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Liquorice or Licorice or even sometimes the French Réglisse is a spice or ingredient for herbal teas. Liquorice is the spice that gives the flavour of the liquorice sweets. Quite rare nowadays but some health shops still stock some liquorice sticks for you to chew on. The liquorice sticks are actually the root.

Liquorice comes from the woody tap-root of the liquorice shrub.

Liquorice's aroma is mild and sweet, with a hint of damp grass. Liquorice's flavour is bitter at the start, then becomes naturally sweet and distinctly anise-like, a taste that lingers and is freshening.

Rarely used on its own, but add liquorice to fruits when stewing them or in an apple and pear crumble for an interesting anise flavour. In Morocco, liquorice powder is used to flavour snails and octopus. Liquorice is, also, used to flavour Asian spiced stocks to complement star anise that is used in these.

Further reading

  • Hemphill, I., Hemphill, K. (2014) The Spice and Herb Bible, Robert Rose. ISBN: 9780778804932.
  • Norman, J. (2015) Herbs & Spices: The Cook's Reference, DK Publishing. ISBN: 9781465435989.