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AMERICA'S BEST

It's the Real Thing: Licorice With Roots

February 28, 1991|KATHIE JENKINS

Chateau D'Lanz

18930 59th Ave. N.E. Arlington, Wash. 98223 (800) 722-0068 Check, money order or major credit cards. The Indian god Brahma called licorice the elixir of life. In ancient China, licorice was used in religious ceremonies. King Tut liked licorice, too; when his tomb was opened, licorice root was found along with golden treasure. But it took an Englishman, George Dunhill, to turn licorice into candy. He blended the extract with molasses and flour and came up with the Pontrefract cakes that remain Britain's favorite candy.

Americans are also fond of licorice--especially people in Utah, who eat five times the national average. Texans, on the other hand, don't much like licorice, but that's probably because they haven't discovered Chateau D'Lanz.

Howard Lanz, a licorice devotee, spent years searching for a candy with the chewiness and flavor of the licorice he ate as a child in Switzerland. Most of the ones he tried were made with molasses, flour, dyes, fillers . . . but no licorice root. A chemist, Lanz decided to develop something better.

It took six years, but he ended up with the best licorice you can buy. Hand-mixed and hand-poured, his black buttons are made from Mediterranean licorice root and other natural ingredients. Each one is about the size of a quarter, contains only 10 calories and takes about three minutes to chew.

Lanz also makes tasty red buttons flavored with cranberries (he won't call them licorice because they contain no licorice root). The buttons are packed in 2-ounce bags. At $10 for a three-bag order (that's a minimum, but it includes postage), this is pretty pricey candy. But if you're a licorice lover, you probably won't care.

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