Today I was in the supermarket here in Hong Kong and I noticed an old friend: Twizzlers. I grew up eating these bundles of joy, and to see them here was funny. I normally do not have a sweet tooth, in fact it drives my wife crazy that I can have a seemingly endless cupboard of sweets, and never touch anything, or that it can take me a week to finish a bar of chocolate.In a moment of weakness (or strength?), I picked up the bag of Twizzlers, bought it, and had it with me in my bag all day long, waiting until this evening to open it up.
When I finally got around to opening the bag, I was flooded with memories as the smell of Twizzler filled the air. I remember the many “Twizzler fights” my brother and I had (they leave a nasty welt) as children. All I can say is that it was always an uneven match, considering I was 2 years younger, and was usually an innocent bystander trying to talk some sense into my older brother, and it came down to simply trying to defend myself with the only “weapon” I could find: the delicious snack our mother had thoughtfully purchased for us with love and affection.
I also remember trying to drink soda thru the Twizzler. Not a good idea. Soda gets really fizzy upon contact with sugar, and the hole is not super wide in the Twizzler, so it is not really working.
And then the age-old debate about which is the better red licorice: Twizzler or Red Vines? I would like to dismiss this as a silly debate, because we all know the winner is Twizzler, while Red Vines are a pathetic attempt at candy. Like how Pepsi is a pathetic copy of Coca Cola, and how Reebok is the Pepsi or Red Vines of the athletic shoe world, which is owned by Nike. Apparently there are actually people out there who like Red Vines more – and I can only feel pity for them. In all honesty it is “mouth feel” where Red Vines loses the war against the Twizzler.
Of course any kind of discussion about Twizzlers in general cannot be had in my house because my wife is Swedish, and there is only one true licorice to a Swede: Salt Licorice. This is a black and dark candy, and it can best be described as a thunder cloud of disappointment to your tastebuds. Are you an American who thinks you like black licorice? Try Swedish or Finnish salt licorice, and then you’ll know what I’m talking about.
My wife also does not understand what the flavor is of the Twizzler. It says strawberry on the package but that is confusing because it is not strawberry flavored, she says. I tell her it is definitely not cherry (that’s Nibs, which are AMAZING), and it is in fact strawberry. No, it’s not strawberry, actually, it’s Twizzler flavor. Just like Dr. Pepper is Dr. Pepper flavor, it is just a flavor category of it’s own, one that sparks good memories and leaves you simply happy. If you have not tried Twizzlers and they sell them in your part of the world, give them a try!