Black Licorice: The Confectionary Whipping Boy

image via Pammy Shep


It’s the candy we love to hate.
In a candy land of sugary, fruity, creamy, chocolatey, there’s licorice. It’s herbal, salty, medicinal, and barely sweetened; and doesn’t apologize for it.

We are of course talking about black licorice; the only true licorice. Red Vines, Twizzlers, and the like rely on mostly fruit flavorings; there is not a drop of licorice in them. The red-black connection is limited to a similar extrusion process in their manufacture.

Licorice haters spend their days picking the black ones out of the jelly bean bowl, immune to the charms of the jumbo-size box of Good & Plenty. They gather online, congregating in places where they can bash black licorice in the supportive environment of like-minded licorice loathers; places like The Official Black Licorice Hate Thread and the I Hate Black Licorice Facebook page where it’s referred to as the devil’s candy.

And then there are the celebrants.
There’s the Licorice Lovers blog and newsletter, which takes a look this month at what makes licorice the perfect summertime treat (it’s versatile and doesn’t melt) and features a dress made entirely from nine pounds of licorice whip;s and The Magic of Licorice, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the many health benefits of licorice (it’s been prescribed to treat coughs, ulcers, and constipation; it’s also one of the most sexually arousing scents around.)

Whether you love it or loathe it, a good place to explore your deepest emotions is Licorice International, the web’s most complete licorice resource. It offers the largest selection of European licorice varieties available in the U.S., with more than a dozen countries represented. A downloadable tasting guide will match your taste and texture preferences with suitable licorice varieties.


3 Responses to Black Licorice: The Confectionary Whipping Boy

  1. Pingback: Black Licorice Is the Scariest Thing About Halloween - That's Normal

  2. ddavid says:

    I’m sad to hear this. Black Licorice is my favorite. I’m 72 as of today and been consuming 6 oz per day, and when I watch a movie, I swallow 2 to 3 lbs, and that’s about 3 times a week. As a kid I consumed the real hard stuff one can’t find anymore. I have a health exam every year and am healthy a new born kitten. Both my Dad and my wife’s Dad, both were health freaks died in their early 60’s. I think were overdoing the health situation and don’t allow our bodies to acquire an antidote for all the bad in food, making you more susceptible. To tell the truth, I’ve never been sick in my life and ate dirt when I dropped my hotdog as a young child. I don’t weigh anymore than when I was 19, and my waist is still a 32. I think being obese is a lot more dangerous than eating a cup of poison. Or I’d be dead long ago.

  3. Lora says:

    I am a fan of the black variety and not of the red. I had no idea there were so many licorice fanatics! Love the dress.

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