HAPPY NATIONAL LICORICE DAY!
What is licorice? Licorice is a plant, a legume to be exact, from which a sweet liquid can be extracted from the roots. Not at all related to similar tasting herbs and plants, like anise, star anise or fennel it does have a very similar flavor. In fact, the other plants are often used to flavor food items often called "licorice". Other similar herbs and plants with a "licorice" like flavor would include tarragon and sassafras.
The word licorice is derived from the Old French word "licoresse" which means sweet root. It has been used since ancient times for medicinal purposes and today is often used as an herbal treatment for various digestive system complaints including stomach ulcers, heartburn, colic, and chronic gastritis. It is also used as a palliative for sore throat, bronchitis, cough, and infections caused by bacteria or viruses.
Here's some of my favorite
In the licorice fields at Pontefract My love and I did meet And many a burdened licorice bush Was blooming round our feet; Red hair she had and golden skin, Her sulky lips were shaped for sin, Her sturdy legs were flannel-slack'd, The strongest legs in Pontefract.
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