Real World Gardener Licorice in Cooking in Spice It Up

September 25th, 2015

REAL WORLD GARDENER Wed. 5pm 2RRR 88.5fm Sydney, streaming live at  and Across Australia on the Community Radio Network.


Real World Gardener is funded by the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF).

The complete CRN edition of RWG is available on , just click on 2RRR to find this week’s edition.


Have you ever wondered where the confection licorice comes from?
Did you ever think that it came from a plant?
Perhaps from a plant’s leaves, the stem, the flower or the roots?
Does the name licorice make your mouth water thinking about the soft mostly sweet confection.


Perhaps you think of your favourite, the Licorice Allsort.
Just imagine if you had a swag of recipes with licorice.
Would they belong in some dream world for the sweet of tooth?
But if manufacturers didn’t add all that sugar and flavour could you use licorice in savoury dishes?

Let's find out by listening to the podcast with Ian Hemphill from


Did it surprise you that Roman soldiers were chewing the dried licorice root all that time ago to give them endurance?

To make confectionary licorice, the licorice root is boiled to make a sort of molasses called Pontifract cakes which is very bitter and very strong.

Apparently you can buy Pontifract cakes in England!

Certainly if you chew the dried root, it’s definitely not the same experience as eating the confection but there is that definite licorice flavour.


Dried licorice root is used to make a Chinese Master Stock.

To make this Master Stock, boil soy Sauce, water and sugar and boil for a few hours with Fennel, Star Anise, Chilli, Black Pepper and Licorice.

Powdered Licorice root can be used to make Licorice Ice-cream.

If you have a herb garden, why not give the licorice plant a go.

It certainly will do well in frost prone areas because it dies down over the winter months and re-shoots in Spring.

If you have any questions growing Glycorrhiza glabra or licorice plant, or have some information you’d like to share, why not email or write in to 2RRR P.O. Box 644 Gladesville NSW 1675.

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