Saturday, January 31, 2009

Anise Drops from France

When I invited friends to sample candies from Licorice International, a good friend from the Middle East was particularly impressed with the Flavigny anise mints, each one made from a single aniseed covered in sugar. In the Middle East anise is traditionally used to aid digestion and help breath. The mild flavor and anise in the Flavigny mints would make them a good after dinner candy, my friend said.

I became intrigued by these candies in the beautiful tin and wondered how anise made its way to France. A little research turned up some intriguing facts about Flaginy, France, the place where these drops come from.

Flavigny-sur-Ozerain is located about an hour from Dijon in Burgundy and was the location for the filming of the movie Chocolat. It’s been called one of the most beautiful villages in France. Flavigny is named after Flavien, a Roman traveler who brought anise seeds there from Syria in 52 B.C. The Benedictine Abbey of Sainte Pierre, founded in Flavigny in 717, began coating the seeds in sugar. No one knows when they first developed the process, but the candies are mentioned in a document as early as 872. The monks continued to make these delicious candies until the French Revolution, when the monastery was given to several families, who continued the process.

Today the village is a popular tourist spot and one of the “must see” spots is the Abbey, where free samples of anise candy are given out.

You can order three kinds of Flavigny anise mints from Licorice International. Each one comes in a beautiful tin. Click on the name to order.

Anise Drops. Simple goodness, made from aniseed, natural flavorings and sugar.

Liqourice Mints. An anise drop flavored with licorice extract, to give more of that licorice flavor.

Violet Drops. A tiny anise drop with a hint of violet.
Click here to return to the main blog page.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Just a few more days to enter our contest

Our "Taste the Licorice Memories" contest ends this Saturday. That means you have just a few days to send us your favorite licorice memory.

You can find complete instructions for the contest here or below at "Taste the Licorice Memories Contest." Be sure to send your entries by e-mail to and include complete complete contact information, including name, address, telephone and e-mail address. We look forward to hearing from you!

Click here to return to the main blog page

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Olga Celebrates 80th Birthday at Licorice International

Pictured from left to right: Elizabeth, Olga and her son, and Ardith

While celebrating her 80th birthday, Olga and her family visited our store in Lincoln. Olga's daughter-in-law Jayne wrote: "Thank you so much for helping us celebrate Olga's birthday during our visit to your store on Jan 12th. It was a cold, blustery day to be out but we had fun once we got inside your store." Olga's favorite treat was the ever popular , Kenny's Peach Twists.

Click here to return to the main blog page.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Great Recipe: Licorice Allsort Slice

Here's a special treat for a cold January evening: Licorice Allsort Slices. Not only is it yummy, it just looks great, because it uses multi-colored Licorice Allsorts. Click on the link to see the recipe.

Licorice International sells two different kinds of Licorice Allsorts. Bassett's Allsorts from England (available by clicking here) or RJ's Allsorts from New Zealand (Available by clicking here.)

This recipe is from Australia, where licorice is very popular. Here are some hints for converting the recipe to U.S. measurements and ingredients:

125g butter equals about one half cup (one stick)
Instead of golden syrup, you can use corn syrup or equal parts corn syrup and honey
Marie sweet biscuits are similar to shortbread cookies. 250g equals about 9 ounces.
Desiccated coconut is flaked, dried coconut. To dry coconut, spread it evenly on a cookie sheet and bake in a 250-degree oven. Check it often to make sure it doesn't burn.
375g Licorice Allsorts equals a little over 13 ounces. You can use one bag of Basset's Allsorts and have a few left over to sample.
200g dark cooking chocolate equals about 7 ounces.
Copha is hydrogenated coconut oil. You can substitute shortening. 30g equals about 2 tablespooons.
Because the pan measurements are for the base, you can use a regular 9 x 13 baking pan.

Click here to return to the main blog page.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Licorice International Featured in Strictly Business

Licorice International's new and improved eCommerce website was featured on the website of Strictly Business, a local magazine spotlighting significant business news. Click here to see the article.

Click here to go back to the main blog page

Monday, January 12, 2009

Eat Licorice, Read a Good Book

Just a block away from Licorice International, you’ll find Indigo Bridge, a new local bookstore and coffeshop that’s offers something a bit different.

I felt at home right away in the welcoming space of the store, with its old-fashioned coffee house feel, shelves filled with fascinating books, and the amazing tree sculpture that looks out over a bright children’s area. It’s more than just another bookstore. Every book on the shelves was hand-picked, either by owners Bob and Kim Coleman, their family, or their employees. A large display showcases books by local authors.

The toys and gift-items were also carefully selected. Handmade jewelry, journals and bags help support artisans in the third world. Locally roasted Cultiva coffee and a wide assortments of teas, sodas and pastries, as well as free wi-fi are all available in the coffeehouse.

Indigo Bridge welcomes groups of all kinds to gather in their coffeehouse area. A church group and writers group currently meet there on a regular basis, and book discussion groups are planned for the future.

If you purchase a cloth bag and bring it with you each time you shop, you can receive a 10 percent discount. The store also offers an additional 10 percent discount for educators (including homeschoolers). My friend Suzy, who homeschools, put it this way: “Wow! My dreams have come true! I can support a locally owned bookstore, drink locally roasted, free-trade coffee AND still get a 20% discount.”

Located inside the Creamery Building at 701 P Street, Indigo Bridge is open Monday-Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday from noon-10 p.m.

Click here to go back to the main blog page.