and cooking tips and techniques:
that . . . -
for the answer scroll to the end
(14th January 2002)
plant, native to Mediterranean Europe, is an ancient
symbol of wisdom and immortality.
perennial shrub about two feet high, it is a member
of the mint family and has over five hundred varieties.
Its flowers are fragrant, usually purple or blue, sometimes
white, red or pink. They are rich in nectar, and it's
honey is in great demand in Europe because of its spicy
flavor. Some varieties, have broad leaves; others have
foliage variegated with red, yellow, or white.
by the Chinese in the seventeenth century, they would
trade three chests of China tea for just one chest filled
with its leaves from Dutch merchants.
most of its long history it has been a healing herb
(supposedly curing everything from snake bites, eye
problems, infection, epilepsy, intoxication, memory
loss, worms and
intestinal problems) or prescribed as an aphrodisiac.
far back as ancient Greek and Roman times, healers advocated
it for a variety of ailments. Charlemagne ordered that
it be grown in his royal gardens. Arab physicians in
the Tenth century went so far as to claim that it extended
life to the point of immortality.
was an old custom to rub leaves on the teeth to clean
them and benefit the gums. American Indians used it
for medicinal purposes. The oil is valued in perfumery
preparations, especially those for men. Placed among
linen, it discourages insects. Also helps repel cabbage
butterflies and improves the flavor of cabbage.
dried leaves are employed by food manufacturers in seasoning
meats, baked goods, and beverages. They are also used
to flavor vermouth and various bitters. For years it
has been used in the preserving of foods. Now it is
known that it contains powerful anti-oxidants which
slow spoilage. It is also antibacterial in nature, it
is effective in treating sore throats and is even effective
as an antiperspirant.
article is from Chef James Ehler of Key West, Florida.
is a webmaster, cook, chef, writer and (like me) a self-confessed
computer nerd. He is the former executive chef of Martha's
Steak & Seafood Restaurant and the former Reach Hotel
(both in Key West), the Hilton Hotel in Fayetteville,
Arkansas, and the New Bern Golf and Country Club, North
is now webmaster and cook at the Blue Heaven Restaurant
in Key West while he works on his Food Encyclopedia
(five years so far). It is well worth paying a visit
to James' food reference website which is a useful resource
well worth Bookmarking - to visit either website just
click on their title:
Food Reference Website
Blue Heaven Restaurant, Key West, Florida
you want to contact James just email him by clicking
James T. Ehler, 2001
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