You hadn't heard that there was a holiday devoted to celebrating licorice? It's all right - we forgive you. But now that you know April 12th is National Licorice Day, it's time to celebrate your love for licorice!
This is a national day where licorice lovers have full permission to enjoy their favorite treats. Originally created to celebrate black licorice in all its forms, this holiday also recognizes the history, health benefits, and universality of licorice around the world.
Why set aside a day on the calendar just for licorice? For many people, some of their earliest memories are of eating red licorice at the movie theater as kids or enjoying black licorice with friends or family members. There's nothing like taste and aroma to bring back a flood of sweet memories!
The History of National Licorice Day
National Licorice Day was established as a holiday in 2004, thanks to the efforts of the National Confectioners Association and numerous black licorice lovers. Though the day originally sought out to recognize true licorice flavor from the root of the licorice plant, however people who prefer other types of licorice candies can celebrate with those instead.
Another reason the day was created was to let people know that there's a difference between licorice made with licorice root extract, glycyrrhizin, and other licorice-flavored treats, which are often flavored with anise instead.
Even within traditional licorice, you're not just limited to the old favorites, laces and twists. At Licorice.com, there's a wide selection of other shapes including everything from honey bees to the large black licorice collection such as cats and dogs! We haven't even gotten to the black pretzelice or the wide variety of salted black licorice treats yet.
You'll be happily spoiled for choice with the sheer variety of licorice (black or fruit-flavored) that's available - even delivered to your doorstep!
How to Observe National Licorice Day
When observing this holiday, keep a light-hearted approach. Pick up a pack or two of licorice candies and during your snack, take time to reminisce. Then, share those memories that the licorice flavor evokes with your friends and family!
A fun way to celebrate with kids is to take them on a "world tour" licorice taste test. Get a variety from Finland, Australia, and the Netherlands (Holland).They're all easily available online on the Licorice.com site!
See which kind of licorice is your favorite and then vote for the family flavor champion. Ask your children if the shape played any part in their decision. (The Scotties are so cute they're big winners with the kids we know, followed by the brightly colored licorice allsorts. Really, though, the variety seems endless! Other possible contenders for family favorites include chocolate-covered licorice. Just throwing that out there to tempt you. (You're welcome!)
Other ways to enjoy National Licorice Day:
- Learn something new about licorice.
- Have a second licorice snack - it's just once a year!
- Send a gift of licorice to a licorice-loving friend.
- Host a licorice-themed dinner party for your friends.
- Treat yourself to gourmet licorice at Licorice.com!
- Let everyone know you're celebrating today! Use the hashtag #NationalLicoriceDay to let the world know you’re enjoying your licorice - whichever flavor (or shape!) suits your taste best.
Fun Facts about Licorice
Speaking of learning something new about licorice, it's time to brush up on your licorice trivia with these fun facts. Below are just a selection of interesting facts about licorice - some may surprise you!
- “Licorice” comes from the Greek word, glykyrrhiza, from glykys (sweet) and rhiza (root) that put together means “sweet root.”
- That Greek name was coined in the 1st Century!
- True (black) licorice has been used to treat all kinds of health ailments from canker sores to upset stomachs and coughs. It's been used as a part of traditional Chinese medicine for over 4,000 years.
- The licorice plant is a legume - like peas, green beans, carob, clover, and peanuts!
- In England, the licorice trade centered around Pontefract in Yorkshire. By 1720, Pontefract Castle stored licorice roots for medicine in its cool, dark chambers instead of weapons or defensive gear.
- Licorice allsorts were originally (accidentally) created in 1899 by Charlie Thompson when he tripped while carrying many different candy samples. When he tried to fix it, the classic treat was created and became a sensation.
- It's said that Medieval Italian knights would tell their lady loves, "L’amore e’ un sogno, dolce come il latte e la liquirizia." Translated, it says, "Love is a dream, sweet as milk and licorice."
- The licorice plant has purple flowers and grows in hot, arid climates, and is native to Western Asia and Southern Europe.
- In the United Kingdom, the word is spelled liquorice.
- All flavors of licorice are made are the same way. The ingredients are dissolved in water and heated. The cooked, hot licorice is then poured into molds to give us the fun licorice shapes or extruded in a machine to give us the favorites: twists and laces.
Have Fun With It!
Whether you choose twists or salted Dutch coins, have fun when you celebrate National Licorice Day. It's the kind of holiday designed for smiles and to create more memories. Bring a friend a treat! Share the different licorice flavors with the people you care about - even if they're firmly in the fruit-flavored licorice camp.
Regardless of whether you're celebrating with the family or on your own, take the time to revel in the treat that's brought you so much pleasure over the years. Celebrate National Licorice Day with Licorice.com's Best Combos!