Black Licorice

One of my favorite bad things for me (although some might argue opposite) is black licorice. I have a friend with family in Denmark who brings the stuff back to the States and periodically I’ve been privy to some of the most varied and wonderful licorice textures and flavors in the world. The crazy salted stuff that conjures up a Calvinistic childhood full of bitterness as well as the slightly salted varieties which are less caustic, but still provide images of torture. Kind of a Scandinavian/European Sour Patch Kid. As a child, I have rich memories of long road trips in the back of the 1970 Ford LTD station wagon gobbling a pound bag of Switzer’s black licorice (back on the market in late 2004). It’s shiny surface and weird greasy texture still reminds me of family camping trips and cold Pepsi. With eight people in the car, the bag was passed around like the Mormon dutchie it was and not always on the left hand side.

Heather can’t stand the stuff. Not only that, but if there is any fennel or anise in any food she eats, it is rejected faster than Heidi Klum can say “you are out”. I’ve tried to swing her, but it’s gonna take a massive effort. One that may take several years. I believe her lack of love for licorice is a key in unlocking the constipatory mysteries of life.

Our second day in Amsterdam, we stopped into a sweet shop to get snacks for jet lag avoidance, and I beheld the majesty of about 45 different types of black licorice, all of it calling out to me. I would have bought 15 pounds of it, shipping it back via overnight express to the States, so that it wouldn’t lose freshness. However.

Part of my valentines day gift to Heather this year was that I didn’t buy ANY black licorice in Amsterdam. Nevermind that I was threatened with various forms of torture and quite possibly death.