“According to many, Lakrids A is instantly addictive”, it says on the label….
Licorice may be addictive to some – in general, it is safe to state that the Dutch are addicted, just have a look at the displays in the supermarkets – but it is indeed an acquired taste. I distinctly recall the disgusted faces from a few Japanese colleagues when we exchanged native sweets. 😇 I was quite surprised about that as I expected that the sweet/salty flavor would be right up their alley.
Lakrids hails from Denmark, and their Larks A is soft licorice coated with Belgian chocolate and dusted with licorice powder. It sounds like a weird combination – apparently they found it in Iceland – but I found it very good (and highly addictive). The first encounter was via an online gourmet bag subscription a couple of years ago, but couldn’t find any retail outlets in the Netherlands back then. Strangely enough, we found the Lakrids last month in the museum shop of the Norrköping Konstmuseum, Sweden, so it must be considered an art. 😀
They have an interest range, because besides the “regular” liquorice (1 – Sweet, 2 – Salt, 3 – Red liquorice, 4 – Habanero Chili, 5 – Salty Chili Cranberry and Raw Liquorice Drops) and the chocolate covered ones (A – Choc Coated, B – Passion Choc, C – Dark & Coffee Choc and D – Black Liquorice Almonds) they also have seasonal editions and a food line with 2 different types of licorice powder and syrups each.
Cooking with licorice has been “popularised” by Heston Blumenthal’s “Salmon Poached in a Liquorice Gel” as served at The Fat Duck. Unfortunately, Johan Bülow’s cookbook is only available in Danish, but there are some recipes available in English on the website. I must say that I am quite intrigued by the Strawberry Ice Cream with Liquorice and Mint and the Raspberry Buttermilk Soup with Liquorice.
As with many addictions, it comes at a price. A hefty one as Lakrids by Johan Bülow is a “gourmet” brand. A jar of Lakrids A will set you back EUR 9,50 for 150g in their webshop, but as it is small batch production you understand that the bigger price tag. On the upside, the larger jars are (relatively 😅) cheaper at EUR 14 for 250g and EUR 27 for 510g. And there is free shipping for orders exceeding EUR 50….