Liquorice Wheels are a great way to enjoy liquorice, a never ending spiral unwinding to tantalise the taste buds with a sweet aftertaste.
The flavour liquorice is truly the ultimate marmite, an oxymoron for some as they garner a love-hate relationship with the unique flavour and others – more often than not the older generation of grandparents and aunties and uncles – relish with a fondness.
Did you know? Liquorice has been one of the most commonly used remedies in natural medicine for at least several millennia. It has been used for several medicinal properties, for instance it was used as a throat pastille for its soothing aftertaste – this is actually the ‘medicine’ which led to its venture to our sweet shop shelves!
Before reaching our sweet jars however, ancient Liquorice was considered a treasured ingredient. The history of liquorice can be dated all the way back to 2300 BC where China’s ruler at this time Emperor Shennong had it recorded in an official document concerning the farming situation in China, that liquorice was a magical plant that rejuvenated ageing men. And just across the ocean in Ancient Egypt Liquorice root was found amongst the many treasures in the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb from 1350 BC. Whilst the reason is unknown it’s clear enough the Liquorice was considered worthy of both Emperors and Pharaoh alike!
Liquorice was also a common ingredient in many of the remedies from Ancient Greece. It was this role that liquorice was to play in modern times, where it became a common ingredient in cough syrup because of its relieving and anti-inflammatory effects. The history of liquorice continues from cough medicine to candy in Italy, France, Germany and England. In the 1920s soft liquorice was invented leading to the liquorice sweets we know and enjoy today!