Amazon

27 Sep 2010

Angelica Archangelica

 There are many different stories of where the herb angelica (Angelica archangelica) originally came from. Some say Africa, some say Syria and others say Iceland. What is known is that, by the Middle Ages, it grew in the many cooler parts of Europe. Angelica features both in Christian and in Pagan folklore. One legend said that angelica got it's name as it blooms on Archangel Michael's feast day. Another legend tells of monk being told during a dream by an angel that it was a cure for the plague and that is why it was worn by many during the Great Plague.

Angelica is also known as European angelica, garden angelica,and holy herb. It should not be confused with Chinese angelica, which also goes
under the more commonly known name of dong quai. Angelica archangelica is a tall plant with large white flowers. It has a smooth, dark purple, hollow stem and has dark green leaves. It is grown as both a vegetable and a medicinal plant. It's medicinal properties are as an expectorant, appetiser, carminative, hepatic, stimulant, stomachic, and a general tonic. The parts used are the rootstock, stems, seeds, flowers and leaves. Angelica tea, infusion, capsules and herbal extract are used as a tonic, for colon cramps, PMS and gas, as a kidney stimulant,as a remedy for coughs and colds and as a gargle for sore throats. Externally, the fresh leaves can be crushed and applied as poultices for rheumatism, chest and skin problems. Angelica essential oil can be used in a burner or vaporizer to help clear lungs when suffering from shortness of breath caused by bronchitis, pleurisy and other chest problems. The oil is also added to base oils or skin creams for external use, to give relief for arthritis, gout and to improve circulation.

Warning: Not to be used during pregnancy or while nursing. Not recommended for persons taking blood thinning agents. Do not eat before spending time outside as it can make the skin more prone to sunburn and can also attract insects.

Angelica's culinary uses are in soups, stews, candies, jams, vinegars and dressings. The leafstalks can be cooked or eaten raw. Most folk know it in it's candied form as a decoration for cakes and trifles. The essential oil which is extracted from the roots and seeds are used in perfumes and as flavourings for vermouth, gin and liqueurs like Chartreuse and Absinthe. The seed heads are often used in floral arrangements.

Useful link : Growing Angelica

**************************
Home Candied Angelica
From Recipeland   

1lb / 450 gm angelica stalks
1lb / 450 gm granulated sugar

The most important thing about candying angelica is to choose stalks that are young and tender. In other words, angelica is only worth candying in April or May when the shoots are new and softly coloured. Trim the young shoots into 3-4 inch lengths, put them into a pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Drain and scrape away tough skin and fibrous threads with a potato peeler, rather as you might prepare celery. Return the angelica to the pan, pour on fresh boiling water and cook until green and tender. If the shoots are as youthful as they should be, this will take 5 minutes or less. Drain the stalks and dry them. Put them into a bowl and sprinkle granulated sugar between layers, allowing 1 pound of sugar for every 1 pound of angelica. Cover and leave for 2 to 3 days. Slide contents of the bowl into a heavy-based pan. Bring very slowly to the boil and simmer until the angelica feels perfectly tender and looks clear. Drain, then roll or toss the shoots on greaseproof paper thickly strewn with sugar, letting the angelica take up as much sugar as will stick to it. Then dry off the angelica - without letting it become hard - in the oven, using the lowest possible temperature. I place the stalks directly on the oven shelves (with trays underneath to catch any falling sugar) and find they need about 3 hours. Wrap and store after cooling completely.

Fresh Peaches in Sauternes Soak With Angelica and Lavender
Adapted from Food.com   By French Tart 

8 fresh lavender heads rinsed
8 fresh angelica leaves, wiped
8 ripe peaches, peeled, stones removed, sliced
375 ml. / 1-1/2 cups Sauternes wine or 375 ml similar sweet dessert wine, chilled
creme fraiche or vegan cream, to serve

Arrange the peach slices into the bottom of a large serving dish. Sprinkle over the lavender heads and then add the angelica leaves. Pour over enough dessert wine to cover the peaches. Turn the peach slices over a couple of times to coat them in the liquid, then cover the dish and chill the mixture in the fridge for at least four hours, or preferably overnight. To serve, spoon a portion of peaches in Sauternes into each of six serving bowls. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche.

Carmelite Water
Adapted from Food.com   By evafd 
Carmelite water was invented in 1611 by Carmelite monks in Paris who called it "Eau de Carmes". It was used as a perfume and toilet water, and was also taken internally as a cordial ~ evafd

1 1/4 cups vodka
3 tbsp dried angelica leaves, and stalks
3 tbsp dried lemon balm leaves
1 tbsp coriander seeds, bruised
1 nutmeg, cut into strips (or grated nutmeg where fresh not available)
2 tbsp cloves
cinnamon sticks

Pour the vodka into a jar. Add the remaining ingredients,cover tightly and shake. Leave in a warm place for three weeks, shaking every day. Strain into a sterilized bottle and store in a cool place. Use within six months.


4 comments:

Marion said...

I've used angelica as a decorative plant in the garden, with the added bonus of using it in teas.

I can't find it in nursurys here;thank you for showcasing the seeds on Amazon. I wonder if it will live in the extreme climate we have here...I have not looked up its hardiness. And I didn't know its oil could be used in vapourizers...thank you!

Jackie said...

Marion, if it survives the extremes of Iceland maybe it will survive in your neck of the Canadian woods :)

Theresa Zamora said...

How does one grow these angelicas? Or can we buy them from the grocery? Are they readily available? Which stores carry these herbs? There is this recipe I want to try them with. I think it will add just the right twist to that dish.

buy essay canada said...

Good post, I am not a gardening type of person but this post just made me go for it. Going to look for this plant in nearby nursery, hope to get it