4 Questions for the Taste Expert
Meet Francisca! She is Liquorice’s innovative taste developer and consultant. In other words, she is the one who comes up with ideas for new liquorice tastes and textures. Francisca Listov-Saabye experiments with flavour combinations, ingredients, texture and appearance. A huge amount of thought, not to mention experimentation, goes into every new product. In our kitchen laboratory we enjoyed a brief chat with Francisca about the latest addition to the Liquorice family – the new E.
What is the idea behind the new E?
The idea was to try something completely new. I’ve always thought it would be a good idea to create a salt liquorice that does something that a sweet liquorice can’t. Of course, taste-wise, it’s extremely intense, but salt liquorice is also softer than sweet liquorice. It’s a bit chewier.
How do the different layers of the liquorice ball work together?
Basically we’ve kept the taste sensation pretty simple. The sweetness comes from the white chocolate, which in itself can be almost sickly sweet. Then comes the salt liquorice, which provides a real contrast.
But having just those two elements would be uninteresting, so I’ve used tiny amounts of raw liquorice to provide small, intense explosions of taste. You get the totally soft chocolate that melts on the tongue, and you also have something crisp with an intense taste of raw liquorice, which leaves a lasting impression.
Actually, salt liquorice and raw liquorice also have a slight acidity, which is a great counterpoint to the sweet white chocolate.
What was your inspiration this time?
I love opposites. I studied Sensory Science, so I think a lot about what happens when we eat something. That’s why I also love something to be surprising. I think it’s fun to juxtapose elements from opposite ends of the taste spectrum: the crazily intense raw liquorice, which has an almost smoky taste, acidity and burned notes, in contrast to the white chocolate, which is a bit rich, sweet and vanilla-like.
Does it matter which raw liquorice you use?
Yes, it does. Raw liquorice is really interesting. It’s the DNA of all liquorice. Take cocoa beans, coffee beans or grapes for wine. The taste varies depending on where they come from. It’s the same with liquorice. In the E ball we’ve used organic raw liquorice, which has been sifted, so the tiny pieces are about 1-1½ minimiters. If we’d used fine liquorice dust, the effect would have been completely different.