|Lakrids, a German licorice brand|
Some foods and tastes you have to be born with, grow up with or just crazily fell in love with. Otherwise, it simply doesn't work for anyone. As I personally develop a special taste for Asian foods and spices, only late in life, I can understand the sudden love for a specific food or meal. But this doesn't work for all, and not for anyone.
In my case, the dilemma has a name: liquorice. Also written licorice on the other side of the pond, it is a root of sweet flavor extracted in South Europe and parts of Asia, specifically India. It has a star anise taste - which also for me may work or not, depending on the type of taste it is matched with - and used as an ingredient for candies and beverages (tea, but some bold ones will add it to their vodka too) or simply as sweetener. In confectionery, it is used together with starch flour, gum arabica or different types of gellies.
Although the medical research didn't prove scientifically the medical benefits of liquorice, due to its rich concentration of hats and essential oils, it is also often assigned various health qualities such as treating cough, treating malaria, or helping to balance the blood pressure.
However, the food aspects are most sought in liquorice. There are different combinations that can be achieved with it, especially in the case of the red variant, which may add to liquorice cherry, strawberries, cinnamon, apple, mango, watermelon or blackcurrant. In Germany, where is very popular, especially in the Northern part, it is also available in a salty variant.
What am I thinking about it? Do I like it?
Not sure about it? Most experiences I had until now were not positive and I was not a good match for the taste. It may be the heavy concentration of anise taste, the strange sourness and its overall flavor. I am not sure in which combinations to use it - after all, I've found at least two ways to eat carrots without feeling the carrot taste at all - to make it more likeable for my palate.
This is a work in process and as soon as I would make peace with liquorice, I will be happy to share my - hopefully better - experiences.