A Matter of Taste

black licorice laces

On Monday, October 30, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a warning: “If you’re 40 or older, eating 2 ounces of black licorice a day for at least two weeks could land you in the hospital with an irregular heart rhythm or arrhythmia.” For many people, eating black licorice is out of the question, because they just don’t like the flavor. Others love it, however. Why?

In an interview with Today, Marcia Pelchat, an associate member of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, says “People either love it or hate it and, as far as I can tell, it’s not a learned like or dislike. I don’t know a specific gene that is associated with liking and disliking licorice. [But] it does seem to be something that people are born with.”

Today: Why do so many of us hate black licorice?
Bon Appétit: Black Licorice is Amazing and You Should Reconsider Not Liking It


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