This review discusses 5 of my earliest papers on the biochemistry of larval Echinococcus published in Parasitology in the 1970s and 1980s. Two of the publications consider aspects of the basic biochemistry, intermediary metabolism and the regulation of respiratory pathways in E. granulosus and E. multilocularis, and emphasize the existence of inter- and intra-species variation in their general metabolism. The third reports on the detailed biochemical analysis of the tegumental surface of the protoscolex of E. granulosus, and the final 2 papers describe the genomic cloning of Echinococcus DNA fragments and their use, along with other DNA markers, in molecular identification of E. granulosus isolates collected worldwide from areas endemic for hydatid disease. A number of years have elapsed since these publications in Parasitology and, in this Centenary Issue article, I reflect briefly on some of the subsequent studies undertaken in these research areas that have advanced the field. As well, I provide brief insight on new research directions, emphasizing the impact of molecular biology and associated techniques on future studies of Echinococcus and hydatid disease.