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This item was last sold on : 04/11/17
Chamomile plants are made up of thin feathery branched leaves and erect fuzzy green stems that produce numerous flowering heads. The florets are flat with triangular white petals and conical sunflower yellow centers. The flowers produce strong, sweet, warming and herbaceous aromatics and flavors.
Fresh chamomile can sometimes be found at your local farmers market.
Chamomile, botanic name Anthemis nobilis, is the common name given to several petite daisy-like plants within the aromatic Composite (sunflower) family, Asteraceae. This is the largest family of flowering plants with about 20,000 species, including herbs, oilseed plants, vegetables and salad plants. There are several cultivars that share the chamomile common name, often labeled by region or characteristic, including Roman, Moroccon, Cape, Corn, Dyer's and the ancestral variety, wild chamomile AKA Pineapple weed. Not all chamomile are used for culinary purposes.
Chamomile has been used for centuries for medicinal uses as a homeopathic remedy. It is used as a sleep-aid, stress reducer and anti-inflammatory compress.
Chamomile yields a large concentration of volatile essential oils that are extracted to flavor ice creams, confectionery, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The most common application of the flower heads is as an infusion to create chamomile tea. Heating the tea enhances the flavor of the chamomile by rapidly releasing the flower's aromatic molecules. The florets can also be used as an herbal element in salads or as a garnish alongside other herbs including tarragon and lavender to balance the taste of cold-tasting foods such as apples, cucumbers, mint, celery and fennel.
Wild chamomile is native to East Europe, Africa and Asia; its distribution has not changed since discovery. Culinary chamomile is native to southern England, occurs naturally throughout Europe and has been distributed throughout temperate North America. Chamomile is planted as a companion plant and has been referred to as a garden's physician. It contributes to the health of companion plants by deterring pests and preventing soil disease. It is often planted near cucumbers, alliums and most herbs. One seed can yield a single flower. Cultivated chamomile prefers rich, mossy, dark soil and full to partial sun. In Europe, especially England it is comon to see an entire lawn or garden made up of chamomile.
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Recipes that include Fresh Chamomile. One is easiest, three is harder.
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