So Why DO the Dutch Love Liquorice??

Have you ever wondered why Liquorice is so synonymous with the Dutch. If you ever visited the wonderful city of Amsterdam you will be amazed by the number of shops specialising in everything ‘Drop’. And what is it with the unusual shapes and figures? Not to mention the excessive salt and ammonium chloride, yes you heard me correctly!

The Dutch love affair with liquorice, known locally as "drop" is a fascinating phenomenon deeply embedded in their culture and history. This passion for liquorice can be attributed to several factors, including historical trade routes, cultural preferences, and even physiological factors.

The Netherlands has a long-standing tradition of trade with countries where liquorice was cultivated, such as Spain, Italy, and the Middle East. This facilitated the early introduction of liquorice to the Dutch palate, dating back to the Middle Ages when merchants brought exotic spices, herbs, and goods from distant lands. Liquorice, valued for its medicinal properties and unique flavour, quickly found its way into Dutch markets and homes.

Furthermore, the Dutch have a fondness for strong flavours and unique culinary experiences. Liquorice offers a distinctive taste profile that appeals to this preference. Its intense sweetness tempered by a slightly bitter aftertaste creates a complex flavour profile that satisfies the Dutch palate. Moreover, the versatility of liquorice allows it to be incorporated into a wide range of sweet and savoury dishes, from sweets and desserts to sauces and meats, further enhancing its appeal.

Cultural factors also play a significant role in the Dutch love for liquorice. Throughout history, liquorice has been associated with celebrations and rituals, such as the Sinterklaas festivities in December, where it is often exchanged as gifts or enjoyed in various forms. Additionally, liquorice holds nostalgic value for many Dutch people, evoking memories of childhood treats and family gatherings.

Interestingly, there may be physiological reasons behind the Dutch preference for liquorice. Studies have shown that genetics can influence taste preferences, and certain populations may be more predisposed to enjoy specific flavours. It's possible that the Dutch population has a genetic penchant towards appreciating the unique taste of liquorice, further fuelling their love for the confection.

In modern times, the Dutch passion for liquorice persists and continues to evolve. Dutch confectionery companies produce a wide variety of liquorice, catering to diverse tastes and preferences. Moreover, the Netherlands remains one of the largest consumers of liquorice per capita globally, with dedicated liquorice shops and festivals celebrating this beloved treat.  You can see our range of Dutch liquorice here.