Wormwood Artemisia absinthium

Artemisia absinthium (absinthe,) is a species of Artemisia native to temperate regions of Eurasia and Northern Africa and widely naturalized in Canada and the northern United States.

It is grown as an ornamental plant and is used as an ingredient in the spirit absinthe as well as some other alcoholic beverages.

Nicholas Culpeper insisted that wormwood was the key to understanding his 1651 book "The English Physitian".

Richard Mabey describes Culpeper's entry on this bitter-tasting plant as "stream-of-consciousness" and "unlike anything else in the herbal", and states that it reads "like the ramblings of a drunk".

In the Bible, the book of Revelation tells of a star named Wormwood that plummets to Earth and turns a third of the rivers and fountains of waters bitter.

In the middle Ages, wormwood was used to spice mead, and in Morocco it is used with tea, called sheeba.

In 18th century England, wormwood was sometimes used instead of hops in beer.

Cousin of tarragon and wormwood, is an excellent plant, more aromatic than nurturing, whose flavor is resistant to cooking and facilitates the digestion of fatty foods.

Especially suitable for flavouring simmered sauces.

Flowers as leaves are used to flavor dishes (some species can be toxic and abortive at a very high dose).

The plant is a refined condiment for cooking pork and wild boar. Young shoots can decorate salads or be cooked in doughnuts.

Formerly it was used to tenderize the poultry whose flesh was too tough.

© 2018 Wessel Woortman

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