Posted on April 12, 2018
There are so many ways to go with a food holiday: The history of the food. Recipes. Health benefits, or lack thereof. Non-food uses of the food.
Let's do a quickie survey of all of these topics:
A Bite of History
So licorice - or "liquorice," as the Brits spell it - was consumed by Ancient Egyptians (at least by the Pharaohs! probably not by commoners?). And by Ancient Greeks (at least by Alexander the Great). And by Ancient Romans (at least by Caesar).
I said "consumed," rather than "eaten," because licorice root (in other words, the root of the plant Glycyrrhiza glabra) was generally used to create a sweet drink rather than a chewy candy, way back then!
Today we often use the word licorice to mean candies made from licorice root - or candies made with the similar-tasting anise - or even just candies with similar long-twisty-strand shapes.
Here are some different licorice candies:
|Black jelly beans|
|Swedish salty licorice|
In addition to various drinks and candies, licorice has also been used in medicines, as a flavor additive for tobacco (!), as a mouth freshener - and even, occasionally, in art or craft projects!
Licorice ice cream? Savory licorice dishes? Check out a few recipes here.
Some people use licorice in herbal or traditional Chinese medicines. For example, people have consumed licorice for stomach complaints and for sore throats, among other things. However, consuming a lot of licorice can be toxic! Check out this WebMD page.
It seems like a gingerbread house would be a food - but nobody eats these creations. They're just too much work to munch on! They're projects that become decorations!
A few people have used licorice to make art!
And with such linear forms of licorice to play around with, some people just...well, play around with the stuff!
Also on this date:
– aka Cosmonaut Day
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