The liquorice from Uzès: from Molière to Haribo
A speciality from Uzès city (Gard), the liquorice (réglisse in French) is available in drops, mellow or hard candies... often flavoured, especially with anise. They get the plant’s juice by crushing the fresh root and boiling it.
The little history
The medicinal liquorice scientist name is Glycyrrhiza glabra (glycyrrhiza means "sweet root" in Greek) and it comes from Asia, southern Europe and Middle-East. In Uzès, they make liquorice candies since 1862. But where? In the famous Zan factory, founded by Henri Lafont! Oh, it was owned by Haribo in 1897...
Tea and poultice
Chemists used liquorice since ages: in herbal tea, in decoction, it cures cough. It’s also very diuretic and cures inflammations. Besides, in Molière’s Tartuffe play, we can read: Vous toussez madame. Vous plaît-il un morceau de jus de réglisse?, which means "You cough... would you like a liquorice juice?"
Liquorice contains glycyrrhizin, a property suited to this plant, which gives it this delicate flavour... so they used to make drinks with it! Don’t you know coco? A kind of decoction, a tea flavoured with steep liquorice and lemons: in Paris, during the 18th century, this recipe was a smash hit!