Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My New Year's Resolution: Eat More Licorice

Now that's the kind of New Year's resolution I like: Something positive. There are lots of reasons to eat licorice (besides its great taste). Licorice contains glycyrrhizin, a natural sweetener that's 50 times sweeter than sucrose. That means you can satisfy your sweet tooth without a lot of extra sugar. There are even sugar free varieties. Panda licorice is made with all natural ingredients, and organic licorice is another healthy alternative.
But that's not all. Licorice is just plain good for you. It's an expectorant, an antiviral/antifungal AND contains antioxidants. It has been shown to help peptic ulcers, cold sores and PMS. One study shows that licorice makes LDL cholesterol more resistant to oxidation.
So, instead of concentrating on what you're going to give up for the New Year, think about what you're going to add: more licorice!
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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Licorice that tastes like Jolly Ranchers?

Everyone at my licorice tasting party agreed: The Darrell Lea Soft Eating Green Apple Liquorice reminded them of Jolly Ranchers, those wonderful hard candies known for their authentic fruit flavors.

This Australian licorice was a big hit at my party. My friends appreciated the mild, pleasant flavor and the fact that it wasn't too sour (which is what they expected from a green apple candy). They also liked the soft texture.

Those who weren't fans of black licorice found they loved this candy, even though it does contain real licorice root.

"Liquorice" is the British and Australian spelling. Darrell Lea, a family-owned business, is well-known in Australia for its candy stores. They developed soft-eating licorice in 1957 and introduced the green apple flavor in 2004. Their licorice is so popular that now 25 percent of the Australian licorice market is soft eating. It is created using a special cooking process and has a shelf life of 12 months.

Purchase Darrell Lea Soft Eating Green Apple Liquorice here.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

There's still time to enter our "Taste the Licorice Memories Contest"

Do you remember when you tasted sweet black licorice for the first time? Maybe you're a more recent licorice enthusiast with a story to tell. Did you receive licorice as a special gift? You can win a gift certificate to Licorice International simply by sharing your favorite licorice memory.

We've received some great entries so far. To give everyone a chance to enter, we've extended the deadline of our contest to January 31, 2009. You can find complete instructions here or below at "Taste the Licorice Memories Contest."

Be sure to send your entries by e-mail to and include complete complete contact information, including name, address, telephone and e-mail address. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Worried About Your Weight? Eat Licorice.

Are you worried about gaining weight over the holidays? There's good news for licorice lovers. Eating licorice has been shown to help reduce body fat mass. A team of researchers at the University of Padua in Italy studied 15 normal weight subjects who consumed 3.5 grams of real licorice per day for two months. At the end of the study the subjects' body fat mass was reduced. Licorice also satisfies your sweet tooth without adding a lot of calories, and it has zero fat. Make sure you are eating real licorice made from the licorice root.

So when those Christmas cookies start calling you, reach instead for a piece of licorice.

You can find many varieties of real licorice from all over the world at Licorice International.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tell Us About Your Visit to Licorice International

Have you visited the Licorice International retail store in Lincoln, Nebraska? Located in the city's historic Haymarket district, the store has become a favorite destination, both for Nebraskans as well as visitors from across the United States.

We'd love to hear about your visit to our store. What kinds of licorice did you sample? What's your favorite? Did you meet the "Licorice Ladies"?

Don't be shy . . . we really want to hear from you.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Licorice Cupcakes

Here's an idea for something different: Licorice cupcakes. You can see the recipe here:
The recipe uses Licorice Spice tea, which you can get here. For the licorice pieces on top, I recommend Black Tire Tread, which you can get here. If you prefer organic products, try Tubi's Organic Soft Licorice, which you can get here.

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Drink Coffee. Eat Licorice.

The Mill has been around long before coffeehouses were “cool.” It had its roots in the mid-70s and moved to its present location in Lincoln’s historic Haymarket in 1987.

Rustic wood floors, exposed brick and comfy armchairs welcome you to “sit a spell” in the warehouse-turned coffeehouse. It’s about the community as well as the coffee. Whether you come with friends or alone, you just feel comfortable there, said co-owner Todd Ogden.

“We have lots of meetings, lots of studying and lots of socializing,” he said. “We have one of the most diverse clienteles of any business that I’ve ever seen.”

Mill employees roast their own coffee and do all the flavoring and blending, focusing on classic European style lattes and cappuccinos. A huge selection of teas, fruit smoothies and cold drinks are also available, as well as a wide selection of pastries and even a few sandwiches.

The Mill is a great place to hang out after visiting Licorice International in Lincoln’s Historic Haymarket. It’s located at 800 P Street and is open Monday-Friday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m. to midnight and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. For more information call 475-5522 or see

Do you like hanging out at the Mill? Share your stories by leaving a comment.

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Taste the Licorice Memories Contest

Do you remember the first time you tasted good, old-fashioned licorice? Who shared the experience with you? What about a special event that happened while you were enjoying licorice? Perhaps a recent memory comes to mind—a moment when you rediscovered this tasty treat.

Now close your eyes and taste those licorice memories again. Then tell us your story in 250 words or less. You could win a gift certificate to Licorice International.

The Taste the Licorice Memories Contest will run from December 1, 2008 – January 31, 2009. Entries will be judged on creativity, originality, relevancy and believability. Contest entries exceeding the 250-word limit will be disqualified.

The contest is open to all US residents of any age. You may submit up to three entries per person.

Three prizes will be awarded:
1st place: $50 gift certificate to Licorice International
2nd place: $25 gift certificate to Licorice International
3rd place: $10 gift certificate to Licorice International

Click here to send us your licorice memories by e-mail (or send to Be sure to include complete contact information, including complete name, mailing address, telephone (with area code), and e-mail address. We will use this information only to notify the winners.

By submitting your entry to the Taste the Licorice Memories Contest, you attest to the truth of the story.

Don’t forget – The deadline is January 31, 2009.

Read the winning entry for 2008, written by Clancy Quigley of Fort Wayne, Indiana:

Have you ever wished you could reach into a barrel of licorice and keep all you could pull out? Well I lived that dream and remember it with fondness. I loved licorice and at age 76 I still do. When I was a little girl we lived a few blocks from a licorice factory in Dubuque, Iowa. We could smell it cooking. My brothers and I would go there in the early evening (with permission I think) and enter through a side door (again with permission I think). We would hold one brother by his feet and he would go into the barrel head first and gather up the scraps and pieces of licorice that fell off the production line. We would fill our pockets and scoot out the door. My favorite was the solid pipes. We had such fun. My favorite now is tire treads.

For complete rules, click here.

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Licorice Haiku Contest Winner

Congratulations to Ronda, who won the Licorice Haiku Contest. Here’s her winning haiku:

Little Girl Licorice

Thinking of childhood
Slowly melting in my mouth
Pleased to remember

Ronda and her husband buy licorice at Licorice International for their family and for gifts. They give licorice to “just about everybody.” A bag of licorice makes a great thank-you gift or “Welcome to Nebraska” present.

Ronda likes licorice because it’s a natural product without any fat and with very little sugar. Eating licorice is a relaxing way to satisfy her sweet tooth and even can help settle her tummy.

Her favorite is the Panda licorice from Finland because it’s flavored with molasses and not sugar. For something different, she enjoys Danish Heksehyl licorice, a salty licorice that’s black on the outside with a chewy, lighter colored center. And her kids love the Kookaburra strawberry licorice from Australia.

Honorable mention goes to Frederick for the following haiku:

It was licorice
That gave me the best mouth-feel
Taste I ever had

Special recognition for a youth entry goes to Miresa, age 14:

Licorice is good
It is very yummy too!
I like red, not black

Be watching for a new contest on December 1.
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Monday, November 24, 2008

A Licorice Puzzle

A licorice puzzle. Now that’s something different. My daughters, a friend and I recently tried out Licorice International’s new 308-piece jigsaw puzzle featuring a colorful arrangement of their products. I like puzzles with a complex design like this. It's not frustrating to put together, but still remains a challenge. Definitely more fun than a landscape with an immense blue sky or massive amounts of green grass. It would make a great Christmas gift for a licorice lover or anyone who likes puzzles.

Home Grown Jigsaws Custom Puzzle Factory, which created the puzzle for Licorice International, was founded just two years ago by Omaha puzzle enthusiasts Mike and Sharon Swanson. Other puzzles created by the company feature Omaha landmarks, such as the Henry Doorly Zoo and the Union Pacific trains at Kenefick Park and Lauritzen Gardens.

Because the business is currently transitioning from a part-time side business to a full-time operation, it was selected for the Omaha World Herald’s Small Business Makeover series. Experts in several fields are helping the Swansons develop and market their business. You can read the first article in the series here.

To order the licorice puzzle, click here.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Quit Smoking Naturally with Licorice

Anyone who has tried to quit smoking knows how difficult it can be. But help may come from an unlikely source: licorice. Chewing or sucking on licorice root can help in several ways. First, it just helps to have something in your mouth. Also, because licorice is used as a flavoring agent in cigarettes and other tobacco products, the flavor of licorice can help satisfy your cravings. You can purchase licorice root sticks here.

According to Patrick Holford, a British psychologist specializing in nutrition and mental health, licorice also promotes the action of adrenal hormones, which can be helpful in the withdrawal phase when someone quits smoking. Licorice also acts as an expectorant, which helps clear your lungs. If you prefer candy to licorice sticks, you might want to try Panda licorice. Holford recommends Panda licorice, because it is sweetened with molasses rather than sugar. You can purchase Panda licorice here.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Licorice Haiku Contest Update

Have you been thinking of a licorice haiku? We've extended the deadline for the licorice haiku contest. You now have until Friday, November 21, to finish your haiku.

Remember, haikus are not rhyming poems. Rather they are based on the number of syllables and follow this format:
Line 1: 5 syllables
Line 2: 7 syllables
Line 3: 5 syllables

The only requirement is that your haiku be about licorice. Just send it in an e-mail to The winner receives a $10 gift certificate to Licorice International.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Kokindjes: A Dutch Licorice Favorite

Are you a black licorice fanatic? Or are you hesitant about this whole black licorice thing,
remembering how much you hated the stuff in your childhood? Believe it or not, no matter which camp you’re in, you may want to try Kokindjes licorice from Holland. At my licorice tasting party, both Judi (my licorice lover friend) and Terri (who claimed not to like black licorice before the party) picked Kokindjes as one of their favorites. Besides the taste, they mentioned the soft texture that doesn’t stick to your teeth and the size (just a small button—perfect for a little bite, but not so much that you feel guilty). Another friend commented that after eating Kokindjes, she found American Twizzlers quite tasteless. It’s worth checking out—both for your own eating and as a gift—maybe even for a non-licorice lover. Click here to purchase Kokindjes.

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Licorice Tasting Party

My friends say I’m always doing something interesting. They never know quite what to expect. So they probably weren’t surprised when they got an invitation to a licorice tasting party. On a beautiful November afternoon we gathered in my living room to taste various kinds of licorice from Licorice International.
Guests’ opinions on licorice ranged from “I absolutely love it,” to “I like some kinds of licorice” to “I can’t stand the stuff.” Each gave her own perspective to the discussion. The friend in the “I can’t stand the stuff” category found some kinds of licorice she actually liked, and those in the “I absolutely love it” category gave their emphatic opinions as well.

After the tasting, some stayed to put together a licorice puzzle. I gave the rest of the samples to some friends who stopped by the next day. You’ll be hearing from my guests over the next few weeks, as I share their opinions on licorice.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Eat Licorice. Visit Bad Robot.

Are you looking for a unique gift? Try Bad Robot, a little shop located just down the street from Licorice International in Lincoln’s historic Haymarket District. The little shop is packed with an eclectic mix of items you won’t find anywhere else.
You’ll see everything from home d├ęcor, to “goofy stuff to play with” (to quote co-owner Dan Sloan), to upscale kitchen furnishings and bird feeders, to decorative chickens made from recycled plastic bags.

Local artisans contribute handmade jewelry, clothing and handbags. If you want to express your creativity, pick up a paint-it-yourself Munny figurine. Bad Robot is also the exclusive local outlet for Ospop footwear, canvas trainers designed after classic Chinese worker shoes.

And while you’re shopping, enjoy coffee by the cup or purchase from a selection of high-end teas. Bad Robot is just one of many great shops and restaurants you can visit while you’re in the neighborhood, shopping at Licorice International. We’ll be introducing you to more great places through this blog.

More Info: Bad Robot, 105 North 8th Street., Lincoln, Nebraska. (402)438-6137

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Gotta Cough? Try Licorice!

A friend in Australia suffered from post-nasal drip following sinus surgery, leaving him with a sore throat and sputtering cough. He turned to licorice, his favorite comfort food, and was surprised to find it relieved his symptoms.

His experience was not unique. Since the time of Hippocrates, licorice has been used for medicinal purposes. The Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder recommended using it as an expectorant. The Chinese call licorice "gan cao," and they have used it as medicine for years. Culpeper, a 17th century herbalist, wrote that licorice “was a fine medicine for hoarseness.”

So before you reach for the medicine cabinet, try the candy shelf. Licorice candy, lozenges or tea made from licorice root may be all you need to soothe your symptoms.

Make sure that the word “licorice” is listed in the ingredients. Many American products are called licorice, but are really made with anise seed. Licorice from Europe or Australia usually contains real licorice. Two popular kinds sold by Licorice International include the Kokindjes from Holland and the Black Tire Tread from Finland. To soothe a sore throat, try “Hint Mints.” Licorice Spice caffeine free herbal tea is also made with real licorice root, and just tastes good on a chilly evening.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Mussels in Tomato-Licorice Broth

Imagine making Good and Plenty candies into a gourmet meal. This recipe, from Every Day with Rachel Ray, uses a combination of Good and Plenty candies (available through Licorice International), dry white wine, diced tomatoes, heavy cream, onion and seasonings to create a tangy broth for mussels. For the complete recipe, click here:
Mussles in Tomato-Licorice Broth

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