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Native to the Mediterranean region and western Asia, liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra, also known locally as "bear's dung") is a perennial of the legume family, subfamily papilionaceous. Only in late summer do bluish-purple and white butterfly flowers appear in short, upright spikes. The roots harvested in autumn are used to make liquorice candy. Its healing properties for certain illnesses (expectorant and antispasmodic) have been known since ancient times. The Greeks and Romans used the juice (Succus Liquiritiae) to treat stomach ulcers and asthma. A root was also found in the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Tut-Ench-Amun.

Lakritze - Holz und Süßigkeiten

The root bark contains glycyrrhizin (a glycoside), which gives liquorice its characteristic sweet, spicy and warming flavour and has 50 times more sweetening power than cane sugar. Certain red wine varieties and the wines made from them have this easily recognisable taste. These are Cabernet Sauvignon, Monastrell, Petit Verdot, Nebbiolo (in Barolo), Pinotage Syrah and Tannat. See also under flavourings.

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