This food fight is not a licorice war, but a cultural clash of red-tinged sugar sticks that has twisted friendships apart for decades. On one side stands Twizzlers land, the other, Red Vines country. Surprisingly, neither opponent contains any actual licorice root.
It’s incredible how two similar confections can elicit such love or contempt, but once and for all, let’s bury this hatchet.
Calories (Per Piece)
Red Vines: 22 Twizzlers: 40
Red Vines: Corn syrup, wheat flour, citric acid, artificial flavor, and Red 40.
Twizzlers: Corn syrup, enriched wheat flour (flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, and folic acid), sugar, cornstarch, and contains 2% or less of: palm oil, salt, artificial flavor, mono and diglycerides, citric acid, potassium sorbate (preservative), artificial color (Red 40), mineral oil, soy lecithin, and glycerin.
Consistency and Taste
Red Vines: Chewy, yet easily breakable, with a subtly sweet, nondescript berry flavor.
Twizzlers: Considerably more gelatinous once chewed, and often adhere to teeth. The strawberry flavor and aroma are unmistakable, but so is the sweetness.
What’s Working Against You
These little candy ropes are an unexpected source of wheat gluten for those with celiac disease or wheat allergies. They also contain Red 40, a common food dye derived from petroleum.
Red Vines: Due to their lack of preservatives, Red Vines can go stale pretty quickly, especially if not stored in an airtight container. While some people prefer them stale, they can be a relatively significant choking hazard.
Twizzlers: With roughly twice as many calories as Red Vines, Twizzlers are loaded with added sugar and preservatives.
What’s Working For You
These candies are both vegan-friendly and certified as kosher.
Red Vines: I bet you can pronounce every ingredient. As far as processed candy goes, this short and simple list is nothing to sneeze at.
Twizzlers: The enriched wheat flour adds a modicum of nutrition to this snack, supplying consumers with about 2% of their daily recommended iron intake.
Sure, Red Vines are considerably healthier, but we’re talking about candy here. Candy should be obnoxiously sweet and have a distinctive flavor. Plus, when you go big with Twizzlers, they don’t become inedible in a week if you don’t keep them in a sealed container.
Say goodbye to those tubs of rock-hard Red Vines, and say hello to Twizzlers. And call your dentist while you’re at it.