Species: Glycyrrhiza glabra
Other names: Russian licorice, Spanish licorice, Turkish licorice
Appearance: The root is thin and woody, and when dried and ground, the powder is a beige color.
Typically used: Powdered
Origin: Licorice root is native to India, Southern Europe, and Asia. It has a long history of medicinal use in Chinese medicine. It was also used by the troops of Alexander the Great to help with stamina and thirst on long marches.
Flavor: Sweet and reminiscent of anise and fennel.
Culinary uses: Licorice root can be used as a sweetener, though it does not contain any sugar. Licorice is used commonly in candies, and is commonly mixed with anise and mint flavors. The root can also be steeped like a tea. In Chinese cuisine, licorice root is added to broths or made into a marinade with soy sauce.
Other uses: Through the years, licorice root has been used as relieve thirst, increase stamina, improve the flavor of bitter herbs or to temper spicy or overcooked food. It has been used as a foaming agent in fire extinguishers and as a flavor in tobacco.