Sound the alarm: the worst tasting candy known to man can be dangerous for your health. I know, candy is not good for you in mass quantities anyway, but for the FDA to identify this specific terrible candy as particularly harmful is pretty gratifying. Just before the biggest candy eating day of the year, the FDA released a consumer update on its website regarding the devil of all candies:
“FDA experts say black licorice contains the compound glycyrrhizin, which is the sweetening compound derived from licorice root. Glycyrrhizin can cause potassium levels in the body to fall. When that happens, some people experience abnormal heart rhythms, as well as high blood pressure, edema (swelling), lethargy, and congestive heart failure.”
Sweet, sweet vindication. Remember being a child and all you wanted from anyone was candy or toys? Remember going to grandma’s house only to be disappointed when the candy dish on the coffee table was filled with nothing but peppermint patties and black licorice? Those days have passed. Now that you’ve grown up, you can slap that candy right out of your grandma’s hand when she tries to offer it to you and say, “Grandma! Are you trying to kill me?”
Look, I’m more of a foodie than the next guy. Up until I finally decided to love onions, the only other food I always refused to eat was, and still is, black licorice. This includes anything licorice flavored, such as fennel. The only exception was when I used to live in a rural town north of Atlanta called Acworth (commonly referred to as “Crackworth”). It was during this time when someone exposed me to what hunters consider the nectar of the gods, Jägermeister. Despite its licorice intensity, I didn’t hate it. I actually spent the following six months or so consuming it regularly. That is, until I got super sick one night and now even the thought of Jägermeister makes me want to die.
Moral of the story – black licorice can rot in hell. If you or your kids have any of it in the house leftover from Halloween for whatever reason, burn it. In fact, take it behind the barn and shoot it. Nothing personal, grandma.