Rooting for liquorice
Kitchen Garden|September 2021
With its distinctive flavour, liquorice is one of those tastes you either love or hate. It comes from the root of a Middle Eastern herb called Glycyrrhiza glabra and Emma Rawlings explains how to grow it
Emma Rawlings

The story goes that medieval knights of the Crusades brought the liquorice plant home and the Dominican monks who settled in Yorkshire grew it in their herb gardens. The loamy free-draining soils of this area were found to be good to grow liquorice and the sap from the root was extracted to treat coughs and stomach complaints. In the 18th century a local man, George Dunhill, added sugar to the liquorice, creating the Pontefract cake as a liquorice sweet treat. The famous black discs stamped with an image of Pontefract Castle can still be bought today.

HOW ARE LIQUORICE SWEETS MADE?

The dried root is crushed and pulped in hot water and the sap of it is extracted. It is dried into a powder and this is mixed with other ingredients such as anise, wheat flour and syrup and heated and then put into moulds or put through extruders to create lengths or twists of liquorice.

HOW TO GROW

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