Licorice is a classic and popular sweet that you can find on any corner, both in street stalls and in the form of candies or even in drink ingredients. The curious thing is that few dare to grow it at home , perhaps because there is a lot of discussion about this product with a somewhat bittersweet but aniseed flavor at the same time.
The truth is that if you like cooking, you can get out of the basic scheme by incorporating this ingredient into some preparations. Much better if it is fresh and from your garden.
Origin and history
Licorice or Glycyrrhiza glabra belongs to the Fabaceae family and its origins date back to Mediterranean Europe and Asia Minor, although today it is grown in many parts of the world. It is common to find it in humid places , such as riverbeds, ravines, valleys, etc. The part of the plant that is used as an ingredient is the root, a condiment that has been used for centuries.
The plant should be grown in full sun and preferably in places that repeat the climatic conditions of its place of origin: the Mediterranean climate. Keep in mind that it is a plant that is not resistant to frost. In addition, it needs deep soil so that its thick roots can grow well. It must be sandy, moist and rich in organic matter, so remember to incorporate fertilizer.
You can plant the seeds or cuttings in spring and in the ground, at a depth of ½ inch and with a distance between plants of 60 cm.
irrigation and harvest
We were talking about a humid soil, so irrigation is important, which must be continuous but avoiding excess water so as not to rot the roots.
As for the harvest, you have to know that it is a long-growing plant that can only be harvested after three years from sowing. The reason? The roots must be strong enough.
The harvest takes place from October to March, gently cutting the roots to allow the plant to sprout again.