According to a licorice store in Lincoln, Nebraska, April 12th is National Licorice Day. I have no idea how long there has been such a holiday, but my guess is that National Licorice day wasn’t around in 1912. Still, Blue Thread‘s Miriam didn’t need an excuse to buy her favorite candy.
I decided to cheer myself up on the way home. I sipped water from Mr. Benson’s new outdoor bubbling drinking fountain by the depot and discovered a new confectionery, Rose City Candies. I bought a cone of licorice nibs—an indulgence Mama says I shouldn’t buy unwrapped from a seller I don’t know.
Licorice comes from the plant of the legume family, Glycyrrhiza glabra, and the medicinal qualities of its root make it more of a drug than a dessert. Licorice extract can cause high blood pressure and is associated with both healing and harmful effects on the human body. Much of what passes for licorice candy these days is flavored with anise root instead.
All that said, licorice in moderation can be delicious! I recently visited Sweets Etc., a delightful candy shop in the Multnomah Village section of Portland. Owner Tricia Leahy, met me inside. Tricia used to be a chemist. Now she’s into creating candy for her store. The fudge she makes herself. Much of the chocolate is local. The licorice comes from a zillion places, including The Netherlands, home of some of the finest.
I was in search of licorice like the nibs that Miriam ate. Tricia showed my her wall of licorice, more kinds of licorice than I ever thought existed. The “Taste of Italy” licorice one came closest to what I imagined Miriam liked. More tang than sweet. But for a truly delectable combination, I’d suggest Tricia’s licorice fudge.