Friday, May 20, 2005

Lakrisal: Compressed Bliss

My absolute favourite it has to be said, even after 40 years of liqs eating experience, is liquorice powder or zwartwit (as the Dutch would have it) zout. Zwartwit obviously means mischief.

The real thing, which is woody and salty with the sugar not tasting through, is not always easy to find. Dutchliquorice kindly sent me a few tubs on special request with my last order (they now list it online, but they usually sell wholesale, so you need to put in a large-ish order—not easy when you're the only liquorice eater around). Even in Holland I am often unlucky. It is perhaps miraculous that I came across this stuff at all, but it was ocassionally on sale by market traders and on fun fairs when I was a kid. Only ocassionally, mind. Liquorice powder was always an elusive speciality.

You'll encounter it more often pressed into drageés of various sizes, but these tend to be sugary and once you taste the sugar or worse, saccharine, it loses all of its appeal and becomes pointless at best, sickly at worst. I have been known to throw away bagfulls of the stuff deemed entirely inedible. So when I went on my last liquorice haunt, I bought just one roll of Lakritsal, another manifestation of these sweets. I wanted to give it a try but at 1£ a throw and after countless earlier disappointments, I wasn't prepared to take a chance.

Yet here it was. The real thing, or as close as I have ever tasted it, to zwartwit zout. I have to get my ass back to London pronto for more. The only reason that this does not score a perfect ten is that it is almost, but not quite ZZ.



Blogger Gus said...

Why not make it yourself. Its pretty cheap and real good. Buy licorice powder at an Asian grocery or from Frontier, it's available. Then buy a pound or two of Ammonium Chloride on ebay and mix 50-50 or to your taste.
I've done it for years.

12:05 PM  

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