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Oct 19, 2011 12:56 PM

Seeking liquorice cigars in the box

I used to get whole boxes of liquorice cigars - the ones with the red sprinkles - at my local Costco ($6.39 for a box of 20 or so), ideal for stuffing one or two of those tasty little things into my Hallowe'en loot bags along with a few other goodies. But Costco - the one near Wilson and Dufferin, at least - doesn't carry them any more. They've disappeared from the shelves (Costco has a habit of doing that to items I like), like the even tastier liquorice pipes before them, which, apparently, aren't even made any more. So if anyone knows where I might find those boxes of cigars, I'd be mighty grateful. It has to be in boxes, because the plastic wrapping keeps the cigars softly fresh till they're ready to be inhaled. So forget the bins of loose, open-to-the-air cigars at bulk joints like JohnVince, where the cigars are so hard a kid could break a tooth. I don't want outraged mommies and daddies descending upon me, lawsuits in hand.

Why anyone buys fancy, expensive liquorice I'll never know. Nothing beats the straight-on fake liquorice taste of those cigars (or the pipes, if they still exist somewhere on earth). I always try to make sure there are some left after Hallowe'en so that I get to indulge as well. But where, pray tell, can a liquorice buff find the damn things in the GTA? I'd be most appreciative: if you present yourself at my front door, in costume, naturally, on the night in question, you'll get your very own loot bag, which includes a Lindt's 70% dark chocolate bar, a bag of roasted salted almonds, a couple of Jolly Rancher candies, a Saybon jelly and, in a wan nod toward healthful eating, a box of raisins - though the kids tell me right out every year that they don't like raisins. I tell them right back that they gotta take the good with the bad. All these are items that I taste-test and devour myself - except maybe the raisins. I'd like to add those liquorice cigars again this year. Can you help me, and the poor little underprivileged kids up here in York Mills? Surely there's some rickety old convenience store somewhere out there that still carries the things.

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  1. Sorry, I don't have any useful data for you. I just had to say, dang, I may need to come trick or treating at your house, juno! Nice loot bag. Much more thoughtful than the mini chocolate bars that so many of us fall back on.

    I can't imagine the number of kids you get, as I imagine you're within striking distance of that insanely over-the-top decorated house on Owen.

    1. I bought a box at The Real Canadian Wholesale Club (605 Rogers Road), two weeks ago. The cigars are wrapped in plastic, as you describe. They have the little red dots at one end, to represent the hot ash.

      1. You may want to try one of those candy stores like Suckers or Sugar Mountain. Do kids really like licorice flavour? I have found myself so lucky over the years because most people in general don't seem to like "the black ones" so I get to eat them all as they are left over! Maybe its because they get to smoke... Come to think of it....what kid likes 70% chocolate or even almonds??? However I do know many kids who like raisins. So is this a trick and not a treat? : )

        4 Replies
        1. re: justsayn

          The Real Canadian Wholesale Club? Never heard of it, but I'm on the case. Sounds promising, so long as I don't have to join yet another damn club with an annual membership fee. Thanks for the tip, taterbrandy.

          To justsayn: I don't know how many kids like black liquorice, 70% dark chocolate, roasted almonds - or raisins. The point is: I like all that stuff (except maybe the boring raisins). And I get to eat what's left after the average of 35 tiny visitors to my front door on Hallowe'en have been tucked into bed. Certainly, none of the little beggars have refused my loot bags. Maybe they were just being polite and dumped the bags when they were safely out of sight?

          P.S. No liquorice cigars in sight at the Sugar Mountain outlet I visited a few days ago. Disgraceful!

          1. re: juno

            Funny! I suspect you are making their parents (nannies) very happy : )

            1. re: justsayn

              Mission accomplished. As taterbrandy attested, boxes of 24 liquorice cigars can be found at the Real Canadian Wholesale Club, a huge, otherwise dreary barn of a place with a startlingly large candy selection. At $5.69 a box, about 10% less than it sold for at Costco last year at this time. The children of the good burghers of York Mills need no longer face a liquorice-less Hallowe'en. Much obliged.

              1. re: juno

                Isn't it a strange mix of merchandise? I guess many of the people who shop there are stocking up for convenience stores, etc. They have Bunn coffeemakers for sale, which I have never seen in any other Toronto store.