Lakrids by Bülow Wants to Make the World Love Licorice, One Chocolate-Covered Piece at a Time
I don't think I'm alone in saying that I am not a fan of black licorice.
The traditional jet-black chewy candies have never been my favorite with their sweet and slightly bitter taste. I don't enjoy the taste of herbs and spices like fennel or anise, either, which share many flavor notes. So, when I was taste-testing an unusual chocolate bar from the Icelandic chocolate company Omnom, flavored with lakkrís (licorice) and raspberry, I was shocked to find that the odd flavor pairing worked. Was I finally coming around on black licorice?
I really got the chance to put my hypothesis to the test when the team behind Lakrids by Bülow contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in trying their chocolate-coated black licorice. I was eager to say yes, and after consuming every flavor of chocolate and black licorice under the sun, I can now proudly say that, yes, I am a black licorice fan—as long as it's made right, that is.
Lakrids by Bülow is the brainchild of Johan Bülow, a Scandinavian entrepreneur who always believed that the local favorite treat was underappreciated around the world, and that it deserved a bit of respect. The day his first shop opened in 2007, his entire stock ran out without two hours, and he knew he was onto something.
From there, his licorice factory was created the following year. A year after that, the idea to coat licorice in chocolate came about. From there, his licorice only became more popular, and a decade on, he has a dream of bringing these incredible flavors to the entire world, not just making sweet licorice or salty licorice, but using licorice as a flavor that complements others and makes them even more delicious.
Lakrids by Bülow Winter Selection Box: $31
This elegant Winter Selection Box makes the perfect holiday gift, not just because the packaging is gorgeous, but also because there's enough to go around. It features eight different classic Lakrids by Bülow flavors, with seven balls each, so that everyone can get a taste.
It all starts with The Original, consisting of simple chocolate-covered licorice, and it's the perfect starting point for skeptics. The chocolate itself is sweet and smooth, while the chewy licorice within adds just a hint of herbal flavor that's almost reminiscent of spicy rootbeer. If you like this one, chances are that you'll adore the rest.
Next up is the Butter Cookie flavor, appropriately themed after Christmas. It's got sweet licorice at its center, surrounded by white chocolate, caramel and a cinnamon-sugar blend that makes it evocative of your favorite holiday cookie. This one was a favorite in my household with the picky eaters and the licorice lovers alike.
Next was the Salt & Pepper licorice, which sounds like an odd flavor combination, but is actually quite delicious. With its crunchy exterior and plenty of salty flavor, it also has a hint of pepper that balances and accentuates the natural essence of the licorice. It won't be everyone's favorite, but fans will come back to it again and again.
In my mind, you can pretty much never go wrong when you combine salt and caramel, which is good, because the Winter Selection Box includes these flavors in spades, including their Salty Caramel flavor. This one blends salty caramel right into the chocolate, enhancing the natural flavor of the licorice with both saltiness and sweetness, and making for one really tasty treat.
Raspberry and licorice was the combination that won me over on licorice in the first place, and it's still a winner in this "Gold" Raspberry treat. It combines sweet white chocolate, tart raspberry and herbal licorice for a flavor with a little hint of everything good.
The Salt & Caramel may sound pretty similar to the Salty Caramel flavor, but the taste is actually quite different. You're hit with the slightly raisiny flavor of good caramel first, complete with plenty of salt, before the herbal flavor comes in, and it's tasty every single time.
The Fruity Caramel treat has a little bit of everything, from the bold flavor of blackcurrant to salted licorice and chocolate caramel. It also includes pieces of slightly spicy raw licorice, which add crunch as well as unique flavor notes.
And last, but certainly not least, is the Crispy Caramel, with a delicious crunchy shell filled with soft licorice, sea salt flakes and caramel chocolate. The crispness adds complexity to the flavor, really making you enjoy every bite.
Lakrids by Bülow Winter Black Box: $38
Not sure if all of those flavors will be a hit? Instead, go for the Winter Black Box, featuring the tried and true flavors of Classic Salty Caramel and Gold Raspberry. Both are mellow, delicious and popular with licorice lovers and skeptics alike, and with 10 oz. of each tasty flavor to enjoy, you can indulge without feeling guilty that someone didn't get to try a flavor.
Lakrids by Bülow Licorice Advent Calendar 2021: $49
I never thought I'd eagerly anticipate the arrival of the following day to dig into new pieces of black licorice, but that's exactly what Lakrids by Bülow has me doing. This 24-day advent calendar offers 24 unique tastes, including classics as well as brand new flavors.
In the first 14 days of the calendar, I've gotten the chance to retry some of my favorites from the Winter Selection Box, as well as other incredible flavors such as Passion Fruit, Strawberries & Cream, Banana Twist and more, and every single one has been ridiculously tasty. I have to admit the one I didn't like was a stick of their classic sweet licorice, but 13 out of 14 isn't bad, and I think if you've liked anything from the brand, you'll really love this advent calendar.
(via Lakrids by Bülow)
While my experience won't be universal, I can personally say that Lakrids by Bülow has made me slightly obsessed with licorice. Sure—it's the kind that's covered in chocolate and caramel—but I really appreciate the lengths the brand has gone to in order to harness the power of licorice as a flavor and use it to make really tasty treats. They are a little on the expensive side, but they're definitely a luxurious candy treat, and once you try them, they'll become something you look forward to again and again.
Curious about the Icelandic chocolate brand Omnom? Click HERE to read our review of Omnom and their wonderful winter collection.