I am, it must be said, fond of black licorice. I believe there are five of us.

We’re the happy types who can’t help but offer a big stick of the black goo to anyone in earshot, and secretly find joy in the knotted pinched faces when they tell us, “Gross!” It’s one of those things, similar in kind to people who still add cow brains to their eggs or like Spam.

For the record, I don’t care for either, but that’s just me.

Black licorice, on the other hand, suits me just fine. I even imbibe, occasionally, licorice infused vodka, stirred with a stick of black licorice. Yum.

The problem is in securing quality black licorice, with the right flavor and texture: chewy, not gummy, with an insinuating robust taste of…licorice. It’s like the difference between real chocolate and the cheap waxy stuff. There are the bite sized sold at places like Jo-Ann fabric stores (no doubt there’s a connection, but probably not the one you think). But the black generally sits unloved while the other flavors are taken, and as it comes from Australia, maybe not as fresh as it could be—and yes, fresh is important as it is with any other life affirming delight!

Where is this going again?

Ah, yes. So, imagine my surprise when, dutifully wandering the local swap meet with my significant other, I came across a seller of American made licorice. I’m pretty sure the clouds broke and angels began singing. Quite wonderful, and after having a sample, I found myself in licorice heaven.

Naturally, given the general public’s aversion to the gastronomic pleasures of black licorice, the vendor had other flavors, some blue stuff, as well as green and red. No doubt necessary to remain in business, but it’s not really licorice if you know what I mean. And as an understanding soul, I added a bag of green apple and a bag of cinnamon along with that of black to buck up sales. But really, it was the black licorice that was the star of the show.

Of course, as an obliging type, I offered my significant other a piece of my delectable find…

She curled her nose and said, “Yuck!”

Ahem. I guess some people just don’t know fabulous when it’s there right under their nose.

Such is life.

©2021 David William Pearce

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