April 12, 2010

Black beans

All of my licorice jelly beans are gone. The black jelly beans are either loved or hated. Very few people are indifferent to licorice. Personally, I love it, but no one else in the Punkinhouse does. This leaves all the black jelly beans (and gumdrops) to me!
Licorice is one of the oldest flavorings for sweets. It is made from the root of licorice plants. The extract has anethole and glycyrrhizic acid. The anethole gives the distinctive flavor and the glycyrrhizic acid sweetens.
Licorice also has medicinal properties and can be used to treat ulcers, shingles, irritable bowel syndrome, and even Kaposi sarcoma.
In Italy it is popular to chew little bits of the root or lozenges made of 100% pure licorice extract. In Egypt they make a soft drink from licorice.
But this amazing root is a powerful thing: it is also possible to overdose on licorice.
I guess I'll wait 'til next year for my handful of black jelly beans.

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