Thursday, April 12, 2012

April 12: National Licorice Day and National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day/Month

National Licorice Day

I like licorice.  Well, I should clarify - I like licorices except true licorice and European licorice.  Confused?  Well, "true licorice" is the black licorice that is made from the extract of the licorice plant's root.  ("Black licorice" is a US retronym- thank you Wikipedia!)  I definitely prefer the strawberry, apple, etc, flavors of licorice.  I'm particularly fond of the soft, flavored licorices of Darrell Lea, an Australia-based licorice maker.  You can find Darrell Lea licorices regularly at Cost Plus World Market.

As for European licorice, I couldn't bring myself to taste it.  Like I said, I don't like black licorice.  My Eurpean friends all think the US is nuts, since to them, the only licorice is black licorice.  Everything else is a different candy.  European licorice apparently also has a slightly salty taste to it.  My European friends swear that Panda Licorice is the only licorice in the US that is anything close to what they consider licorice.  (Which makes sense, because Panda Licorice is a Finnish company.)

International Licorice has a list of ideas for celebrating National Licorice Day.  And apparently, for the third  year in a row, Red Vines celebrates by having a sweepstakes.  KCET has photos that depict various types of licorice.  I Love Licorice serves up the history of licorice before enticing you to order specialty licorices. 

National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day/Month

Today is National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day and April just happens to be National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month!  I like to think that everyone knows how to make grilled cheese sandwich, but I have to give directions over the phone on how to make a grilled cheese sandwich.  And, no, using an iron is not the way to make a grilled cheese sandwich.

The bread!
So in honor of today/this month, I opted to make a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner.  I know some people like to only have grilled cheese sandwichese with soups, but I figured the one sandwich would be enough for me.  I use whatever cheese I have on hand - I'm not picky, as long as it's good cheese.  Some friends swear that the only way to make grilled cheese sandwiches are with cheddar while others root for American cheese.  Personally, I love pepper jack or habanero jack cheeses as filling.
The cheese!
I did make it a little more trouble than necessary because I used Atlantique Baby Swiss Lactalis (I'm not sure which of that is brand name or some other designation) which is a hard cheese and low in latose.  The cheese didn't melt very well, so I turned the stove down and let the sandwich cook slowly, so I  could have melted cheese in my sandwich but no burnt bread.  I also used homemade 50-50 bread, which is perfect for sandwiches.

So however you make a grilled cheese sandwich, celebrate today with a grilled cheese sandwich as an easy meal or snack.
The sandwich!  (Made with the help of butter, not
pictured.  Poor butter.  No photo.)

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