Liquorice Know-How

A few facts concisely told, informative and worth the read for a liquorice deep dive. What are the ingredients in liquorice? What is salmiac? How long have these black delicacies been available? This is where we chat away through our years of liquorice knowledge!

kadó Liquorice Store

What is liquorice made of ?

Liquorice is boiled out of liquorice roots and is a purely vegetable natural product. Pure liquorice is black, hard as candy and has an intense sweet-bitter taste. The black colour results from the vegetable carbon dissolved in the cooking process. Liquorice, botanically Glycyrrhiza glabra, belongs to the family of legumes and butterfly flowers. Only the roots of the liquorice plant are relevant for the production of liquorice. Harvesting is difficult because the roots grow vertically and branch out there.

Liquorice root - the raw material for liquorice making
Liquorice root - the raw material for liquorice making
Own harvest of the Süßholzgesellschaft zu Bamberg
Own harvest of the Süßholzgesellschaft zu Bamberg
Glycyrrhiza glabra - the botanical name of liquorice roots

What is in liquorice ?

Liquorice recipes usually consists the following ingredients: sugar, glucose syrup, starch, liquorice extract, gelling agent, flour (wheat, rice, corn), salt, depending on taste also salmiac salt, flavors, glazing agents: anise oil, carnauba or beeswax, color: vegetable carbon, with coloured liquorice, other food colouring. Gelling agents can be: gum arabic, gelatin, pectin. 

Gum arabic is the resinous plant sap of some acacia tree species and therefore a vegetable gelling agent. The resin from Sudan is often used in confectionery production. To obtain the resin, the trunk of the acacia tree is carved, the emerging resin is removed, cleaned and prepared for use in the food and confectionery industry.

Gelatin is a high-quality protein that is low in calories and fat, free of cholesterol and sugar. Gelatin has hardly any allergenic potential and contains 18 amino acids, 9 of which 10 are essential. Because of its good gelling properties, it is used used in the food and confectionery industry, in tablet production and in the photo paper industry. Gelatin consists largely of pork rinds and bones, which come from registered slaughterhouses and are boiled and cleaned several times at high temperatures in the manufacturing process.
If you would like to get to know the gelatin-free liquorice varieties at kadó, click the "gelatin-free" button in the flavor category of your choice.

Pectin is obtained by boiling out vegetable raw materials (apple, citrus, beet). The ability to form gels is used naturally when preserving jam. Pectins are also increasingly being used as a substitute for gelatin in the confectionery and food industries.

Gluten, also known as glue protein, is a grain protein and is crucial for the baking properties of a flour. Cereals and their flours made from corn, buckwheat, rice, millet and potatoes are gluten-free.
If you would like to know which licorice varieties are gluten-free at kadó, you can click the "gluten-free" button in each taste category and make your choice of licorice.

Salmiac salt has been known as rock salt since ancient times. The one used in the ammonia liquorice is an artificially produced ammonium chloride. "Liquorice for adults" has an ammonium chloride content between 2% and 7.99%. High salt and | or ammonia consumption can drive up blood pressure. Together with the circulation-stimulating glycerrhicin of the liquorice root, it is therefore only suitable for the little ones in very small amounts.

Maltitol is a sugar substitute that for example is obtained from corn starch. Maltitol is used in sugar-free and low-calorie foods for diabetics.

Liquorice is cooked from liquorice roots
Liquorice is cooked from liquorice roots
Gum arabic
Gum arabic

How is liquorice made?

If you would like to get an idea of how liquorice is actually manufactured, please click »Photo Gallery Liquorice Manufactory« to find your way to our gallery. Here you will be able to see, step by step, how our Ginger Carées are made, by hand, by our own secret recipe. This recipe was commissioned by kadó and developed in the food laboratory. 5 kg of base mass were boiled and portioned with various ginger flavours. The ginger macerate from PSM (Prussian liquor manufacturer) brought from kadó gave the liquorice the most delicious ginger note and has been used for our ginger liquorice ever since.

Liquorice cooking on behalf of our recipe with ginger
Liquorice cooking on behalf of our recipe with ginger
Making Pane Liquirizia
Making Pane Liquirizia

Where does liquorice come from ?

In the 15th century liquorice was grown in Bamberg, Germany, and was an important economic branch for the city. The Bamberger Süßholzgesellschaft, founded in 2010, remembers its roots and is growing again on a small scale. More efficiently liquorice grows in Mediterranean and Central Asia. The use of liquorice roots is closely tied to people's cultural history, as the early sources show. In Egypt, liquorice as a funeral gift should quench hunger and thirst on the last trip. For this purpose, generals also used the roots on long marches. A lot has been brewed in every era in the medical and herbal kitchen. Liquorice, however, emerged as an integral part of the "medicine chest" because of its positive effects on the throat and stomach. This is still true today.

Liquorice from all over Europa
Liquorice from all over Europa

How did liquorice become a candy?

How and when it turned from black gold to the valued candy is not entirely clear. Legends surround the Dunhill family, liquorice farmers in Pontefract, Yorkshire, England. They offered the root and, when cooked out, liquorice loaves on the market on. When the "Pane Liquirizia" was prepared, a sugar pot slipped into the dough, creating a new taste. Flour was added, and suddenly different liquorice recipes were possible. Since 1760, Dunhill has been credited with the development of "pharmacist liquorice" into a delicious black and colorful candy.
Generational companies have become rare, but kadó tracks them down. Precisely because they still produce high quality and varied aromatic liquorice in their traditional craft.
Industrial production shapes the broad taste, culturally different depending on the country. If the liquorice snail is predominant in Germany, the double-salted liquorice is double in Holland. And we at kadó want to show exactly this range of liquorice variety and put together our liquorice mixes by hand.

How healthy | unhealthy is liquorice ?

"Liquorice rooted his roots or held the juice in his mouth until it gently crept down,
quench your thirst, satisfy your hunger, be pampered by the liver, the hot stomach, bewitching the
sodt, cleans chest and lungs, makes eject, relieves the harsh cold and air pipe, softens
the posts and ulcers. If it is given fruitfully against hostility,
cough, severe breathing, lung addiction and side effects ... "
(Malthiolus, 1563)

The current state of knowledge confirms the calming effect on the throat and stomach. Attention: Glycyrrhizin, the active ingredient of liquorice, stimulates the circulation, which is why the consumption of the pure, naturally bitter liquorice extract is only recommended in small quantities (5 g / day). Glycyrrhizin deprives the body of potassium in the event of excessive consumption, while liquorice has a positive role in the treatment of herpes viruses. The antiviral effect is also shown in 2020 in laboratory tests at the University of Essen-Duisburg, in which glycyrrhizin was able to neutralise coronaviruses! Read the press release here.

Packaging at kadó

kadó is also concerned about more sustainable reusability. This is not so easy with food. Plastic packaging has become a problem because it is so durable but is only used once and then thrown away. Moreover, they would have to end up in the yellow bin in order to get back into the raw material cycle. kadó is registered in the packaging register with its sales and service packaging, because "throughout Europe, it applies to packaging that the manufacturer (as well as wholesalers and retailers) of a product also assumes product responsibility for the packaging in the sense of avoidance, reuse and recycling". That is the goal!

We pack our loose liquorice in clear cellulose bags. These Berlin cinemas with kadó liquorice at the counter also switched to plastic-free cellulose bags. Cellulose is easily recyclable if it goes into the blue paper bin. However, the bags are not as barrier-resistant as plastic, moisture can get in and out more easily. So: consume quickly, for example on a cinema visit. Or decant into a bonbonniere with a lid.
We also ship our liquorice in the same liquorice boxes in which it was delivered to kadó. The wonderful hazel mix stays fresh longer in the plastic pots, which are made from fossil fuels - but have a very positive effect on the CO2 balance because they are recycled. Unlike paper, the pots can be recycled umpteen times when they end up in the yellow recycling bin. And in comparison to renewable raw materials, no agricultural land is used.

What is cellulose?

Cellulose is made from wood | wood residues, i.e. it is produced from renewable raw materials. The wood pulp (cellulose) is dissolved in caustic soda (NaOH) and carbon disulphide (CS2). This produces pure, transparent cellulose, which is mixed with glycerine. The cellulose bags can be composted in the home compost with the necessary time. For quick disposal in the city, please use the blue paper bin so that they enter the waste cycle in an environmentally friendly way.

Whether plastic or renewable raw material, both have their pros and cons. One thing is certain: the search for the best possible environmentally friendly packaging will accompany us in the future.

Liquorice rolls in cellglas bag
Liquorice rolls mix in cellglas bag
Liquorice for the cinemas in cellulose
Liquorice for the cinemas in cellulose
kado liquorice in new splendour of cellglas
kado liquorice in new splendour of cellglas
To top of page