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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Liquorice goes upmarket

When I wor a lad liquorice grew on trees. Or at least it came out of the ground in nearby Pontefract where it's said they brought it back from the Crusades. We bought it in sticks, in all-sorts, in round medallions called Pomfret Cakes and, when the budget was under pressure, in root sticks which used to sit like stick insects in jars in the sweet shops. It was not a prestige sweet. Even then it was old-fashioned.

And now it's re-appeared as premium priced low-sugar confectionery. It's very often called Australian Soft Eating Liquorice, you can get it at health food shops where it comes in huge soft logs and costs about three quid a bag. You may well love it. Yesterday my wife went to Fortnum and Mason and appeared home with one of those bijou carrier bags that usually contains something expensive and inconsequential. And so it proved. She'd bought about a dozen Pomfret Cakes. For just under three pounds. I'm rationing them out.