In most cases, “green licorice” refers to a green-colored candy that resembles a licorice twist in appearance, but is actually flavored to taste like green apple. As such, calling the candy “licorice” is a misnomer, but it is a commonly accepted one owing to the candy’s style and overall presentation. True licorice candy is flavored with extracts from either the licorice plant or the similar-tasting anise plant. In some cases, green licorice is actually licorice-flavored candy that is artificially tinted green, or else surrounded by a green-colored candy shell. This is more uncommon.
Licorice twists are a popular candy that come in a distinctive shape and form. They are usually black, and appear as rope-like strands that are anywhere from 6 inches to 1 foot (about 15 to 30 cm) long. The texture is usually firm, but chewy. Green licorice takes on the same form and texture as black licorice, but has a totally different flavor.
Green licorice is believed to have originated in the United States, though it is popular in many parts of the world. It is one of many different so-called licorice flavors. In truth, licorice has but one flavor — that of licorice itself, derived from licorice extract. It has become very common to refer to different licorice-style candies as actual flavors of licorice, however. As such, green licorice can also usually be called apple-flavored licorice.
Along with twists, licorice laces and bites are common variations. Green licorice laces are usually long threads or strings of candy made of the same substance as twists. These laces are popular in baking, as they can add fanciful elements to cookies, cupcakes, and all manner of confections. Cooking with licorice is usually rather difficult given the candy’s gummy consistency. Most of the time, the candy is added after baked goods have come out of the oven, as a decoration.
Green licorice bites are almost exactly what they sound like: bite-sized candies, usually made by slicing twists into smaller pieces. Licorice bites are common ways for candy manufacturers to make use of oddly-shaped or damaged twists. They are often less expensive, but taste just the same.
Some licorice manufacturers actually make green-colored licorice-flavored candy, most commonly pastilles. Licorice pastilles are small, chewy “drops” or pellets of candy. They are often made with a crisp candy-coating that is, in most cases, unflavored. White and black are the most traditional colors for licorice-flavored pastilles, but some manufacturers use other colors, whether for different seasons or for special orders. It is rare to see green licorice pastilles, but it is not unheard of.