Mar 18, 2011
FOODIE FRIDAY -- L is also for LICORICE
LICORICE....it's not just that black candy that you either love or despise. The essence and flavor or commonly used in a myriad of cuisines across the globe. Other herbs and spices of similar flavor include anise, star anise, tarragon, and fennel. Aniseed essence is commonly used in place of true licorice in candies, and hard, salty licorice candy is favored in many parts of Europe, especially The Netherlands.
Here's a little culinary trivia, courtesy of "what'scookingamerica.net":
licorice - Its botanical name is Glycyrrhiza, from the Greek meaning "sweet root." The taste of the licorice root is so distinctive that its sweetness is detectable in water even when diluted to 1 part licorice to 20,000 parts water.
History: Licorice has a long and honorable history in the service of mankind. The earliest usage of Licorice was back in the first syllables of recorded time. Licorice freaks throughout history have included Pharaohs and Prophets. Men discovered generous supplies in KingTut’s tomb, while Egyptian hieroglyphics record the use of Licorice in a popular beverage in the days when the Bible was still being written! Alexander the Great, the Scythian armies, Roman Emperor Caesar, and even India's great prophet, Brahma, are on record endorsing the beneficial properties contained in Licorice. Warriors used it for its ability to quench thirst while on the march, while others (including Brahma and venerable Chinese Buddhist sages), recognized Licorice's valuable healing properties.
Natural licorice can be effective medicine. For over 3000 years, licorice root has been used as a remedy for peptic ulcers, sore throats and coughs in eastern and western medicine. Licorice root has been used since the third century BC to help dissipate coughs.
image from surrenderdorothy.etsy.com