To the uninitiated, the rough, hard, fibrous brown root of liquorice plant looks like any other dried root. Yet liquorice has a distinct taste that some people like and others loathe.
First it must be cooked to extract the flavour, which then can be used in ice creams, candies and drinks. It also provides the glossy deep dark black colour to molasses or treacle.
Today, few people would ascribe medicinal qualities to liquorice but traditional Chinese medicine doctors still prescribe it to people who suffer from stomach, bowel and blood diseases. Supposedly it sweetens breath!
Liquorice is used in sweet, salty, mild, or strong candies.
Ice cream makers swear by liquorice-flavoured deep-grey confections and gladly recommend to anyone who cares to ask.
If you purchase strong black liquorice, simmer the sweets and roots in milk to use for ice cream. You will sure be surprised how pleasantly different you ice cream tastes.