way, I started to tear these straps into thinner strips and knot them up before eating them. Kinda like liquorice chews.
I wanted to see if I could use them creatively, but alas, they tasted so good that I ploughed through my pack in no time at all, despite there being 20 straps in the pack. I also want to comment on the pack itself... I loved the little recyclable tray inside. It would also be so handy for kids crafts such as a paint tray or a DIY inkpad. The outer pack would, I think, have done well to have had a resealable strip on it so that you could seal the pack up after taking out a strap or two, but honestly I doubt that after the first bite, there's going to be any risk of the straps going 'off' before they get eaten. They just taste too good... one of those love it or hate it flavours.
Overall, these are awesome, and I can see them getting used in cake decorating and party food in so many ways. RJs should look at doing this with their new pineapple flavour, so someone clever can do a Wizard of Oz cake with an edible Yellow Brick Road.
Raspberry licorice has always been a favourite of mine, preferring it over black licorice. Raspberry licorice straps were always popular at the school canteen and I am sure I consumed more than my fair share of them! It wasn't until this product came up for review that I realised I haven't had a raspberry licorice strap for quite some time, and I haven't even seen it in the shops for some years. Obviously RJ's decided there was a gap in their range and have started making it again. It must be a recent new edition though as when I went to the website to read more about it I couldn't find it on their products list.
The pack definitely screams RJ's to me. It looks very similar to all of their other packets, yet by using a picture of the product it is very easy to know what is inside. The red and pink stands out and if coming across it on a shelf in the supermarket it would definitely catch my eye. The use of black makes the packet seem sleek - I'm a fan of using black as I think it just brings a little more class for some reason.
Opening the packet I was met with the unmistakable smell of RJ's red licorice. Yum! There were ten straps of licorice inside sitting flat on a tray, five straps on each side. Pulling the straps apart was reasonably easy, although it would be interesting to keep a packet stored in the cupboard for a little bit and see whether it becomes a little stickier. Having said this, that would be a very hard task in our house hold as it wouldn't last long enough! Another thing I tested was whether it was easy to pull the rows from the straps. I have used licorice straps in the past to decorate cakes, so for cake decorating purposes it is handy if the strips pull apart nicely. You can do it with a pair of scissors, but it looks much better if it tears straight itself. It tore very easily and I can see it being used for many different cake decorations.
The flavour was as I expected, the typical RJ's raspberry licorice flavour. My only criticism is that it was every so faint in it's flavour and I would have preferred it to be a little stronger as the raspberry flavour is absolutely delicious!
I fondly remember enjoying yummy red licorice straps when at intermediate school, the school cafe sold them and I used to often buy them and really love them. It has been some years since then and when I saw the chance to review these I thought I would definitely put my hand up to get the chance to try them out. The pack itself is very attractive and quite heavy in weight and this is due to been well stocked with licorice! When opening the package you are presented with the strips in a slide out double sided tray which I thought was a great way to store the product and there was a generous amount on each side. Upon opening the package you are also met with the lovely aroma of raspberry, it smells yummy!
I however found it difficult to pull the strips apart and it would have probably been much easier if I had used scissors to cut them as the thin strips didn't pull away as easy as I thought they would. The licorice itself was very soft in texture but chewy once you started to eat it. I was expecting a much stronger raspberry flavour and was very disappointed at how little I could taste. I thought perhaps due to something I had eaten earlier it was masking the taste so on a different day tried again to see if it was any different but once again I found the flavour very dull and lacking and not very enjoyable to the red licorice straps I remember. I gave some to other adults to try and they also thought the flavour was very mild and thought it would be a lot sweeter like other red licorice they have had before.
Improvements on this product I would like to see include a little more flavour in this product for it to be personally enjoyable and also think if the packaging was made resealable it would be great to keep in the freshness as due to such a generous amount would be unlikely to eat it all at once so a resealable wrapper would be of great benefit.
I love RJ's licorice and particularly love raspberry flavoured licorice so I was very much looking forward to trying these yummy looking morsels! The pack is very attractive and weighs in at 260 grams which gives you a decent amount of licorice. There are 10 wide straps per pack which come flat in 2 rows in a plastic tray inside the wrapper. I found they were easy to separate and didn't stick together, however, they didn't last long enough to see if that would happen! The packet says it provides 6 servings but I would say that each strap provides an adequate serving.
As you can imagine, the whole family were very excited when they saw these and were all keen to try them. My daughters loved pulling them into thinner strips and tying them in knots and wrapping them around their fingers! Hubby liked rolling them up whilst I just ate one as it came! We all unanimously agreed that these were delicious! They were suitably chewy and had a subtle raspberry taste that wasn't too sweet but 'just right'. This is a very economical way to buy quality licorice and we will definitely be buying it again.
My only suggestion on improving this product would be to somehow make the wrapping resealable for when your willpower allows you to save some!
An absolute favourite with my daughter and myself is red licorice and we are frequent buyers of RJ's chocolate coated balls, raspberry chocolate twists and our favourite raspberry chocolate triple pack logs. We were really looking forward to trying this latest product from RJ's Raspberry Licorice straps.
When we first held the packet, I was impressed by the weight of the packet (260g) as well as the packaging artwork. We opened the packet and we were impressed to see the licorice was held in a wee tray, which is a great idea by RJ's as it made it so much easier to slide the straps in and out of the packet without the licorice adhering to the packaging . We were also both impressed by the width of the straps, they were about 2.5cm wide, which immediately piqued my interest with an idea I could use the straps for - cake decoration.
We then tasted the straps; they were chewy and really quite yummy, with a true raspberry flavour that we have come to love with RJ's. My daughter and I enjoyed tearing the ridges off the straps and eating the licorice bit by bit, and I even commented to my daughter than I did the same thing eating black licorice when I was little too!
As luck would have it, I was asked to provide something for a going away morning tea shout the next day, I decided to make my chocolate rocky road cupcakes and when it came to the decoration on top, I omitted the normal jubes that I use, and replaced them with the raspberry straps cut up. They looked amazing and tasted even better, they added that extra bit of colour and taste which was just what I was looking for.
I will definitely buy the Raspberry straps etc just for eating as a treat or to add to my baking.
I love licorice both red and black but my kids (7 and 8.5 years old) will only eat red licorice. When they saw I had some raspberry licorice straps to review they offered to help. The packet of RJ's Raspberry Licorice Straps had 10 straps. This made the pack great for sharing.Even my husband was keen to eat some too.
The licorice was lovely and soft which is also a sign of freshness. The flavour was quite subtle but had a lovely aroma especially when the packet was first opened. The straps were all a uniform width and length. I found them easy to cut with scissors which would make them handy for decorating cakes and biscuits. The perfect thing for a smiley face or any outline really.
My family all really enjoyed it and even the dog came over to see what we were eating. Miss 7 loved the fact that the strap was so big. It kept her quiet for a while. I was surprised to see how cheap these straps were. I am sure they will be jumping into my trolley regularly and it won't just be me helping it get there. It is fair to say we have a new family favourite.
For as long as I can remember I have always loved licorice. I think the love affair started off because of my nana. She always has a container full of licorice sitting on her kitchen top, so whenever I go to visit her the kitchen is usually my first stop - unfortunately it is just not me but my cousins, auntie, mum and now my girls have all found nana's secret stash. She loves black and red licorice and always has a variety sitting in the container and I too have followed family tradition and always have licorice hidden somewhere in my fridge.
As a kid my dad would often buy black licorice straps when we were going on a car trip so when I heard there was a raspberry version I jumped at the opportunity to put myself out there and trial them. I found the packaging to be bright and inviting and could not wait to rip into it and try a piece. I was a little shocked at how big the strap was not only wide but also by length. I like to suck on my straps and found it was rather hard to do so instead I cut them down the middle and cut them in half which has given me double the quantity and I find it lasts longer as it is smaller so you don't want to bite it, so you savour it more.
The smell is divine and smells just like a raspberry licorice should smell and it tastes just as good. It actually reminds me of the raspberry covered in chocolate one and it is delicious. I am surprised it has lasted over a day to be honest. My girls both ate their's and asked for more and I think if they were allowed to they would of ate the whole lot without blinking an eye. They both keep saying 'this is so good' and really who am I to argue, as I do agree.
The price is awesome considering I buy licorice at the corner dairy and it is about $1.20 for one strap and considering how much you get in a packet this will save me so much money! It is definitely something I will be buying again and since it is a kiwi company who makes it I feel it is my patriotic duty to keep buying them and possibly the black variety if there is one.
I have always loved RJ's products and have tried a few with differing preferences in our family we usually try a few different things. Dad doesn't like sweet so plain black liquorice is his favourite or liquorice bullets while myself and my children prefer the sweetness of liquorice allsorts and raspberry chocolate logs. I do remember licorice straps from when I was younger and remember enjoying them a lot. I thought these were a bigger size than I remembered and a different texture.
On opening the packet I saw the double sided tray with straps on each side, we pulled a couple out to try and my son and daughter had one and I had one too. I didn't get that same level of sweetness from the raspberry licorice that I remember from the raspberry choc logs so was not as impressed by these I found them quite mild in flavour and hard to eat so I could not finish a whole strap. The children did finish theirs but said they are not what they were thinking and thought they could of been sweeter.
Much to my surprise Dad liked these more than anyone else that goes to show what I had thought about the lack of sweetness. He said he liked them because they weren't sweet like he was expecting from a raspberry licorice but agreed the size was a bit big for one sitting so tearing bits off the strap were more preffered. I will continue to buy RJ's products but probably not this particular item, although it was nice it was just not the best choice for me personally.
I've never been a fan of black licorice. The aniseed flavour has never been pleasant to me, and yet I do love the coloured fruit flavoured licorice.
Looking at the product, the first thing I noticed was the weight. It was quite heavy considering the size of the packet, and that is because it is completely jam-packed with licorice. Even the "crinkle cut" shape of the licorice straps mean that they fit into one another forming a solid pack that you have to peel off one by one (much like string cheese).
Oddly, however, for something that has around 6 servings in it, there is no way to close the packet once it's been opened. Luckily, the properties of the product work in its favour, as I opened the packet, and left it on the bench for 4 days, and was relieved to find no ants had discovered it, and the licorice hadn't dried out or melted at all. It stayed exactly as it was when I left it. One the things about RJs licorice that I love, is that it's a clean product. I can hold it in my hand for a while, and I don't get sticky.
There is very little else I can really say about this product. It's amazing value to get this much raspberry flavoured licorice for the same price as a small chocolate bar. As far as the raspberry flavour goes, it is one of the more subtle flavours, which makes it more-ish. Something you could eat a lot of if you wanted it. It is quite a firm licorice, so it doesn't get stuck in your teeth, but the firmness could potentially prove troublesome for a child with loose teeth, or an eldery person with dentures.
Licorice straps - ah! Memories of going into a dairy clutching a handful of coins in a grubby fist and being given a black, unwrapped strap which had probably been handled by several people before I finally claimed it and stuffed it into my mouth. In those days there weren't any germs; nobody was too bothered about "catching things". Maybe kids had more resistance because they were not wrapped in cotton wool, or maybe they were just lucky.
Whatever the reason, lollies today are presented in hygienic wrappers and reach the consumer guaranteed to be free of bugs! Along with other manufacturers of confectionery, RJ's ensure that their products are prepared and presented to the highest of standards. Their licorice straps come in a moulded plastic container which preserves their shape, and the whole is sealed inside a bright pink and white package which has real kid appeal. Our own children commented on the packaging - they approved totally and knew what was going to be inside once the seal was broken.
But, despite the careful presentation, the product is just as I remember licorice. Sweet, stretchy, chewy, and highly satisfying. I had not eaten a "real" licorice strap for years, and even when I do eat licorice I am allowed only a small portion for medical reasons. However, the piece I did have certainly took me back to those unhygienic but yummy treats of my childhood. I have tried some of the other products from the RJ's licorice range, but the straps are my favourite. As for the children, they were happy seeing how many different shapes they could make out of each piece before eating it. I would not allow them to eat too much as they liked it so much they could well have eaten the whole packet!
I don't know how commonly known it is that licorice is the perfect partner for grapes. Dessert for a special occasion used to often consist of a handful of grapes topped with licorice straps cut into thin strips and then either curled or placed in a criss-cross pattern. You could even play noughts and crosses if you had grapes of two different colours, but this was frowned on by parents as it could get quite messy. However, this was a quick, easy party treat that was certain to please without being TOO unhealthy.
Although red licorice was around when I was a child, you did not see it very often. Black licorice was the usual variety sold in shops. However, I liked the red variety so it was always great to find a shop that stocked it. It is wonderful that RJ's is producing both as it gives people of all ages a choice and the opportunity to try out some retro classics in a modern style. Our family certainly enjoyed it and I am certain we will be buying it again.
I have been a huge fan of RJ's licorice for as long as I can remember, especially of their raspberry licorice. When I saw that RJ's had released a new product in my favourite flavour raspberry just in time for their 21st birthday I was beyond excited, as was my partner and Miss 4 as we are always delighted to see new products from one of our favourite confectionery companies!
As soon as I got home with this product for review there was no waiting around to sample this, it was opened within minutes with a eager 4 year old and 34 year old gathered around me to ensure that they weren't going to miss out on what was hoped to be a very tasty treat. Opening up the packet I was surprised to see the neat black tray inside the packaging which held the licorice straps tidily in place, I thought this was a great way to package such a product as I could imagine that without such packaging the product may not remain in nice long straps as it is meant to. I had previously read on the pack of the packaging that each pack has approximately 6 serves in it (with each serve consisting of 1 licorice strap) and after seeing the generous length of each of the straps I thought this was a fair amount of serves per pack, however as I counted each of the straps in the pack I soon found that I didn't have 6 straps of licorice, but I infact had 10 straps of licorice, even better!
I have to say I was a bit concerned that the straps may not separate from each other very easily, however I was very wrong I had no problems at all with pulling one strap off the next, however I would suggest that these aren't left out in the heat as by doing so I could imagine this problem may occur. The licorice was rather chewy and hard to bite I found, which is not something I often find with the RJ's brand and unfortunately the taste my partner and I thought was quite weak and not as strong and raspberry taste as we would have liked, Miss 4 loved it however and we were still happy to eat the remainder of the packet up. I could imagine due to the thinness of the straps that these would be great to use for decorating birthday cakes and such where you needed to create animal whiskers, fences or even a red carpet, as through testing these were really easy to cut!
Sadly these were not the best product that I have sampled from RJ's and so probably not something I would rush out and buy again unless for decorating purposes as there are many other yummy RJ's products I would prefer to have. In saying that just because there not quite my cup of tea doesn't mean they won't be yours. Happy birthday RJ's I can see why your products are still going strong after 21 years!
Random listing from 'Food'...
BITE ME! Sharing is optional. Delicious pieces of our famous slices packed into a convenient, resealable container, ready to devour. Found in leading supermarkets (and hidden from the kids on the top shelf in a few pantries). Available in four delicious flavours: Lollie, Cookie Caramel, Ginger and Gluten-Free Brownie.
This little baby is so popular it could achieve world peace. Cookie dough base infused with white choc chunks, a thick caramel centre and topped with dark choc chunks. Oh yeah!
All trademarks, images and copyrights on this site are owned by their respective companies.
KIWIreviews is an independent entity, part of the Knock Out News Group. This is a free public forum presenting user opinions on selected products, and as such the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinion of kiwireviews.nz and are protected under New Zealand law by the "Honest Opinion" clause of the Defamation Act of 1992. KIWIreviews accepts no liability for statements made on this site, on the premise that they have been submitted as the true and honest opinions of the individual posters. In most cases, prices and dates stated are approximate and should be considered as only guidelines.
"Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks."