The History of Licorice Candy

The Early “Roots” of Licorice

From traditional black licorice and red licorice to newfangled flavors like lime and blue raspberry, licorice candy has a pretty sweet history. It’s been around for thousands of years as there’s evidence that suggests it was a present in Egyptian, Chinese, Greek, Roman, and Hindu civilizations. Back in its early days, licorice was not the sweet treat as we know it but rather used as an herbaceous plant revered for its medicinal properties. So how did “licorice” become a term used to refer to a type of candy?

Prior to being used in confectionery, licorice was most commonly used as an ingredient to sweeten bread and cakes and was even added to beer. In the 17th century, licorice candy as we knew it appeared in Holland. Licorice root is perfect for use in confectionery as it contains glycyrrhizin, a compound that is said to be 30-50 times sweeter than sugar!

Licorice Plant

How Licorice Candy is Made

By the early 20th century, licorice candy was a popular treat available in a variety of shapes such as pipes, golf clubs, cigarettes, among others. There are two ways to make licorice candies. Some companies use a molding process where a liquid licorice mixture is poured into individual molds. Upon cool, the candies are released from the molds and are ready to be packaged. The other method of producing licorice candy is by extrusion. This method produces licorice ropes and laces. The ingredients for these treats is boiled until it becomes the consistency of dough and is then extruded through formers that give the candy it’s shape.

Licorice Extruder

Licorice Candy Available at Royal Wholesale

At Royal, we love licorice! That’s why we source the best variety of wholesale licorice you’ll find anywhere. Whether you’re looking for traditional black licorice twists, soft licorice, or salted licorice, we have bulk black licorice candies of all kinds. Also be sure to check out our Allsorts, licorice cats and scottie dogs, and bridge mix. They’re all terrific options for bulk candy bins. If you’re interested in seeing prices for our licorice candies, please create an account to shop with us.