Family Science

Warty Licorice

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Warty Licorice

Can you make a smooth piece of licorice grow warts? Do this science experiment with the kids to find out!

Time: 5 minutes
Skill level: Get a grown-up

Supplies
Twizzlers licorice twists (the Pull-n-Peel variety works especially well)
Microwave-safe plate
Microwave
(For alternative method: baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper, and oven)

Directions
1. Place the licorice on the plate.
2. Microwave on low or medium heat, checking it every 30 seconds so it doesn’t start to burn. Does your licorice grow warts?

Alternative directions
Place licorice on baking sheet and heat in 300 degree oven. Check back every 5 minutes until you see warts growing.

What’s happening
Licorice, like most soft candy, contains a little water. The warts might be created by water making tiny pockets of steam when it’s heated.

Why doesn’t licorice melt in the oven or microwave? Because licorice contains flour, which doesn’t melt. This also means that by some legal definitions, licorice isn’t actually candy!

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Find more experiments and science fair ideas in the book, Candy Experiments 2 by Loralee Leavitt/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC.

Published: February 2015