Most liquorice these days comes from China or Australia but liquorice root, which spontaneously seeded in Calabria, has been a traditional crop for many centuries in this sunny southernmost region of Italy.

When we visited Antonio’s company Naturemed, which evolved from the well known Zagarese company of 1886, we watched the root, certified as organic, not only being harvested from the fields but also being processed into small tablets of pure liquorice.


Our 1886 liquorice range is made in the original Calabrian ‘Zagarese’ liquorice company factory from locally grown, certified  organic Calabrian liquorice root.

The range includes pure liquorice tablets in a small tin, a variety of soft black liquorice shapes which contain 6% pure liquorice extract whilst most soft liquorice only contains 3%, and intriguing liquorice pebble sweeties. In addition there are some unusual dark liquorice filled chocolates which are especially delicious.


SOFT LIQUORICE with 6% liquorice content
spirals 100g     
ropes 60g     
sticks per box

All the above are certified organic by ICEA

18 chocolates 82g    (not certified organic)

The botanical name for liquorice is Glycyrrhiza glabra.   Liquorice has been used since the third century for medicinal purposes and is particularly well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties, although it is contra-indicated for people suffering from high blood pressure.

The Production Process

The root is first ground into fibre and its sweet juices extracted and purified by a series of sieving, centrifuging and heating processes, producing cakes of pure dark liquorice.

The small tablets which are sold in tins are 100% pure liquorice, made from dicing the liquorice which has been rolled out in sheets, whereas the soft liquorice is made from combining liquorice (6%) with organic cane molasses, wheat flour, salt, vegetable oils and bees wax. Most soft liquorice on the market has only 3% liquorice content, but the 1886 organic range contains 6% liquorice.