Bay leaf is a remarkable substance. The ancient Greeks knew it, the ancient Romans too. Even old Klepper knows it, (By ‘old Klepper’, we mean Klepper Sr.,he’s not as old as the ancient Romans, but he is older than Klepper Jr.)
In the autumn of 2019, when Klepper Sr. almost broke his tooth on a bay leaf licorice, the idea came to him: We’re going to make The Best Bay Leaf Licorice Ever! A bay leaf licorice that doesn’t crack your teeth. In the words of Klepper Jr., a bay leaf licorice that will be loved by not only bay leaf licorice fans, but all licorice fans.
niet op stuk bijt. En, in de woorden van Klepper Jr.: een laurierdropje dat niet alleen liefhebbers van laurierdrop lekker vinden, maar dat in de smaak valt bij elke dropliefhebber?
We’ll get to how Klepper & Klepper succeeded in just a moment. First, let’s get back to those ancient Greeks and Romans. Laurel (the small tree where bay leaves come from) has helped the Greeks and Romans achieve legendary status. According to the Greeks, the nymph Daphne’s father turned her into a laurel tree to protect her from the god Apollo’s grasping hands. Overcome with grief, Apollo canonized the laurel tree and from that moment on, wore a laurel wreath on his head. Consequently, winners of the Olympic Games, which were held in honour of Apollo, received a laurel wreath.
Like the Greeks, the Romans attributed laurel with invincibility. Roman emperors on victory marches wore a laurel wreath. The origin of the word ‘laureate’ can be traced back to this Roman custom. The Romans believed that laurel made you so invincible that it could protect you from a lightning strike. Emperor Tiberius is known to have covered himself with laurel when it thundered.
Still today, the bay leaf is attributed with special powers still in some circles. It is said to help with flu, colds, mouth ulcers, toothache, lifeless hair and diarrhea. Even you want to quit smoking, bay leaf seems to offer a remedy. It’s not proven though, so you can take all this information with a pinch of unrefined Celtic sea salt (which we will put in The Best Mildly Salty Licorice Ever).
Besides being a legendary panacea, bay leaf is best known as a seasoning for sauces, stews and marinades. In fact, this is the key to the secret of The Best Bay Leaf Licorice Ever. Klepper & Klepper have not made a classic bay leaf licorice where the bitter bay leaf taste predominates. Instead, they have used the bay leaf as a seasoning. The Best Bay Leaf Licorice Ever is licorice with a hint of bay leaf. The bay leaf is unmistakably present, but not overpowering. The dominant flavour of The Best Bay Leaf Licorice Ever is licorice.
As soon as they got it into their heads to create The Best Bay Leaf Licorice Ever, Klepper & Klepper started looking for the best bay leaves in the Netherlands. Bay leaf licorice usually contains bay leaf flavouring. Klepper & Klepper decided to use bay leaf essential oil. Situated in the southwestern tip of North Brabant, Gove BV is a family business growing organic laurel trees. The laurel trees are produced primarily for the ornamental trees market. When the trees are pruned, bay leaves are removed. The pruned leaves used to end up on the compost heap. Nowadays, the discarded leaves are used to distil bay leaf oil. Klepper & Klepper use this pure bay leaf oil to make The Best Bay Leaf Licorice Ever.
That sounds easier than it is. After finding the best bay leaf oil in the Netherlands, Klepper & Klepper went into the laboratory to find the perfect recipe and ideal drying time. Ultimately, their work resulted in two licorice candies. Klepper & Klepper went to the Alkmaar market with the two candies to test. There was a clear winner, and that winner is now in all the bags of The Best Bay Leaf Licorice Ever. Obviously, this delicious licorice candy is gluten-free, gelatin-free and is made with pure bay leaf oil. When you open a bag, the scent of invincibility hits you, and you know that the Best Bay Leaf Licorice Ever is about to begin an inevitable victory march. It’s only a matter of time before the whole of the Netherlands is taken. Just like The Best Sweet Licorice Ever , The Best Mildly Salty Licorice Ever and The Best Honey Licorice Ever have done.
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