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The Great Licorice Debate: Twizzlers vs. Red Vines

Categories: Candy,Classic and Retro Candy,Licorice Candy,Soft Candy

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Twizzlers Vs. Red Vines
At beginning of each new year, I like to spend some time devoted to thinking “deep thoughts” and pondering important philosophical matters. So my question to you is: Twizzlers or Red Vines?

When I first developed my love of licorice, I was living on the East Coast. I grew up eating Twizzlers. No funky flavors like they have now, mind you, just yummy, plain old strawberry Twizzlers.

Then, I moved to the West Coast. I was a bit perplexed because, at the time, I couldn’t find any Twizzlers. All I could see were these things called Red Vines. I asked a friend where the Twizzlers were, and she was horrified. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: How come I can’t find any Twizzlers at the stores here?

Friend: TWIZZLERS?!?! Ewwwwwwww. What are you from the East Coast? Here, have some Red Vines. They are WAY better.

So I had some Red Vines. Our follow up conversation went something like this:

Me: Dude, these taste like plastic. Sugary, vaguely strawberry-flavored plastic, but still plastic.

Friend: They do not!

Me: Do too.

Friend: Well, Twizzlers taste like wax. Maybe all that wax coated your tongue and damaged your taste buds. Have some more Red Vines. You’ll see they’re way better and give up your evil, Twizzler-eating ways.

And thus I got involved in the Great Licorice Debate. I did an informal poll and found that all the people I knew back east were Twizzler people and all my new friends in the west loved Red Vines. Both sides scoffed at each other for their preferences and so far, no real accord has been reached.

Fortunately, I can now get Twizzlers on both coasts – and Red Vines, if I so choose. I got used to eating Red Vines because they were everywhere but, as so often happens, I never got over my first love. I have to say I’m still a Twizzlers girl at heart.

What about you? Which is better? Twizzlers or Red Vines?

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54 Responses to “The Great Licorice Debate: Twizzlers vs. Red Vines”

  1. 1
    frith says:

    ok, i’m from nz but i’ve recently spent 4 months in north america. my friend just asked me what i was doing online, and before i even read what you had to say, i said “gross american licorice showdown. twizzlers taste like wax and red vines taste like plastic. those ‘mericans need to get themselves some darrell lea.”
    point proven!

  2. 2
    darcy b. says:

    i’m not usually a blog commenter, but FYI: none of the things you mentioned above are LICORICE! they are red candies. licorice is black and anise flavored. so please don’t call yourself a licorice lover!

  3. 3
    darcy b. says:

    oops, i meant to say are NOT LICORICE. shows how much i’m paying attention. sorry! i’ll try to be more anal retentive about my anal retentiveness next time

  4. 4
    Angie says:

    Being a West Coast girl, I have to say I prefer Red Vines. I had no tolerance for Twizzlers when I was younger, but I have learned to like the taste over the years.

    I will add that I like real black licorice the best though.

  5. 5
    Renee says:

    I’d have to agree that the Australian soft licorice trumps both Twizzlers and Red Vines any day.

    But since I live in Canada, I grew up eating Twizzlers, so out of the two I’m definitely a Twizzlers girl. Red Vines just taste funny. :/

  6. 6
    Miss Tiffie says:

    Twizzlers!!!! I like SF Red Vines tho, I think they’re softer and taste better than the regular. LOOOOOVE Twizzlers tho. But I absolutely adore REAL black licorice.

  7. 7
    meredith says:

    i grew up in buffalo, ny. i’ve lived in los angeles for 5 years. red vines are nasty nasty nasty. i’ve never grown accustomed to the taste.

  8. 8
    Krista says:

    I grew up in Iowa, but I was born in Oregon and when I went back to visit one summer at age 7, my Grandma had a big tub of Red Vines waiting for us. That big tub of delicious candy was at the ready all summer long, and these days, at age 22, I get the occasional craving for Red Vines. But Twizzlers are completely different, they too are delicious, but without such a strong flavor. I’d really say it’s an apple and oranges situation here…even if they are trying to sell the same “Strawberry rope” concept.

  9. 9
    Cadence says:

    @ Frith: I LOVE Darrell Lea! I wrote a post about how much I miss my old grocery store, Trader Joes, because I don’t get my Darrell Lea fix. Darrell Lea rocks.
    @ Darcy: Glad you decided to join in the discussion! I love black licorice. Actually, I know it’s weird, but I crave it something wicked sometimes.
    @ Angie and Miss Tiffie: Have you guys tried the Panda black licorice? I think it’s yummy. Callard and Bowser also used to make this awesome black licorice toffee chew thingy that rocked. If you see some, I highly recommend it.
    @ Meredith: I hate to tell you, but if you live in LA long enough, the Red Vines grow on you. They are everywhere. People have huge tubs of them on their desks. I just kept trying them until one day I realized that they’d grown on me!
    @ Krista: I didn’t have anyone from the states “in the middle” on my poll. Silly me! Thanks for your input and I loved the Grandma story!

  10. 10
    Cat says:

    I live on the East Coast and I love Red Vines.. I can’t stand Twizzlers

  11. 11
    Crafting Jen says:

    Grew up in Syracuse, NY, now live in New Hampshire. I’m a huge fan of Twizzlers. I’ve tried Red Vines, and like you said, they taste like plastic. Found them to be a much tougher chew than Twizzlers, too.

  12. 12
    Caitlin says:

    I was born in Seattle but grew up in Virginia… apparently those few formative years on the West Coast made their mark, since I absolutely adore (fresh) Red Vines. I only discovered them in my college years, but ever since then I’ve been unable to enjoy Twizzlers as much as I did as a kid. The trouble is finding those elusive fresh Red Vines – many of the packages I get are stale, which just ruins the entire experience. Still, given the choice, I’ll always go with the Vines.

  13. 13
    Heather in Missouri says:

    I can’t stand Twizzlers. They are too strawberry-ish for my taste.

    I never realized that Red Vines were supposed to taste like strawberry. The fact that I don’t get that flavor from them at all is probably what I like about them. :P

    And I’m from California.

    My sister, who grew up in Missouri, just told me that she prefers neither. Maybe the middle of the US prefers both or neither as a general rule, and it is the coasts that fight over which is better?

  14. 14
    Cassadeeeeeeee says:

    Im from Australia too, and I had a packet of twizzlers about two weeks ago… and they were NASTY. Really. I’ve never had Red Vines, but I don’t plan to. If Ifeel like red twists, ill have some of those ones from Wonka, thanks. But I agree with frith, if i feel like licorice, I’ll go and get some from Darell Lea. You Americans really need a few actual darrel lea stores :)

  15. 15
    Luxaholics_Steph says:

    Licorice for me!!! The smell of Red Vines creeps me out!

  16. 16
    Pam Walter says:

    Twizzlers…definitely…Twizzlers rock! Both their flavor & texture are more substantial.

  17. 17
    Elizabeth says:

    Red Vines all the way, twizzlers are like eating shoe leather.

  18. 18
    amypaige says:

    I grew up in Southern California, and I love love love Red Vines. Twizzlers are soooo gross. I can’t handle the aftertaste at all. It’s Red Vines all the way!

  19. 19
    Jess says:

    I’m very much a twizzlers girl. And I agree with the fact that red vines do taste like plastic. I’m guessing maybe they are an acquired taste. I’m an east coaster who just recently moved to the West coast. And thankfully there is no problem finding twizzlers here :)

  20. 20
    Terrac says:

    Im from CA and i LOVE REDVINES. twizzlers always seemed flavorless and like they were made of rubber and wax. It has nothing to do w/ my location, i just find redvines WAY better.

  21. 21
    Robby says:

    despite being a west coast boy at heart, i always hated red vines and adore twizzlers. i know, i know… like eating a candy. but some of those scented candles smell really yummy!

  22. 22
    Nicole says:

    Twizzlers top the list of things I hate about the East Coast. They’re disgusting…but I am guilty of munching on those rubbery things once or twice. I was desperate. Red Vines hands down for this Cali native.

  23. 23
    Alix says:

    TWIZZLERS all the way! Red Vines aren’t even all that red, they’re all pinkish and anemic-looking.

  24. 24
    bearfoot says:

    Acutally I’m west coast and I like them both at various times. I’m just weird that way I guess.. :D

  25. 25
    Jim says:

    I’m an East Coaster and only know Twizzlers. Besides, Red Vines sounds too much like the late country music singer Red Sovine. You know, King of the Narrator Singers … “Come on back and talk to Teddy Bear.”

    I could never eat a dead country star.

  26. 26
    christi says:

    i was born and raised in minnesota and i like twizzlers but my fave is the chocolate twizzlers. i’ll eat the red, but only every once in a blue moon.

  27. 27
    FoodGuy says:

    Red Vines are not licorice. They’re not candy. They’re not even edible — they’re wrong in every way. Just wrong. I LOVE candy, pretty much all candy, but I would rather starve than eat one of these sugary-muck coated recycled soda bottles. Ugh. Red Vines. Yuck!

  28. 28
    Emma says:

    I grew up entirely on the west coast, and I grew up with Twizzlers. I don’t really consider either one to be licorice, but let’s just pretend it is for this comment- I really do enjoy the taste and the texture of Twizzlers, in any format. Red Vines are crumbly and always make my stomach hurt. As far as black licorice goes though, I think they’re pretty even in quality.

  29. 29
    Marymakk says:

    I grew up around Olympia, Washington and had never realized there was a zonal difference in licorice-type candy preferences. I just always preferred the flavor of Red Vines (which to me are more a strawberry/raspberry mix) and I like a stronger texture to my licorice-type candies. When I tried Twizzlers (which fyi were actually a prodominent choice among my friends) I thought since they were so popular I would love them. I was wrong. There is something in their flavor that reminds me heavily of nail polish remover (acetone solution), and I can’t stand the waxy stickiness. I also can’t stand Red Ropes. Red Vines are the only red licorice-type candies for me. :)

  30. 30
    pita says:

    i like twizzlers as the red vines we can get out here are stale. but the best licorice candy i’ve ever had is the stuff my folks bring back from PA. i can’t even tell you the brand. it could be store brand for all i can remember. they are shorter than twizzlers, but have a much better flavor than twizzlers or redvines and they are a bit thicker which makes the hole in the middle bigger too so it’s easier to use as a straw. we would also get black licorice flavor for my mom as well as chocolate flavor. no plastic taste and no funny after taste. though the chocolate ones kinda coated your tongue after awhile but you were headed for a stomach ache at that point anyway.
    i’m on the east coast btw

  31. 31
    Chocolicious says:

    RED VINES!!!!!!!! I’ve never really cared much for Twizzlers; I don’t even consider them to be licorice. They do taste kinda bland and waxy. I grew up on the West cost with both candies, and I still prefer Red Vines.

  32. 32
    TwizzlerFreak says:

    I live in Texas, and we have both redvines, and twizzlers down here, but I will ALWAYS LOVE TWIZZLERS!!!!!!!

  33. 33
    Josh says:

    Grew up in the North East and I live in Las Vegas. Twizzlers all day! Red Vines are very plastic, plus I have found that after a bunch of Red Vines that they kind of affect the back of my throat and roof of my mouth. It’s just a gross experience.

  34. 34
    lollirocks says:

    hey darcy!! just cause candace likes twizzlers doesn’t me she doesn’t like plain licorice!

  35. 35
    mck says:

    I live in Missouri-no coast war for me. But I have to say that Twizzlers win with me, hands down. Red vines are…just…wrong. Like those wax lips you get on halloween…shudder.

  36. 36
    Twizzler says:

    Twizzlers are sooomuch better.

  37. 37
    Dee says:

    Can’t use Twizzlers as a straw. One of the best parts of growing up on the West Coast was to get Red Vines and a can of soda, bite the top and bottom and use as a straw to drink soda (my preference was a lemon-lime like Sprite).

  38. 38
    Shariquia says:

    ZOMG!! I am eating RED VINES right now–they are so waxy, which I LOVE!!! Reminds me of eating wax lips. Twizzlers are good sometimes too —I like eating all kinds of things, like 5th Avenue Bars and escargot. I also like to make werewolf movies and love anything to do with pepper shakers.

  39. 39
    Chuck says:

    I’m from Phoenix and grew up eating red vines and buttered popcorn in the movies. So good. One day as a youngin I was handed some twizzlers thinking that they would taste like red vines. WRONG. It was a crying shame. I cringe at the sight of a twizzlers wrapper.

  40. 40
    Chandler says:

    Twizzlers is better and yes they are licorice not red candies dumbass learn to control
    your “anal retentiveness”

  41. 41
    Chris says:

    East coast baby – Twizzlers rule!

    But, seriously – I’m from the east coast – I moved to Cali 3 years ago – we stock Red Vines at work, and (obviously, or I wouldn’t be at this site) I’m a candy addict. I’ve tried MANY times to get into Red Vines, as they’re all we have at work, but I just can’t do it…Too artificial and plasticky tasting is right on. Sorry…

  42. 42
    Divebich says:

    East coast here, love my Twizzies. Never had a red vine, they simply look cheap and unappetizing. Maybe it’s the packaging. But they scream ‘knock-off’ to me. And I’ll eat the strawberry if offered, I’d never buy them. The black is what I need. Just made a NIBS run. Almost impossible to find, had to call Hershey, Target had them. The rep there confirmed my comment that the NIBS were really not the same composite as the Twizzler licorice twists. I get a powerful craving for the NIBS once in a blue moon, and nothing else will do.

  43. 43
    Tiffany says:

    Born in North Dakota raised by a Twizzler eating mom, but she actually used to buy the cherry flavor Twizzler bites, which are even better than the strawberry twizzlers. The nibs are good too, I actually had them in rope form last month, they were really good.
    I think everyone likes what they are used to.
    The red vines look like generic brand. As a kid I think I used them as straws too but eating them after being soaked they were just pastie and nasty. So I guess they were cool as a straw just never liked eating them.
    I live in California now, which is on a different world than any other state I have ever lived. I guess it may be all the medical marijuana out here that if you are that hungry anything tastes good:-)

  44. 44
    CHello says:

    I’m from the Midwest, and I grew up only knowing Twizzlers or maybe I didn’t(candy is candy to little kids)…I really couldn’t tell the difference unless they came individually wrapped. Anyway, it seems that as I got older Twizzlers became harder to chew and less flavorful. The novelty of biting off both ends and using it as a straw diminished because their centers collapsed. Then, I bought some Red Vines at a dollar store, not really paying attention(Red twirls, easy to mistake)….I fell in love, they tasted and smelled like cherries, cherry flavor that’s in all candy..they tasted like cherries, or cherry flavor…they were soft, really soft, and the centers were perfect straws. I still like the “String Cheese” Twizzlers though, they’re a novelty

    You and your friend have it wrong though, Red Vines taste like wax, Twizzlers like plastic.

  45. 45
    sp8472 says:

    Licorice debate? Get some Dutch licorice (google it), this red stuff has nothing to do with licorice :o

  46. 46
    Jozo192 says:

    I’m from Glendale Cali, I grew up eating Red Vines, loving it! Still do, it’s still my favorite, however, I ate Twizzlers about 4 years ago, and my first time eating it was disgusting, I hated the fake looking plastic waxy look, and the taste. Now, every time I go somewhere, even though Red Vines are my favorite, I HAVE TO HAVE TWIZZLERS WITH ME! I have grown to actually like it a lot! So i’m practically on both sides!

  47. 47
    Jesse says:

    Buffalo, NY here. I just went to rent some flicks and saw red vines at the checkout. I said hmm im gunna try those. My buddy said dont do it dude there gross and like plastic, get twizzlers. I replied with i always get twizzlers im getting these. I should have listened to my buddy or just ate the plastic movie cases haha. Red vines are gross. Jesse J, buffalo NY, 33 yrs old

  48. 48
    Jesse says:

    Oh and you werdos stop crying about how there candy twists and not that disgusting black licirice that my 97 year old grama likes. That stuff is nasty. People call strawberry candy twists like ppl call tissue kleenex. Get over it.

  49. 49
    Kaithlynn says:

    I just had my very first twizzler – cherry
    and they were nasty! It took an effort for me to finish it.

  50. 50
    meg says:

    i haven’t tried either ( none in england) but ive got some off the internet (should be here today) just because of starkid :L but i think all these arguments over which is better are invalid, it looks like it depends which you grew up eating.

  51. 51
    Sel says:

    Twizzlers are my favorite, but ONLY the strawberry flavor and NEVER the pull-and-peel variety (ick). I agree with Meg, it probably does depend on where you grew up. I have a friend who moved to the Midwest (where I grew up) after growing up for the most part in the Northwest and she can’t get enough of Red Vines and hates Twizzlers. I tried Red Vines on her recommendation. I don’t hate them but I usually feel sick after eating an entire (small) bag of them. I don’t like the taste – it definitely tastes waxy to me.

    I would love to see someone do a taste test of these – someone who has never had either brand.

  52. 52
    Charles Dolling says:

    People who like twizzlers better are just wrong. I grew up in Texas, and had both available my whole life. Twizzlers are like bland red vinyl. Red vines actually taste like candy. Solved.

  53. 53
    Jamie says:

    Obviously Redvines because, what the hell cant they do! <3

  54. 54
    Jessica says:

    Im from Australia and I have had both and don’t like either
    If you ever get a chance try wonka raspberry twister and you will definitely find a clear winner
    Oh and I have to agree Darrel lea = beat licorice ever!!

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