Wednesday, September 2, 2009

These Sweets Called Licorice

Everybody has had one too many nice and sweet memories of licorice at some point in their lives. And that's not all the magic of these retro sweets. There is actually a world of ways that they have been enjoyed by people across the generations. Whether as drinks, medicinal cures or health maintenance herbs, licorice has always been one the most beloved foodies of all time. Of course, as candy, they couldn't be more special.

The word itself brings a fountain of memories. When we were kids, we just adored its sweet natural flavors. But did you know that from the time of the pharaohs, these herbs have been enjoyed as traditional sweets? That's how long these vines have made people's lives tastier. And they're the least boring things you could put in your mouth. Way before we knew licorice as food for our sweet tooth, it has been savored for centuries as tea, meal food, even booze and, of course, candy. Who knows what other varieties it may come in? What we're sure about is that licorice has a universal appeal that endears it to people across ages, social classes and history itself.
While the vine may be more valued for its health-promoting properties, it comes to us in the sweetest of ways as old-fashioned sweets. A look back in history would tell us that they have long been favorites everywhere in the world, especially in the United States, England, Germany, the Netherlands and Nordic countries. Those chewy black varieties debuted in 1914 as manufactured by the Chicago-based American Licorice Company. Since then, more sugary varieties were made and that's how we came to know the very favorites we had from childhood. Bassetts Liquorice Allsorts, Blackcurrant and Liquorice, Catherine Wheels, Army and Navy, Haribo Liquorice Wheels, Lions Liquorice Gums, Liquorice Toffee, Liquorice Torpedoes, Liquorice Wands, Liquorice Wood, Pascalls Liquorice Comfits, Pascalls Liquorice Cuttings - these were the ways that we loved our licorice back then and, guess what, we get to love it all over again now with the resurrection of these unforgettable traditional sweets.

Although licorice is known for its versatility, it will, to us, remain as a sweet nostalgic reminder of how good life was before when getting our next bag of licorice sweets was the most serious of our concerns. Back then when things were slower and simpler, we know we couldn't have better memories than the ways that sweet licorice has made childhood so much worth a looking back to.


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