The Best Story of Licorice Allsorts

Licorice Allsorts

When George Bassett founded his sweet company in 1842, he could never have imagined the success his business would bring him. Bassett’s first factory opened shortly after in 1852 in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, and the company has remained there ever since! One of Bassett’s most popular products is Licorice Allsorts. But how did this delicious treat come to be? 

A History of Licorice  

Licorice has a long and storied history in Europe. The first references to the sweet date back to Ancient Greece and Rome, where it was used as a medicine. Licorice was thought to have a variety of medicinal properties, including the ability to treat coughs, sore throats, and other respiratory ailments. It was also believed to be an effective antidote for poisons!  

The popularity of licorice as a medicinal remedy carried over into the Middle Ages. In fact, licorice was so popular that it became a part of many official European pharmacopoeias or lists of medicinal substances. In England, licorice was used to make a popular cough syrup called “licorice wine”.  

Over time, the use of licorice as a medicine began to decline. However, its popularity as a candy continued to grow. In the 1800s, licorice began to be manufactured commercially in Europe. One of the early adopters of this innovative technology was Bassett’s, a British candy company.  

In 1899, Bassett’s sales representative Charlie Thompson dropped a tray of samples on the floor, creating a muddle of sweets which would unknowingly become the Licorice Allsorts we all know and love today. The popularity of these new sweets soon spread throughout Europe. Today, licorice is still enjoyed by candy lovers all over the continent.

A history of licorice allsorts in Europe 

However, it’s not just their unique flavour that has made them so popular over the years. It’s also their intriguing history.  

For example, did you know that Licorice Allsorts were first introduced in Europe? That’s right – they’re known as English Licorice over there! And it’s not just their name that’s different. The European version of Licorice Allsorts is made with a different recipe, which gives them a slightly different flavour than the ones we have here in North America.  

Licorice Allsorts first hit the shelves in Europe in the early 1900s. However, they were not an instant success. In fact, it took a few years for people to catch on to the unique flavour and texture of these colourful liquorice sweets. Eventually, though, Licorice Allsorts became a staple in European sweet shops. They are all known by a version of English liquorice, so they are associated with Licorice Allsorts  The allsorts themselves are a mix of different shapes and colours, which makes them unique and interesting. They are also one of the oldest English sweets, making them a nostalgic treat for many people. 

Today, Licorice Allsorts are enjoyed by people all over the world. They are the perfect treat for those who love liquorice flavour but want something different from traditional black liquorice. With their fun colours and variety of flavours, Licorice Allsorts are a favourite for all ages! 

Licorice Love

So why do we love licorice treats so much? There are actually a few reasons. For starters, liquorice has a wonderfully unique flavour that everyone seems to love. And then there’s the fact that licorice is often considered to be a very nostalgic treat. After all, who doesn’t remember eating their first licorice, all sorts, or pieces of black licorice?  

Lastly, licorice is often seen as a symbol of good luck. In some cultures, it’s believed that eating licorice can bring good luck and prosperity. So next time you’re reaching for a sweet treat, why not try something a little bit different and give liquorice allsorts a go? You might be surprised at how much you enjoy them! 

Dutch Licorice Allsorts
The Best Story of Licorice Allsorts 3

The Dutch company we found makes the most delicious “Engelse drop” we have ever tasted! The licorice is flavourful, fresh, and has the perfect balance of sweetness and saltiness. We are pretty sure George Bassett would be impressed if he tried them – they are that good! 


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The story of Licorice Allsorts is one of chance, ingenuity, and deliciousness.  

Licorice Allsorts have come a long way since its inception in 1852. George Bassett could never have imagined his small sweet company becoming one of the world’s most popular candy brands! With a history as rich and delicious as liquorice itself, it’s no wonder these treats continue to be a favourite among candy lovers everywhere. 

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