I think liquorice is a love it or hate it sort of thing, rather like the yeast spread Marmite. I love both liquorice and Marmite, although not together… actually I’ve ever tried them together! Even as a child I liked strong flavoured things, and not particularity sweet things, so I always loved savoury dishes, and though I ate sweet things and desserts, , salty, sour, bitter were always my preferred flavours.

As a child I think I first came across liquorice in Liquorice Allsorts, and also in liquorice sets such as a smokers set (impossible to imagine now!) where you would get a little cardboard box with a liquorice pipe, liquorice ‘cigarettes’ wrapped in paper, and ‘tobacco’ which I think was toasted sweetened shredded coconut. You might also get a liquorice tool set, with different implements shaped with liquorice. There were also liquorice boot laces, liquorice pinwheels… all sorts of different liquorice sweeties! I never came across liquorice twigs… I’m actually not sure if that is what they were, I think they may have been roots, but they were like twigs which if you chewed them you got the flavour of liquorice… I’ve tasted them, but I don’t remember them from my childhood.

Liquorice comes from the is the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant and is used to flavour all sorts of things, including liqueurs and tobacco… but I know it as a sweet thing! I was so delighted when some Dutch friends sent me some Dutch liquorice… it was salty… but utterly irresistible!


      1. Lois

        It isn’t a fat product at all, it is a yeast product, it has a salty savoury taste, it is very low in calories and is usually spread thinly on toast or bread…. but I like it spread thickly! It has loads of B vitamins so apart from the saltiness it is very healthy!


  1. mariathermann

    Thank you so much for this yummy blog post! I’m a fellow addict and have been since early childhood. I confess I’m bias on this point, but the best liquorice I’ve tasted so far over the last 50 years has always been German produced; they may be better because there is a higher percentage of natural ingredients in them than in Dutch of Scandinavian liquorice. If you happen to come into Cardiff one day, visit the Royal Arcade in the city centre and walk all the way to the end towards High Street. At the very end of the Royal Arcade is a wee shop that sells fantastic liquorice out of big jars:)

    Oh, I loathe Marmite…


      1. mariathermann

        Haribo Katjes…little liquorice kitties…oh yum… I used to smuggle whole suitcases full of Gummibaerchen and Katjes into the UK. Ask for those, I think you’ll adore them.

        When I first came to live in Britain, one could only buy gummy bears at the Swiss Centre at Leicester Square in London…that was more than 30 years ago and now the whole nation seems to be addicted to Haribo wine gums. Shame they don’t sell their liquorice over here.


  2. Isabel Lunn

    What about liquorice with sherbert dip? When I was a child you used to buy a cone of paper with sherbert in and it came with a stick of liquorice which you dippped into the sherbert and then sucked the end of the liquorice.


    1. Lois

      I think I loved the liquorice more than the sherbet – and then there was the sherbet with the liquorice ‘straw’ and you used to suck it through the straw! if you weren’t careful it went straight down your throat or up your nose and what a lot of coughing and sneezing would ensue!


  3. Isabel Lunn

    A brochure arrived today with details of excursions on Yelloway coaches and one of them is to the Pontefract Licquorice Festival on Sunday, 13th July – sounds right up your street.


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