Red Vines = Worst Candy EVER.

In typical teacher fashion, my pal Curly has assigned her readers a June Theme Post.  Next time, I’m getting a Hall Pass..

Today I would like to talk about a subject most normal people enjoy.  CANDY!  Specifically, Red Licorice.  I love red licorice (even if it’s not *technically* licorice).  I also love black licorice (the real stuff) but we are not talking about that here.


I took the above photo of a red licorice twist this morning.  PLEASE NOTE:

  1. there are no visible bite marks on the candy.
  2. there is a lot of UNEATEN CANDY in this photo.

Coincidence?  I think not.  Two Words: RED VINES.

You wouldn’t think red licorice would be such a divisive topic, but it is.  Much along the lines of the great Coke v. Pepsi debate, red licorice lovers tend to fall into one of 2 camps depending upon which brand they prefer: Red Vines or Twizzlers.  No need to tell you, I’m a Twizzlers girl.


  • Twizzlers: red “licorice” style candy that looks great and tastes even better.  They are soft and pliable.  Twizzlers are deliciousness itself.
  • Red Vines: red “licorice” style candy that looks pretty good but tastes awful.  Red Vines are rigid and bite like plastic.  Red Vines are just plain GROSS.

I have eaten Twizzlers my whole life long.  I’ve never cared for other red licorice, but had no strict opinion on Red Vines until just 2 months ago, when I encountered them for the very first time.  I was at the Target in South Portland, looking to score some candy for the movies.  YOU DO IT TOO, so pipe down.  I had a jumbo pack of Twizzlers in my cart when suddenly I spied a snazzy blue package on a lower shelf.


WOW.  ATTRACTIVE!!  I’d heard of Red Vines before, but when I read that they’re VERY LOW SODIUM, WELL.  I booted those Twizzlers faster than you can say LICK-OR-RISH.  Me & the Red Vines proceeded to the checkout and the Vines rode up front on the way home.  I was SO EXCITED TO TRY THEM!!!!  I had a Vine in my mouth before I’d even hit the kitchen.  Luckily for me I was near a trash can when I started to chew.. because [gag] First time in my life I had to SPIT OUT CANDY.  That Red Vine chewed like plastic and tasted worse.  It was hardly sweet, and there was this sort of wheaty flavor going on, uggggghhhhh.  Not good.  I ran to brush my teeth, but the vileness remained.

Afterward, I went to put them in the trash, but.. Wait. I thought twice.  Were they really that bad?  Like any good mother, I wanted to test them out. ON MY KIDS.  BWAHAHAHH!!!

SO. When they got home, I tried pawning the Red Vines off on them.  Did they pass muster?


WHHHHYYY MOMMMY_WHYYYY?????  The taste – it’s stuck in my teeth.  It’s worse than a cough drop!

Now, you might think I am truly horrible for doing that to my kids.  HECK NO!  Any good mother will tell you.  Delicious Candy = FAT KIDS w/ ROTTEN TEETH & DIABETES.  I knew that candy tasted like crap – they weren’t going to eat it.  BUT I looked GOOD for giving it to them.  Mommy gave us candy = Nice Mommy.  Those Red Vines. They’re still sitting here, 2 months later.  No one’ll touch em w/ a stick.  I really should be calling up those Red Vines folks and thanking them for doing their service to America’s children.  But – between you & me, I’m afraid they’ll send me some as a Thank You.

76 thoughts on “Red Vines = Worst Candy EVER.

  1. Oooh. Will have to stay away from that viney stuff, which I have fortunately never seen. Twizzlers (all colors) are good, but not my favorites. Did the girls get hazard pay, or was it just a Lesson Learned?

    Uhm, A+?

    1. Of course. My children get regular bribes along w/ standard hazard pay. As john says daily: Whatever it takes dude!

      I think red vines may be regional. To have gone this many yrs without seeing them.. What are the odds? It’s not like I avoid candy EVERR

    2. Im overseas and never heard of these before. A relative sent them to me. I knew it said candy in the pack when i saw it before so i didn’t think twice about opening the pack just now and popping one into my mouth… I WAS SO CONFUSED, i actually spat it out thinking i made a mistake, it must be a candle or soap — something else, NOT candy. Had to pore over the packaging again to see that it apparently is.

  2. sakes alive, what’s going on? i leave you clowns alone for 3 hours and look at the trouble you get into!!

    dishy, you know that i am now DYING to try a red vine…but won’t because licorice is so SUCKY that i won’t waste the energy to chew it. i’d rather gnaw on a straw or plastic spoon.

    i’m not sure if i should call in dyfus–how could you fob off the evil red vine on your innocent little cherub?! how cruel of a mother are you?

    i loved your post–thank you so much for supporting everyone who played along with my insane challenge–i saw your comments everywhere! you are such a great friend and cheerleader!

    A+ to you, dishy doll!

  3. I LOVE Red Vines… and HATE Twizzlers! LOL Even better than Red Vines are RED ROPES! YOu know, the kind they used to have at the roller rink. MMMMMMMMMMMMMM licorice!!

    1. Okay Jen, we’re going to have to agree to disagree on this one.. But no hard feelings! You’re a candy girl too at heart and that counts for way more than just the red licorice.


  4. i used the skinny strands of licorice to teach knot tying to campers one year…they loved it…I can’t stand licorice in any form won’t even eat fennel b/c it has “that” taste LOL

  5. Twizzlers are soooo much better than Red Vines. And there is a weird wheaty taste – sort of a wheat-grit like you accidentally bought semi-chewy whole wheat pasta.


    1. Could not have said it better myself. I tried whole wheat pasta once (both dry & fresh) and NO THANKS! I’ll get my multi-grains and whole grains elsewhere. Give me semolina & Twizzlers any day!

  6. It appears Red Vines should be sold next to Weetabix cereal!

    Love the snap of your daughter. Did you have to get her to sign a permission waiver to use her photo or just up her allowance?

    1. Oooh please do not profane the name of Weetabix like that!!

      About the pic: Maddie is one of a kind. I found her eating jelly beans at 8 am this morning and did not argue. I guess that’s compensation.

  7. That last picture is a TREASURE!! Poor thing, she looks miserable. You know, when she’s an adult she’s gonna be all “Remember that time, Mom, when you forced fed me rat intestine?” and you gonna be all “WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?” and she’ll say “Look, I have proof!” and she’ll show you this picture and you’ll be all “I stand corrected. I’m sorry, honey.”

    1. Hayden, I read your comment in the audiologist’s waiting room this morning and was CACKLING OUT LOUD!! What people must think of me.. Oh well. All TOO TRUE!! xoxoxox

  8. Hysterical….great post…and the pic of your kid ready to spit out the red vine had me rolling!!!! Red vines….the cheaper less popular version of Twizzlers….always and forever. I still can’t believe you like black licorice though…it makes me want to brush my teeth……eeewww black licorice 😉

    1. OOOOHhhhhh black licorice is the BEST!! Especially when consumed via syrupy Sambuca — truly nectar of the gods.. I LOVED your post on the abominable malt balls — UGGGHHH How I hate those!! A+

  9. I LOVE twizzlers as well. I bet I eat a big bag a week. (Probably more than that, but that is all I’ll admit to in a public forum).

    I associate Red Vines with my Granny (sorry Gran) who was too cheap to buy real twizzlers. Gag me.

  10. Poor child doesn’t even have her backpack off yet and you’re shoving nasty stuff in her mouth, lol! Reminds me of why I will never eat canteloupe – I was asleep on vacation at my grandma’s and my step-dad woke me up saying “try this” and shoved a bite of canteloupe in my yawning mouth – I ran and spit it out, yuck! I think he was trying to be nice because he thought it was so good. Not like my uncle who TRICKED me into trying unripe persimmon! Yikes! Sucks every drop of moisture out of my head instantaneously! for the record I love licorice, both colors, but black is best, as long as it is GOOD licorice!

  11. The look on your daughters face is priceless, it really & truly cracked me up

    S.Le: Hush your bad mouth I LOVE WEETBIX

  12. Oh I forgot to say that I had some liquorice (darn I had to rely on Firefox’s built in spell check add on I never can spell it right) once called Salty Likrish (easier to spell it that way) My friend assured me of how nice it was…
    Gag, cough, gag, cough, choke, almost vomited…
    It was like tipping about a cupful of salt into my mouth & chewing, I almost start gagging just thinking about it. Darned if I know how anyone can eat it. Our friends adore the stuff, but then again they are old people & their taste buds probably gave up years ago, or were killed off by too much salty likrish

    1. Here in Amurrica we spell it licorice. Have recently seen an Australian brand in some of the hoitier-and-toitier-than-thou local stores: Darrell Lea. Flavors of their ‘liquorice’ include original (black), strawberry, raspberry, blackcurrant, green apple, and mango. (!)

  13. so darling dear,this has absolutely nothing to do with candy…well maybe eye candy…us visual learners want to know where the link is to your photo album…I miss it so verrrrrrrrrrrry much.

  14. Many thanks Kerri! ALL YOU CHEAP GRANNIES OUT THERE take heed. You want those grandkids visiting, cough up for some quality candy. NOT THE VINES.

    Yes Maddie, we all know how attractive you are.. and how MODEST. xoxo

    Curl – good luck coaxing mads out of retirement.

    I know Trace – I am AWFUL. Thanks for the heads-up re: persimmon. Never tried it, never will. PS: Maddie REALLLLY liked your comment.

    Gracias Zhisou!

    Christy – FABBBULOUS name! Smart brother!

    Thanks Tony — that photo cracked me up for days too. Salt licorice sounds like it would give me instant vertigo. UGH. Disgusting.

    Panny- I think I’ve seen Darrell Lea, but have never tried it. Twizzlers are gourmet enough for me.

    Connie – click the pretzels above or go to:


  15. ok, so here is the deal with Red Vines… you wad the whole thing up and pop it into your mouth, then as you chew it starts to dissolve into this wonderful, creamy deliciousness. Love them!
    Can’t abide with Twizzlers, they are greasy to the touch and yuck-eee.

  16. jon, who is an expert of all things licorice, thinks red vines are gross. Twizzlers are so much better. Chris-don’t listen to the flack about your mothering, the question instead should be: why did mads agree to taste that??

  17. I’m gonna have to take your word on that Maija!

    Panny — shuush.

    Soober – thanks for getting my back. But we both know she ate it b/c I tricked her into thinking Red Vines are CANDY! How cruel.

  18. wanna try the best thing in the world? try and find some salty black licorice from europe. best stuff ever!!!!!

  19. I love Red Vines! I am finding that their more of a West Coast thing with East Coast favoring Twizzlers? (I like both but will take Red Vines over Twizzlers any day.) Sounds like you got a old box too…they’re not supposed to be hard.

    1. I think they got an old box too. The awesome thing about a fresh pack of redvines is how soft they are. Unlike the waxy plastic yuck that twizzlers are 😛

    1. LOL!!!!!!

      You are too funny, girl! I’ll have to take your word at the old bag — lots of weighing in on either side here, obviously. Decided to start resurrecting some of these old posts just for fun.


  20. I just need to say thank you! We always have Twizzlers at our parties (a tradition from my husband’s side if the family) and I’m having the family over for my oldest’s birthday thus weekend and forgot to buy them. Knew I was missing something!

    Plus now I know to always skip the Red Vines — unless the kids are being naughty!

  21. Thanks for the warning. Red vines I’m sure not to buy after this. How many times I bought candy or any food because of an attractive packaging but ended up not eating because of bad taste? Lots! Oh, well I learned my lesson to not be impulsive and to read first product reviews. An enjoyable post as always. Happy Thanksgiving. Best wishes to you and your family….

  22. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, Red Vines! always have, Always will. It is the one candy I can hardly pass up.
    Twizzlers on the other hand, I have no trouble saying NO WAY to! They taste like chewy cardboard.

  23. It’ sall it our taste i guess. To me the twilzers are plastic and Red Vines are way better in taste and texture.but when it comes to black you have to get the better grade …like Australian brands. Walgreens also had one but they discontinued it.thanks for your site.

  24. glad i found this site. i love Red Vines. You can send me yours if you still have them. Twizzlers taste and feel greasy. Ick.

  25. You’re crazy. Or me likely, you got a very bad package of red vines. Red vines, when fresh, are way softer than the waxy, oddly Flavored twizzlers. Red vines are a classic candy… With the very same flavor as licorice ropes. Did you ever have one of those? Of course you did and you loved it because they’re soft and delicious and great. Same. Exact. Flavor.
    I think you owe it to yourself and your readership to aquire a fresh bag of redvines. We all make mistakes 😉

  26. I HATE TWIZZLERS. Repulsive. They taste like barely flavored plastic. They are shiny like plastic. I’ve always hated them.

    Red Vines are amazing. I’ve lived them since I was a small child and can eat a pound in one sitting. If you get an old bag they are hard as a rock – avoid those. Fresh Red Vines are soft and delicious.

    Just being softball the time isn’t enough to make me eat Twizzlers. Puke. Gross plastic candy.

  27. As a mere old Irishman living in Scotland, I appear to be deprived of Red Vines, but we DO have liquorice. My Good Lady, cannot go past a bag of black liquorice for the shopping basket. It is supposed to be good for the alimentary canal, but must never be eaten before going out before an important appointment, as it makes you appear to have a mouthful of rotten teeth! Does your Red Vine equivalent make you look as if you have a mouthful of bleeding gums?

    1. Ugh.. it might if I could get past the disgusting taste and actually consume some of it! hahaha

      I’m with your lovely Lady – black licorice is where it’s at! LOVE IT.

  28. I like both Twizzlers and Red Vines but I think that’s because I grew up on the east coast and west coast. I’ve lived on the west coast since I was ten (I’m now in my thirties) and while Twizzlers are a little nostalgic for me, I prefer Red Vines. I think Twizzlers are plastic-y and waxy in texture but I still like them and their strawberry flavor. I like the texture of fresh red vines a lot. The flavor is pleasant to me but I tend to overdo it and eat twenty pieces in a sitting so I don’t let myself eat them very often. Am I the only one who likes both? Is it because I split my childhood over both coasts? What would I think of them if I were from another country? Hmmm… I crave black licorice more than either one by the way 😉

  29. Evidently, Red Vine has more salt content than Twisters. When I eat a lot of Red Vine, my blood pressure goes up.

  30. I just ate read vines for the first time needing a snack at work, and I love twizzlers. I googled “red vines are gross” to see something just like this just because I was so disappointed, I needed to sulk in it hahahha. Legitimately tastes and feels like WAX! And generally weird. Who buys this more than once?!

  31. I gotta admit. I Love Red vines… but I just realized upon consuming some new ones I grabbed. There is a difference between bagged and bucket RedVines. I just bought some Red Vines in a 1lb bag, They are tasteless, gummy/chewy and made me sad. I normally get the ones that come in a 3.5lb bucket so I have some for a long while. I do admit I don’t ever like the texture they have once I 1st open the bucket but with these the longer they sit the better the experience with them. Just like Honey/Dried fruit cookies. So not going to say all of em are good but there is a quality difference with the packaging, sadly. Now I have to go back to the store soon to restock the good ones.

  32. We used to have office parties and some jerk would bring a Costco drum of that garbage. I can’t believe they aren’t sugar free, because they are flavor free. They are basically rubbery straws.

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