Sunday, 26 January 2014

Darrell Lea Australia's National Liquorice Pineapple and Apple

Happy Australia Day, dear readers! I found a fitting product to review today, A bag of Australia's National Liquorice, produced by Darrell Lea. But first, a history lesson on this interesting brand!

Head after the jump for more!

Darrell Lea is an Australian chocolate and confectionery brand that was established in 1927 by the Lea family. The company was named after the family's son who was born in that year. Darrell Lea is now based in New South Wales, and produces many different types of confectionery, chocolate and liquorice. Many products are exported overseas to stockists in the UK, the USA, New Zealand, Canada and even South Africa.

As of 2012, Darrell Lea products were available in over 1800 retail outlets, and the brand also owned 93 retail stores across Australia. In July of that year, the brand was put into voluntary administration, and the future of Darrell Lea remained unknown for several long weeks, and the standalone retail stores were closed. Retail outlets saw no representatives from the company, and many were left with empty shelves and no new stock. The brand was purchased by the Quinn family in early September, rescuing the company.

The purchase saw new contracts forged, and Darrel Lea is now once again available across Australia in a number of different locations, including Australia Post outlets, Coles and Woolworths supermarkets, and also through an online store.

Being a poor student, Darrell Lea has been a little out of my budget, and so I don't have much experience with their wide variety of products. The liquorice is new to me as well, so this bag of Pineapple and Apple flavoured pieces may have been available in the past. I picked my bag up in Woolworths off an Australia-Day themed stand.

The 275g bag carries pieces of flavoured soft eating liquorice in the flavours of apple and pineapple. Apple is not a new flavour to Darrell Lea - in fact, it's available in a single bag all on its own that was introduced in 2004. Pineapple was a limited edition at some point. The bag is made from paper with a waxed coating on the interior, and the bag strongly features the green-and-gold colours associated with Australia. The packaging also states that the liquorice is 97% fat free, that it contains no artificial colours or flavours, that is is 100% Australian owned, and that it is preservative free. The back of the pack carries a little story about the development of the apple and pineapple flavour, said to be born out of an idea from Master Lea when he worked on a pineapple farm.

The scent on opening the bag is fresh and fruity. There's a strong note of fresh pineapple juice with a little bit of tangy apple as well. The liquorice pieces themselves are long and somewhat unappealing to look at. They measure 5-6cm long, and each cylinder is just over 1cm in diameter. The exterior of each piece is slightly textured as well.

Pineapple has a dark, straw yellow colour to it that is somewhat cloudy and semi-opaque. It smells strongly of pineapple juice, and tastes fairly like it too. Oddly, the sweetness I would have expected is not present. Instead the piece leans more towards dried pineapple in flavour. They are different, but refreshing.

Apple is a cloudy grass green in colour that is also semi-opaque. Compared to pineapple, the flavour on these is weak. When I did manage to get any flavour, I found the piece tasted like plastic at first, before moving into a flavour that only kinda-sorta tasted vaguely like apple.

The texture of the liquorice pieces is soft, but with a good bounce. They are very smooth and pleasant to eat. Although they do get stuck in your teeth, they come off quite easily.

Score: 3 out of 5 jelly jeans.

Darrell Lea Australia's National Liquorice Pineapple and Apple contains wheat, and it may contain traces of milk, soy, peanuts and other nuts. They are made in Australia.

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