Would it surprise you to know that there are records of licorice being consumed by the Pharaohs, Alexander the Great and Roman Emperors? In those days it was more often consumed as a liquid rather than food, but its medicinal benefits and ability to slake thirst were recognized even then. In the Netherlands, where licorice “drop” is one of the most popular forms of sweets, some of the many forms of licorice sold contain aniseed. Mixing it with ammonium chloride creates the very popular salty licorice known in Dutch as zoute drop. In fact, I have memories of my Dutch mother giving me double salt licorice (dubble zoute drop) when I complained of a sore throat as a youngster (no, this was not some form of punishment).
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