Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Licorice Treats

It's hardly possible to imagine that sweet decade of the seventies without those traditional sweets. After all, that was the golden age of candy and without those savory tongue teasers, the baby boomers probably wouldn't be whatever they are today. Those trips to the local candy store, those white bags, those big transparent jars sparkling with all sorts of retro sweets – these were what defined every little sweet tooth's happiness and among the ultimate favorites, licorice stays on top.

Now, most people remember licorice to be a lollipop or a sweet, rooty twist or just about any type of licorice-made candy that gave the generation all the more reason to enjoy their childhood. In short, most know licorice as candy, but few realize that it's actually an herb that can grow in anyone's garden. It is a legume, to be exact, which bears round, tiny flowers. What gives licorice candy its unmistakable flavor, though, is the herb's underground root. This root can simply be pulled out from the soil, washed and chewed raw. Some even make tea out of it and the sweet flavor is just as delectable. In fact, licorice is said to be fifty-percent sweeter than table sugar, reason why it's a very good substitute for diabetic patients and those who need to regulate their sugar intake. Aside from this sugar-smart advantage of licorice, the herb is also known to help provide cure for a string of other diseases and conditions such as constipation, stomach ulcers, menopause symptoms and inflammation and respiratory conditions. Even smoking is said to be cured psychologically with a simple licorice candy.

Of course, licorice wouldn't be such a sweet thing if not for its being candy that brings a wave of nostalgia to anyone who holds dear childhood memories of it. As traditional sweets, licorice sticks and other varieties have been enjoyed by the world for centuries. Not all them are created the same, however, with some being healthier or tastier than the others. If you're serious about reconnecting with your licorice memories, there are some things you need to know about choosing the right licorice treat.

If you want your exactly those genuine retro sweets you went crazy about as a child, you have to know if they're made of licorice root extract. Or, if you would now like a healthier version, get something with molasses instead of sugar, but still with the same licorice flavor minus the extract. Some licorice candies are chewy and rubbery while others are waxy. There are even more varieties with sharper flavors, if you want your licorice with an extra oomph!

Of course, we'll always want our licorice sweets with the memories they drown us in. That sweet journey to the past surely can't get any sweeter with the exact flavor of genuine licorice retro sweets.


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