Love 'em or loathe 'em, you will never eat these 10 black licorice treats again

Here are some acquired tastes you can never acquire.

There are two kinds of taste buds — those that enjoy black licorice and those that recoil at the confection. The candy is one of the most divisive flavors in the food kingdom. Just calling it a "candy" might make some people upset.

We know firsthand, as the office was quite divided over whether to mourn or celebrate the bygone black licorice of the past. The licorice lovers have won out, and we are celebrating this acquired taste.

In the past, black licorice was far more common in the States. There was black licorice gum, black licorice chews, ice cream and more. Today, licorice addicts snatch up bulk bags of Scotty dogs, licorice pipes and allsorts. But licorice has slowly been vanishing from American candy shops. Some of the items on this list were available fairly recently, but have gone away.

If you're missing the stuff, book a trip to northern Europe, where Finns and Danes literally pour licorice on everything, including potato chips and yogurt.

1. The Beatles licorice records

Bubblegum records were once common collectible chews, but black licorice was a superior take on candy albums. It felt like biting into a real vinyl record. Naturally, the Beatles slapped their faces on "Long Eating Licorice Records," just as they did with every conceivable bit of merchandise. The black candy matched their boots, hair and jackets.

Image: Hakes

2. Ben-Hurs

Looking akin to burnt charcoal briquettes, these anise-flavored hard candies were quite popular around the time Ben-Hur hit theaters. Today, you can find similar treats, but not the real Ben-Hurs.


3. Bit O'Licorice

Perhaps the makers of Bit-O-Honey felt their mainstay candy was not divisive enough. The brand upped its love-it-or-loathe-it factor with a licorice variety, releasing Bit O'Licorice in 1969. It cost just a nickel!

4. Black Bat Licorice

The official candy of goths and people who only dress as vampires for Halloween! Thanks to rocker Jack White, who dropped his single "That Black Bat Licorice" a few years ago, there's some name recognition for Black Bat licorice. But not enough to bring it back.

Image: churchofhalloween

5. Black Cat Gum

Ever wanted to chew licorice — and never have it go away? Enter licorice gum! This packaging looks a bit like cheap fireworks.

Image: roadfood

6. Black Jack Gum

Now, Black Jack was the licorice gum. It stuck around (hur hur) for decades, but vanished from production fairly recently. We love how the original packaging said, "Good for the Throat." They were always trying to convince us that candy and soda were medicine in the early 20th century.

7. Black licorice dollars

Not legal tender. Not even really that tender.


8. Sen-Sen

Not truly a licorice this "mouth perfume" tasted similar to an amaro liqueur, with bitter floral notes balancing the sweet anise taste. We found the little tear-open packets of it a few years back, but it has since ceased production. 

Image: licoriceinternational

9. Tiger-Tiger Ice Cream

Orange and licorice might strike youngsters as an unusual flavor combination, but this frozen box could once be found in grocery cases half a century ago.

Image: kitschyliving

10. Y&S Stick Licorice

Like Black Jack, Y&S positioned itself as medicinal. The side of the box declared, "The Old-Fashioned Relief for COUGHS and COLDS." The candy itself looked like a cross between a clarinet and a stepped-on Tootsie roll.

Image: wdpickers / eBay

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Merl 1 month ago
I'm a life-long black licorice fan...Black Jack Gum, Black licorice whips, jelly beans, Good & Plenty, Australian Black Licorice...But there's one type of black licorice I can't handle...the Dutch stuff (and I'm Dutch). We visited family in The Netherlands, and made a bee-line to the licorice shop. UGH! GAG! They produce at least 50 types of black licorice...and they all taste like you've poured a full shaker of salt into your mouth!
daDoctah Merl 1 month ago
There's a little Japanese market near me that has a section of Indonesian stuff, and for reasons of colonial connections, that salty licorice can be found there too.

I believe the Finns also salt their licorice. They call it "salmiakki".
Charlotte 1 month ago
I remember the Black Jack gum, but none of the others. Eating plain ole licorice sticks like I did at my grandparent's is nostalgic for me.
arrowbert 1 month ago
I absolutely loved Callard & Bowers licorice toffees, but sadly, they're gone now. They were a chewy candy (sort of the same chewiness as salt water taffy) tasting of a really good black licorice with a dash of cream added in to mellow and smooth it all out.
daDoctah arrowbert 1 month ago
And then there's Crows, a sort of licorice gumdrop. Had a crown pulled clear off a tooth by those things once.
AgingDisgracefully 1 month ago
Yous didn't address the fate of The Black Chuckle.
tootsieg 1 month ago
I remember Sen-Sen (very perfumey) and the Black Jack gum. Love black and red licorice.

Happy Easter to all!! 🐰🐣🐇
timothys71 1 month ago
This may be a minority opinion, but I much prefer black licorice over the so-called red "licorice", which is usually cherry or strawberry flavored. "Licorice" has to be one of the most misused words in the world of candy, as it actually refers to the flavor of the candy and not the consistency.
Coldnorth timothys71 1 month ago
I’m a huge fan of black licorice. Always have been
hyppymom 1 month ago
Just yuck! Never liked black licorice.
CaptainDunsel 1 month ago
Black Jack is by no means gone. In fact, a box of it that I got as a Christmas present is sitting on the table in my hobby lab, right along with a box of Clove gum and a box of Beeman's gum (not to be confused with the box of Teaberry gum on the corner of my desk).

And Sen-Sen, more than a candy, was used by discreet gentlemen in the era of Prohibition to mask the scent of liquor on their breath.
Moverfan CaptainDunsel 1 month ago
I've got ninety-two cents in change, fifty-eight cents in my Amazon account and thirty-five cents in my Barnes & Nobke account. Could I buy a pack of Beeman's, a pack of Teaberry and a pack of BlackJack from you for that?
CaptainDunsel Moverfan 1 month ago
Sure can - just as soon as I figure out how to shove a pack of chewing gum through a cable modem, and get it to materialize at the other end of a data stream.
Well if Willy Wonka could do a similar data stream with a chocolate bar, maybe you could do the same with gum, with a few tweaks?
MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
I remember Black Cat gum and Sen-Sen. Loved both. You can still get tiger ice cream at ice cream joints.
Serve it "Flambé" and you can recite William Blake's "The Tyger" as you present it.

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
I remember my Dad reading us that poem. 🐯
daDoctah CaptainDunsel 1 month ago
I always get Blake's poem mixed up with a number of others. Most of the time it comes out as:

Tyger, Tyger, burning bright,
Removes the colours from our sight.
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Beware my power! Green Lantern's light!
Moverfan daDoctah 1 month ago
I like that! [The second line is from Nights In White Satin, isn't it?]
BrittReid 1 month ago
Hate black licorice, but love Twizzlers cherry bites.
CaptainDunsel BrittReid 1 month ago
Red Vines over Twizzlers any day in my world.
DannyZ 1 month ago
Rope licorice

Was cool growing up

justjeff 1 month ago
However... too much licorice has been know to cause health issues... so... everything in moderation!
CaptainDunsel justjeff 1 month ago
"Everything in excess. Moderation is for monks." from "The Notebooks of Lazarus Long"
justjeff CaptainDunsel 1 month ago
Feel free to indulge, but (from Mt. Sinal Hospital in New York)...

"Licorice with glycyrrhizin may cause serious side effects. Too much glycyrrhizin causes a condition called pseudoaldosteronism, which can cause a person to become overly sensitive to a hormone in the adrenal cortex. This condition can lead to headaches, fatigue, high blood pressure, and even heart attacks."
CaptainDunsel justjeff 1 month ago
I rarely am afflicted with headaches. I *am* a carrier, however.
justjeff CaptainDunsel 1 month ago
In other words, you don't *get* headaches, you *cause* them!
CaptainDunsel justjeff 1 month ago
Give that player a kewpie doll!
KawiVulc 1 month ago
The black jelly beans are the only ones worth eating unless you're talking Jelly Belly as in Jelly Belly pear... Jelly Belly popcorn... Jelly Belly................ but Australian style black licorice is about as good as it gets.
Coldnorth KawiVulc 1 month ago
I love black jellybeans and everything else black licorice. Don’t recognize any in the story tho. Again, must be regional stuff
Sway 1 month ago
The one one I remember is Black Jack gum, which is still manufactured.
Bricat2001 1 month ago
The only licorice I like is the strawberry ones, it’s also the only candy my mom will eat
cperrynaples 1 month ago
Well, I'm glad these candies are dead! They can take Good 'N Plenty down to candy hell...LOL!
Bapa1 cperrynaples 1 month ago
Charlie says, Love my Good N Plenty, Charlie says, really rings my bell, Charlie says, love my Good N Plenty, don't know any other candy I love so well.
cperrynaples Bapa1 1 month ago
TRUE FACT! my name is Charles and when I was growing up a day didn't go by when somebody called me Choo-Choo Charlie! I hate GNP, but i did enjoy her sister candy Good N Fruity! And it's "rings the bell", 'Ring My Bell" is a 70's disco song!
Coldnorth cperrynaples 1 month ago
GASP!!!!!!!!!! I would clutch my pearls if I had some
daDoctah 1 month ago
I now have to avoid black licorice because apparently it's really bad for people with high blood pressure (which I learned after chowing down on Good N Plenty and getting muscle aches for my trouble). The thing I can't stand are those fake licorices like Red Vines and Twizzlers.

I dispute the statement that Black Jack gum is no longer made; I saw it about two weeks ago at a candy specialty store, right alongside its traditional partners, Beeman's and Clove Gum.
Sway daDoctah 1 month ago
Yes, Black Jack gum is staying around.
CaptainDunsel daDoctah 1 month ago
What were you doing peeking in my hobby lab?! Pawrs Orff my gum!
daDoctah CaptainDunsel 1 month ago
As stated, I'm off Black Jack for serious health reasons, but I'll still chew Clove gum if I get a persistent canker sore.
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