The origins of Liquorice
Love it or hate it, liquorice’s herbaceous, warm, spicy and fresh taste is popular globally with Alexander the Great and even Caesar seen to be consuming it in the history books. But what gives it its irresistible flavour? Liquorice contains an organic compound commonly known as anethole which is similarly found in fennel, dill and several other plants. This very flavour is what causes liquorice to also be used as a sweetener alongside being combined with other flavours including caramel liquorice, strawberry liquorice and mint liquorice. These combinations originated in Yorkshire just three hours from our shop in Cambridge; liquorice was grown here for the first time in the UK and mixed with sugar becoming its sweet form.
Since the days of Pharaohs and monarchs, the liquorice flavour can not only be found in sweets but also in soft drinks and some herbal teas to provide the well-loved sweet aftertaste. It has also been recognised for its medicinal value where it is used to provide a more pleasant taste to medicine.
Whilst liquorice can provide a sweet disguise, it can also have a salty taste – in small and thin sticks, the taste has stronger salty undertones whereas, in thicker sticks, they are sweeter. Whilst these flavours are loved by many, those craving a more bitter and intense taste can be found consuming pieces of liquorice made from 100% liquorice extract – a snack found predominantly in Italy and Syria.
These sticks varying in size can also be moulded into different shapes creating fun and innovative designs. The most popular example of this in the UK is liquorice allsorts – a collection of coloured liquorice confectionary sold as a mixture. These are commonly created through a corn-starch moulding process involving the heating and cooling of liquid liquorice enabling producers to create batches of various forms of liquorice sweets. This includes liquorice pipes, sticks, fruits and squares.
However you like your liquorice, salty, bitter, round, square or even circular, we are sure to have something you will find irresistible on our website. Or, take a trip to our store in Cambridge and browse our liquorice hamper as a treat for yourself or the perfect gift for a friend.
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