Home » Garden » Aromatic Plants: Melissa and Estragon

“A warm and stimulating effect” is that, as John Evelyn once said, melisa produce leaves macerated in alcohol. And this could testify liquor “the sisters” that used Carmelites prepare lemon balm leaves and who knows what else! in alcoholic distillation called “water of Carmen,” which had little water and a few drops that were sufficient in a sugar cube to forget any discomfort.

The melisa

aromatic plantsThe balm (Melissa officinalis) takes its name from the Greek (melissa: bee) and its leaves have a gentle lemon scent. It was always very appreciated by the lure on bees and their culinary uses, as the leaves (like those of the nettle) can be added, or fresh greens, to meals and desserts and used in teas that are extremely tasty and serve, it is said to combat headaches and fevers. Its flavor is very refreshing, pairs well with white meat chicken and fish but mainly reinforces lemon flavored cakes, pies or lemon and orange creams. It can also be used in omelets, in pie fillings and fruit salad. Two or three crushed leaves an unmistakable aromatizarán clericó and bleeding.

It is native to southern Europe and is believed to have been introduced in the north by the Romans. Grows well in any garden, large shrub development (can reach one meter in height), when planted in rich, moist soil and sunny and somewhat protected. It can reproduce by seeds (which are planted in spring), by dividing the roots of an established plant (which is done in autumn) or wedges (which are cut in summer). The fresh leaves are cut at any time and to keep them dry, branches should be cut before it flowers and put them to dry in bunches, upside down, in a warm, dry, sun and save them before they turn yellow.

It took its name from the Arabic meaning tarkhoun small dragon, because it was assumed that the fresh leaves rubbed on the wound would heal the bites of scorpions and poisonous snakes. Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) has entire leaves, long and dark green. Also from the south of Europe and therefore prefers not very cold climates, sunny and well-drained soil, rather dry. In areas with heavy frost, you should prune the plant down low in the fall and protect it with straw or other item. Come spring regrow smoothly. To play, divide the clumps every two years and replanted (this process ensures you will not miss the smell).

Fresh leaves are used as drying at home is quite complicated (although they can buy the dried industrially). Also can be stored in oil or vinegar for use during the winter or for flavoring salads.

Its taste is warm, fragrant and pleasant. Enhances the flavor of other herbs but must be used carefully because it dominates the taste of meals with ease. Solo, goes well with fresh tomatoes, add the chicken and stuffing is used in bearnaise sauce.

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