I’m not talking about Marmite which is a definite love or hate sort of a thing, or olives, another food people can’t be indifferent to, but liquorice. I happen to love liquorice, and having looked at a list of other things people love or hate, I realise I love most of them and most of them have strong distinctive flavours, bitter, sour, salty and what you might call mouth feel or texture.
To me liquorice, made from a root, is absolutely delicious, and I’ve always liked it since being a child, although then I think the what we had then was very sweet, much sweeter than I could eat now. At Christmas we were given smoking kits made from liquorice, which seems wrong on so many levels! We would have a liquorice pipe, liquorice cigarettes wrapped in very thin paper, and various other things which I don’t remember – as well as a paper pouch of ‘tobacco’ made from toasted coconut! There were black jacks, small square chews, and of course Liquorice Allsorts made by Bassett’s.
It wasn’t however something I ate very often through my life, until I was lucky enough to become friends with a Dutch lady and her family who we visit every year. She introduced me to salty liquorice – the idea seemed extraordinary, liquorice – with salt? I’m always prepared to try any new food and not just give it one try and make a judgement, but to give it a fair good tasting. It wasn’t long before I realised that I really, really liked salty liquorice, maybe better than the sweet variety! Whenever we go to the Netherlands I buy several bags, to keep me going!
I mentioned I’d come across a list of things people either really love or really hate, with no grey areas: Some of the things on the list I wouldn’t think should strictly be on it, for example tinned tuna, sushi or tofu, and lots of people don’t mind coffee without loving or hating it. Coriander is a strange one because a percentage of people have a genetic sensitivity to the aldehydes in it, rendering the taste of the fairly innocuous herb is absolutely vile to them
- Blue cheese
- Canned tuna