Gourmet liquorice

Gourmet liquorice

February 7, 2018

Swedish company Haupt Lakrits is reinventing liquorice as a gourmet treat for grown-ups with discerning tastes. Laura Gelder finds out how

It was a trip to Iceland that inspired Haupt Lakrit’s founder Christian Haupt to start making liquorice, because he loved how Icelanders mixed it with chocolate. His goal was clear – to create the best liquorice in the world: sweet and salty, different to those already on the market and combined with high-quality chocolate.

The methods used by Lakrits are very traditional, explains ceo, Rasmus Ragnarsson: “There is only liquorice in our liquorice! This sounds obvious but liquorice is an expensive ingredient and most other makers use just a little bit mixed with other ingredients like fennel.”

At the company’s factory in Kista, just north of Stockholm, the liquorice is boiled for 10 hours and then matured for up to eight weeks to develop a deeper, more complex flavour.

Lakrits’ first products, Chok and Krisp, were both chocolate-coated liquorice – one with a crispy sugar crust and the other one rolled in Asian liquorice powder.

Now the range includes sweet and salty pure liquorice, chocolate-coated liquorice and liquorice products for cooking such as powder and granules. Local and international-inspired flavours have been added including the astringently salty Salmiakki flavour favoured by northern Europeans, and Citron – salty liquorice with white chocolate, lemon, lime, bergamot and yuzu.

For those who have gone through their lives hating liquorice (like me), Lakrits is surprisingly subtle and the addition of the chocolate makes it far more palatable.

Lakrits’ founder, Christian Haupt, believes liquorice is changing and says: “Most people are surprised by how intense and ‘grown-up’ our liquorice can taste. Many people only discovered dark, high-quality chocolate after eating milk chocolate. We’re sure the same will happen with liquorice and we believe that many people will pay more attention to the origins of the ingredients, manufacturing methods and what additives are used”.

Check out the Lakrits website and you’ll see grown-up tasting notes accompanying each product – telling you to pair the Citron with a sweet reisling; and the Fika (espresso and coconut-flavoured liquorice), with coffee.

Lakrits has developed some limited edition flavours too, including some festive editions using traditional Christmas spices and lingonberry flavours and the romance-themed Karlek, combining dried rose petals, rose oil, strawberries, raspberries, vanilla and chocolate – now flying with SAS. Lakrits can also be found on Finnair and with travel retailer Dufry.