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Black licorice candy is chewy and has a semi-firm consistency. It is flavored with licorice root extract that comes from the licorice plant. American licorice is a native, perennial legume that grows in temperate climates of North America, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Licorice, which also grows in Europe and Asia, is the root of varieties of the Glycyrrhiza plant. The sweet flavor from Glycyrrhizin, a Greek word that means “sweet root,” has been extracted and used since ancient times for candy, teas, lozenges and medicines. Different brands of licorice use different sweeteners in addition to the sweet licorice extract. The most natural black licorice candy adds only molasses as a sweetener; some organic licorice candies contain organic sugar, organic molasses and corn syrup.