Licorice | More About This Spice

Licorice is a graceful, arching, deciduous perennial which grows to about 1.5m. It has a thick, deep taproot and spreads underground via extensive stolons. Above ground it has pinnately compound leaves and loose spikes of purple flowers. Licorice grows particularly well on the rich alluvial plains of Turkey, which, together with Spain and Greece, is still a leading world supplier.

Dessert Platter Including Licorice Ice Cream
Dessert Platter

Licorice prefers a rich, deep, sandy loam and a sunny position. New crops are propagated by rhizome segments planted in spring, but can also be propagated by seed. Portions of rhizome left in the soil at harvest time will generate new plants.

Both the taproot and the rhizomes can be used. They are usually dug when 3 years old and air-dried before being ground and then processed. Licorice root is one of the many spices and herbs used in Chinese master stocks, adding to their intensity and depth of flavour. Add the chopped root sparingly (as it can be bitter) when stewing fruit.

Information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs

When we were in France, Bev and I found licourice bark for sale in one of the shops. We decided to buy some and see how it would work for making tea and baking. I can say, this was not as successful as making use of licourice powder!

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15 thoughts on “Licorice | More About This Spice

  1. I’m sure you’re having a wonderful time in Scotland, Tandy. Enjoy every minute. Thanks for the licorice info. I thought it grew as black sticks. 😉 xxx

  2. I was thinking you must be back home! I love licorice flavor.. it actually makes me feel like a child again, I guess because I used to buy it at the corner store!!

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