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April 12th is National Licorice Day

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If you're looking for something to do today, and can actually stand the taste of it, then get ready for National Licorice Day!  Sorry, red licorice doesn't count!  Let's get right into celebrating National Licorice Day!  

WHY IS THIS A HOLIDAY?  

Today is a holiday because for some odd reason some people actually enjoy the taste of licorice. Now you might have a puzzled look on your face, because you love licorice yourself, but true licorice is what we call "black licorice". Red licorice and all the other flavors and colors aren't really licorice at all. So since most people don't enjoy the taste of black licorice, it looks like those that do banded together and wanted to proclaim their love for at least one day.  And licorice actually comes from a root of a legume plant that's native to southern Europe and some places in Asia. The plant grows up to a meter tall and has long, purple to light blue flowers on it. The scent and flavor comes mostly from a so called sweet-tasting compound called anethole. Anethole is also present in anise, star anise and fennel, which are sometimes used in place of licorice for flavoring.

And besides the obvious scent and flavor, licorice also has some health benefits! A few health benefits that really stood out to me are that it helps heal cold sores, it's an anti-inflammatory and it helps heal ulcers. In fact, a study in Ireland showed that licorice extract helps ulcer patients more than Tagamet does because licorice helps protect your stomach from more damage from the acid.  So if you love the stuff then know that you're doing your body good when you eat it!

HOW TO CELEBRATE 

So how can you celebrate today?  Well, if you love the stuff, then head to a local candy or grocery store and pick up a wide variety of black licorice candy today!  Munch on it all day and attempt to share it with your friends if they'll actually accept it.  You can also buy a variety of different licorice-flavored products if you'd like to avoid all the excess sugar.

But if you don't like black licorice then how about you give it a chance today?  You know what you don't like, but what if there is some random black licorice product out there that you actually would enjoy?  So do a little research by asking your friends or looking at product reviews online.  See if there's anything where people say things like, "I don't normally like black licorice, but this is actually pretty good!"  Locate a few of these products and head out to the store and see if you can find them.  Then just try them out one by one to see if there is some magical blend of flavors that makes licorice taste good to you.  If you find a licorice product you love then you can enjoy your celebration to the fullest!  if you don't then at least you tried.  These daily celebrations are all about celebrating what you love and expanding your horizons to try out what others love too.  You never know what you'll like until you try it!





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