Sunday 24 March 2019

Sunday Snap – Liquorice Town

We were at the Royal Church for last week's Sunday Snap. I asked what church it was and the answer is

Westminster Abbey

Rejoicing with the right answer were Sarah, Mary, Anne and Kara.

This week we are off to West Yorkshire. The bare looking bush above may seem a bit dead but it's not the branches above ground that are important but the roots underneath the soil. It is planted in the grounds of a now ruined 12th century castle. The castle was an important centre as a strategic base for the earls, dukes and royalty of the time. It is thought that liquorice first came to the town from the Middle East during the Crusades. Although the plant didn't flower in the colder English climate it was suited to the soft soil around the town which allowed its long roots to grow.

Originally the sap from the roots was used by the monks living in the town monastery for medicinal purposes. By combining it with other herbs it was used to treat coughs and stomach complaints. In the 17th century a major landowner in the area named Sir George Saville decided to turn them into black coloured lozenge shape and market them as 'cakes' with the town's name at the beginning. He also stamped them with his initials.

The product became so popular that great areas of the town were given over to the cultivation of liquorice. Large parts of the castle grounds were also used as well. In 1760 a local chemist called George Dunhill decided to add sugar to the recipe and the 'cake' turned from being medicine to a sweet. The success of the new sweet meant that the town could not keep up with the demand for liquorice as other companies started to produce the sweet as well. The raw ingredients had to be sourced Spain, Italy and Turkey. Over the years liquorice growing in the town declined dramatically and now only a couple of ornamental bushes remain. Dunhill's factory still exists in the town but is now owned by German sweet manufacturer Haribo. This week's question is

Which town is known for its liquorice sweets?

We were joined last week by Susan and an unicorn. Sarah was celebrating a teenager's birthday. The crochet hooks has been in use at Anne's as she has been busy with the wool. Kara has been celebrating an engagement and trying out the Guinness in Ireland. The harvest in New Zealand has been turned into a work of art as captured by Betty. Finally, Mary spotted an eye in the reflection.

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Sunday Snap

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  1. I'd love a pontefract cake today! Haven't seen them for years.

  2. I don't know where liquorice comes from, I love the taste of it though. Thanks for hosting.

  3. Harrogate town? Thanks for sharing.

  4. I am not sure, but it is beautiful. I love the interesting information you supply too xx


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