Other Spices

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About
Apart from the tropical Asian spices, a half dozen others have been important for their use in sweets: one from central Asia, one from Africa, two from the Mediterranean, and two from the Americas.

Licorice root was chewed by the ancient Greeks, to whom it came from the steppes north and east of the Black Sea. That was where English explorers found it again in the sixteenth century while traversing Russia in search of the Silk Road. The origins of licorice are far from tropical, but it is one more of the spices that are of equal interest in China and Europe. See licorice.