Courtesy of Jean-Luc Muselle
Organic agriculture and biodiversity have in recent years brought about a rediscovery of many “forgotten” vegetables that people especially in Europe and France conscientiously tried to forget as they reminded them of the privations suffered during WWII. The same people had then to make do with untraditional vegetables because potatoes, carrots and so on were confiscated by occupying forces or their own armies.
With sustainibility and bioagriculture made more important by the deficiencies of modern mass agriculture, those “forgotten” vegetables have suddenly come to the fore for the pleasure of all, and that of course of vegetarians and vegans!
This particular series of postings will introduce these vegetables one by one. I hope they will become useful for a long time to come to all my vegan and vegetarian friends!
1) Scorsonere/Oyster Plant
10) Cerfeuil Tubereux
15) Capucine tubereuse-Maschua
16) Chataigne de Terre-Great Pignut
Balsamite (French) or Costmary (English) is an aromatic plant that has been cultivated for a long time as an ornamental and medicinal plant.
Its Latin name is Balsamita major Desf. (synonym : Tanacetum balsamita L. subsp. balsamita).
It is known under many names: Grande balsamite, menthe-coq, menthe de Notre Dame, tanaisie des jardins, baume-coq, Chartreuse, (French), Balsamkraut (German), costmary (English), erba-amara balsamica, erba buona (Italian)
It has been grown for many centuries for its pleasant, slightly medicinal or balsamic smell. It was used in medieval times as a place marker in bibles.
Moreover, the plant is known from ancient herbals and was widely grown in Elizabethan knot gardens.
It is a strong plant, quite tall, 1,2 metres/4 feet giving out a pleasant aroma similar to mint with beautiful yellow flowers.
It originated in Western Asia and the Caucasus. It strives in temperate climates and has been succefully grown in Europe, North Africa and North America.
The leaves, slightly sour, can be used to season salads and liqueurs.
Good Beer and Country Boys will be gld to hear that a long time ago, they were used to contribute aroma to ale beer in England!
Liqueur fans, try this:
Macerate 9 leaves with 9 pieces of sugar in fruit alcohol for 2 or 3 months!