National Licorice Day Date in the current year: April 12, 2024

National Licorice Day Despite its unusual taste (or maybe because of it), licorice is one of the most popular types of candy around the globe. It is one of those “either you love it or your hate it” kind of foods. If you love licorice, you should celebrate National Licorice Day on April 12.

Licorice (spelled as liquorice in British English) is a type of candy flavored with the licorice plant root extract. The roots of the licorice plant (Glycyrrhiza glabra) contain a sweet-tasting compound called glycyrrhizin and aromatic compounds that make its flavor similar to that of anise or fennel, although licorice isn’t closely related to either of the plants.

The sweet and aromatic extract of the licorice root was originally used in traditional medicine to treat digestive problems and respiratory issues. The first mentions of licorice extract being used as a candy flavoring date back to the 17th century. Confectioners probably began to use it because of its sweet taste (glycyrrhizin is 50 times sweeter than sugar) and unusual flavor. Today, many different types of licorice-based sweets are produced around the world; they are especially popular in Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand.

The most common type of licorice candy is chewy candy made with sugar, licorice extract, and a binder (for example, starch or flour, gelatin or gum arabic). Additional ingredients may include molasses, beeswax to give the candy a shiny surface, anise oil for a more intense flavor, and additional flavoring. Licorice is usually colored black and shaped like long strings that can be rolled into wheels or twisted. In many countries, there is similarly shaped candy with other flavorings; it may be referred to as red licorice even though it does not taste like licorice.

Licorice extract can also be used to flavor other types of candy, for example, jelly beans, hard candy, licorice allsorts, and candy bars. In some countries of Northern Europe, salty licorice is popular. This variety of licorice candy contains ammonium chloride, which gives it a salty, astringent taste. Licorice and salty licorice are also used as a flavoring in other products, such as chewing gum, ice cream, syrup, soft drinks, and even alcoholic beverages.

National Licorice Day was launched in 2004 by Licorice International, an American online shop that sells more than 150 types of licorice from all over the world, and the National Confectioners Association. Since its inception, the holiday has gained the support of multiple licorice manufacturers and stores.

There are many ways to celebrate National Licorice Day. You can learn interesting facts about licorice and share them with anyone who is willing to listen, enjoy your favorite brand of licorice, try a new type of licorice or licorice from another country, splurge on gourmet licorice, have a cup of licorice tea, introduce your friends to the deliciousness that is licorice, throw a licorice tasting party, book a licorice factory tour, and spread the word about the holiday with the hashtags #NationalLicoriceDay and #LicoriceDay.

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National Licorice Day, unofficial holidays, observances in the US, food days, food holidays, licorice candy