History of liquorice

History of liquorice

The story of liquorice

For several millennia, liquorice has been one of the most commonly used remedies in natural medicine. It was for instance used as a throat pastille and that was how it took its place on the candy shelves.

Liquorice comes from the juice of the roots of the plant Glycyrrhiza Glabra. Today, it grows in a belt from North Africa, across the Middle East and to China. Some of oldest recorded uses of liquorice are also found here.

The history of liquorice can be dated to 2300 BC. China's Emperor Shennong had the Divine Farmer's Herb-Root Classic, Pen-Ts'ao, record an entry, where liquorice was a magic plant that rejuvenated ageing men.

The ancient liquorice cure
Liquorice root was also amongst the many treasures found in the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun's tomb from 1350 BC. Scholars still do not know why.

However, we do know that liquorice was a common ingredient in many of the remedies from Ancient Greece. One such is cough medicine. 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.

From medicine to candy
The history of liquorice continues from cough medicine to candy in Italy, France, Germany and England. Many examples of the development of liquorice through the 19th century abound that reminds us of its current use.

Ga-Jol from 1933 is one of the oldest existing liquorice products. It was launched as a throat pastille against hoarse throat and coughing. In the beginning, hard liquorice pastilles like Ga-Jol were intended for sour throats and soft liquorice rods were more popular as children's candy.

Galle & Jessen was founded in 1872 and Høgh's liquorice factory in 1902. Both started out producing boiled sweets, but changed their production to include liquorice and jellies.

The very first products were liquorice shapes, salt pastilles, eucalyptus pastilles and coloured shapes with fruit flavour.

In the twenties, soft liquorice emerged. After many attempts, Høgh's liquorice factory produced the first canes and tooth brushes from liquorice.

Høgh's Lakrids was renamed Pingvin Lakrids in 1962, when Toms bought the company.

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