Black Licorice

The candy can contain a chemical compound called glycyrrhizin, which is derived from the root of a low-growing shrub grown mostly in Greece, Turkey and Asia, according to a consumer alert issued by the FDA in 2017. Glycyrrhizin can cause the body’s potassium levels to fall which can cause abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, swelling, lethargy and congestive heart failure.

However, if you’re eating a mainstream version of the treat, your risk of adverse health effects is low, according to Craig Hopp, the natural products expert at the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

Hopp said while there is a legitimate concern about consuming real licorice root, many candies don’t pose a threat.

Many licorice flavored products made in the United States are made with anise oil, which has the same smell and taste according to the FDA.

Black Licorice

Barratt makes fanciful and light confections with names like Sherbet Fountains, Frosties, Refreshers, Dip Dabs and Flumps. It’s all happiness and light or is it? They they also make Bruisers, Candy Sticks and Black Jacks – names that could be taken as harsh. They’re nothing compared to the Liquorice Catherine Wheels. Sure, Catherine Wheel is an outdated term for a cartwheel but it’s also a torture device named for the method of execution of Saint Catherine of Alexandria.

Okay, maybe we’ll consider the name to be taken from the cartwheel. 

Like the American confectionery landscape, European candy makers have been consolidating for years, with smaller companies being bought up and integrated into multinational concerns. Barratt was most recently owned by Monkhill Confectionery which was in turn owned by Cadbury. They sold it off to Tangerine Confectionery in 2008, making Tangerine the #4 sweets maker in the United Kingdom.