Liquorice is phenomenal for treating a sore throat, and it also shows promise in helping to soothe gastric ulcers. Liquorice is also helpful as a digestive aid. So eat up!
If you are pregnant, stop reading now.
Liquorice extract, believe it or not, has been linked to pre-term labour and has shown to inhibit breast-milk production.
But there has to be something good about it, right?
Indeed, there is. Frances Largeman-Roth, a dietitian and the senior food editor at Health magazine from the US, says that liquorice root is phenomenal for treating a sore throat, and it also shows promise in helping to soothe gastric ulcers.
Most people are familiar with liquorice in its lolly form – a soft, dark-coloured, chewy, sweet treat – but it is also sold as a dried or fresh root, an extract and a powder.
The origin of its name is Greek and means “sweet root” – and sweet it is, with some varieties said to be much sweeter than sugar.
Chef Michael Solomonov, who showcases modern Israeli cuisine at his Philadelphia restaurant Zahav, likens the flavours of liquorice to a little anise, earth, resin, wintergreen – all coming together. He offered these tips for using the root.
Tips for liquorice:
Steep the roots like you would for tea and serve the liquid sweetened with honey.
Grate the root with a zester on warm oatmeal.
Throw a fresh stick in with a pot roast or a braise (with veal shanks, beef shins, lamb shoulder).
Grate on top of sweet potatoes before being broiled (along with a little bacon fat added on top).