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Burn, Black Licorice Baby! Burn.

 

Oh black licorice. Black licorice is one of those candies like rosewater flavoured Thrills gum; a flavour we either love or we hate. There is no middle ground.

Black licorice has an odd nostalgic connection for my family. My dad's grandfather owned a general store in Council Bluffs, Iowa where he stocked all sorts of sweet treats including an assortments of black licorice - black licorice pipes, jaw breakers, plain old licorice and the favourite, black licorice babies. These candies are just creepy looking.

Given that the fun coloured candy explosion of the 1950's followed the advancements in food refining and processing, thanks largely to machinery and chemicals developed for World War II, I can only assume that black licorice babies had as much food grade petroleum in them back then as they do now.

Food comes from two places: plants and animals. By-products of the fuel industry don't fit into either category. They do give our candies that chewy, stick-to-the-teeth gummyness but aside from being used to gummify our candies, food-grade petroleum is used, primarily for industrial pursuits.  Other roles include: a solvent in the extraction of vegetable oils like cottonseed (not a vegetable, not even a food), in the manufacture of soaps, for the preparation of rubber adhesives and can sealing compounds, as an adhesive in the soles of our shoes, in laborities at generation plantsand and as carriers in pharmaceutical drugs.

Food grade petroleum is not food. After seeing what happens when a couple of black licorice babies are set on fire to drive my point home for the stubborn licorice eaters in my family, I am happy to have been half way around the world when an an 'edible oil plant' (same same) exploded in the United Arab Emirites over the weekend.

9 Responses to “Burn, Black Licorice Baby! Burn.”

  1. [...] Megtelpner first collected Added 22 Sep 08 from meghantelpnerblog.com [...]
  2. [...] only ever serve food to people that I would eat myself. I am not going to keep black licorice babies in my house for when my dad and brother come over. There will not be coffee served, for the coffee [...]
  3. Erin said…
    NOOOO!!! I CAN'T GET THE VOLUME TO WORK!!!
  4. [...] and sweetened with honey or dates. It’s not like I somersault off the wagon and binge on food grade petroleum based high fructose corn syrup junk, but what I do have is still sweetness to the taste and [...]
  5. [...] and sweetened with honey or dates. It’s not like I somersault off the wagon and binge on food grade petroleum based high fructose corn syrup junk, but what I do have is still sweetness to the taste and [...]
  6. Jennifer R. said…
    I couldn't get the volume to work either. What are some other "names" of petroleum by-products used in food? Like what do they list on the ingredients? There is so much of that stuff in cosmetics too. People should know what they put IN and ON their body.
  7. [...] We have had a bit of a torrid love affair, the mushroom and I. I used to shun them like they were food-grade-petroleum incarnate, even though I actually really liked the taste of them. It was the whole idea that they [...]
  8. [...] Sentsy I don't see how petroleum could possibly be food grade? Making Love in the Kitchen: The Blog Burn, Black Licorice Baby! Burn. Making Love in the Kitchen: Th... Waxed Fruit and Vegetables If scentsy is the same stuff as what is on apples, that we so [...]

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