Vidal Candies had a colorful booth at Sweets and Snacks full of all kinds of non-chocolate treats. It looked like they carried candies that are more commonly seen abroad than in the U.S., like these Sour Rainbow Pencils that they gave me as free samples.
I ate tons and tons of filled licorice pencils in my summer abroad in England because they’re delicious! They’re tubes of fruity licorice filled with a sweet fondant.
In the case of these Sour Rainbow Pencils, the fruity licorice was comprised of four colors that reminded me of the Chrome logo: bold red, yellow, green and blue. The pencils were covered in a bracingly tart sour sugar.
The pencil as a whole tasted brightly sweet, all artificial fruitiness. The fondant that ran down the center (like graphite in a real pencil) was sweet and grainy with a bit of a squishy chew as it dissolved. It oozed out of the licorice as I chewed it.
And chewed it. And chewed it. The fruit licorice had a chew that was tough and plasticky. I was left with a shell long after the fondant disappeared.
My ideal licorice pencils have a soft, lightly rubbery chew that puts up a little resistance but soon yields. The durable plastic texture of these guys was really off-putting for me, and the pleasant fondant center wasn’t enough to counteract that effect. A —.