Licorice Origin and History
Liquorice is an extract of the roots of the glycyrrhiza glabra plant which is native to Southern Europe and Asia. The extract is made by boiling and distilling the plant's root.
The history of the use of licorice goes back to ancient times where it was used for it's medicinal properties, often consumed as a tea. Licorice is thought to have antiinflamitory properties which is why it is often offerd as a losnege to ease a sore throat.
Licorice made it's way to Northern Europe in after the crusades Popular licorice discs called pointer cake were made in England in the 1600's. As sugar became more affordable in 1700's it was added in to the pointer cakes making the candy we are familiar with.
It is the inherent sweetness of the herb that lends it self to use in candies. A wide variety of liquorice sweets are produced around the world. The popular licorice treat in the United Kingdom are liquorice allsorts. Dutch and Nordic liquorice is characteristically salty. Holland has the highest per capita consumption of licorice in the world.