17 July, 2008

palo dulce: palolu


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Glycyrrhiza glabra (Palodú o Palolu)

In Spain I grew up eating sticks called palolu (from the spanish: palo dulce), and not just me, but all my friends as well. We would chew on them for hours, days with the ends slicking out of our mouths. Their nectar was potent, sweet and perfect. I decided that since I have a garden now, and I can plant whatever I want to plant I needed to find out what it really was that we were chewing on! I knew it as palolu, but it is known scientifically as Glycyrrhiza glabra. In Spain it is known as "the poor man's licorice" and has an intense and woody black licorice taste. I now use it all the time, since at the Beanery (local coffee shop) they sell it all cut up into little pieces for infusions or teas. I drink that almost every night...but that stuff has been dried and isn't as good to chew on, I want the real fresh stuff. So, I found some seeds...which is a little iffy...but I would love to have this memory to share with my boys.

Some things will always make me ache for my young days, for the free and careless days that I will never own again. All of my childhood memories are from Spain, and there are about 3 people that I can share them with without explaining it all out. Sometimes that gets to me, a sense of loneliness of unshared memories.

What brings you to your youth, smells, songs, games? I think I will do a full post on this including all my childhood memories....I can share them even if I need to explain them right!? I'll let you know how my search for palolu goes!!!

Glycyrrhiza glabra plant

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4 comments:

holly said...

I hope your seeds grow! re childhood memories, there are soo many things I keep encountering in our new town that brings back my earliest memories.

I was ten when we left the sunny arid central CA coast for rainy Willamette Valley. fast forward two decades and I'm now back in a similar climate and everything from weeds along the road, wildflowers in the fields, lizards darting beneath rocks, smoke in the air, brings it all back.

Medbie said...

I hope it grows!

Medbie said...

I had to go and post about my favorite childhood memories, thanks to this post. :D

http://medbie.blogspot.com/2008/07/childhood-memories.html

Madeleine said...

Hi Bethany :)))

Hi :))) thank-you for your sweet welcome back, I grew up for 11 years in Swizerland and used to chew on those sticks, they sold them in pharmacies in big jars. I have never found them here in the US.
My summer is ok, it is so hot here it is difficult to walk Oliver, yes he is still with me, I took some more photos, have to go through them and post them. It will take a while to catch up, so I will just pick up where I left of.
Love your new blog color and the babies sleeping in the back of the car, so sweet :)