History of Liquorice
The History of Liquorice.
The use of Liquorice as a medicine and as a sweet dates back long before the biblical era to the beginnings of recorded times. Ancient Egyptians’ pharaohs are believed to have enjoyed chewing liquorice as far back as 2044 B.C., when the first chronicles of that epoch began.
It is recorded more clearly 1500 years later as a favourite of the early Caesars during the founding of the Roman Empire. Buddha himself is said to have enjoyed liquorice, and it was distributed among the troops marching with Hannibal with his elephants over the Alps.
Ivan the Terrible is recorded as enjoying blackening his teeth with the stuff, and the Chinese have ancient potions and remedies dating back thousands of years that use liquorice as a means of curing stomach disorders, distemper, depression and even for ‘disenchanted relationships’.
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The production of liquorice has declined in the Pontefract area over the last 200 years as the popularity of chocolate has boomed, yet it remains very important to the local economy. Special commissions are made from time to time, including for special effects for films. In the James Bond film “Gold-Finger” a villain had to bite through a cable of a cable car, and Pontefract Manufacturers produced a suitable liquorice cable and delivered it direct to the Pinewood Studios.