Made from the root of a bushy legume, liquorice can be bought resembling twigs, or slivers of a branch. Add it to slow-cooked dishes like pork curry, lamb stew and braised oxtail. It has a lovely sweet taste and an anise character to it. Interestingly, most liquorice is used by the cigarette industry as it masks some of the character of tobacco.
Liquorice is used to flavour sweetened confectionery of the same name, although only small amounts are actually used - the flavour mostly coming from aniseed oil.
In the south of Italy and Spain, liquorice roots are dug up, washed and chewed as a mouth freshener. Also in Italy, sweets from the unsweetened extract are eaten. It is also made into a liqueur. Liquorice is sold as a drink in Syria and Egypt and is used by brewers to flavour and colour porter beers.