Cara Cara Oranges
The Cara Cara orange has a trifecta of attributes. It has the initial appearance of a true orange. Its peel is smooth, yet pebbled and when zested releases bright floral aromatics.
Young Hawaiian Ginger
Young Ginger is similar to mature ginger in its shape: knobby and multi-fingered, growing up to four inches in length.
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Myrtle berries grow along thin stems with bright green leaves and look like elongated blueberries. When fresh they are soft and aromatic. Beneath the blackish-blue skin the flesh is reddish-purple and is filled with small kidney-shaped seeds. The taste is a cross between Juniper and rosemary, with an initial aroma of pine. The fresh berries have a somewhat bitter and tannic after-taste.
Myrtle berries are available in the fall.
The berries of Myrtus communis, the Common Myrtle, are most often used dried in Turkish or Middle Eastern cooking. Common Myrtle is known as True Myrtle, Sweet Myrtle or Roman Myrtle from its ancient culinary roots, and is also known to have medicinal properties. The Mediterranean plant dates back to the beginning of recorded history and was used similarly to Bay or Juniper in Roman cuisine.
Myrtle berries can be used like Juniper berries in many dishes and can also be used as a substitute for pepper. The similarities to pepper are so strong, the berries have been known as Corsican pepper or Myrtle pepper. For this application, it is most often used in its dried form. Dried berries are used in stews and casseroles in the Middle East. The fresh berries can be used for flavoring sauces or marinades for meat or poultry. When preparing, the seeds are best discarded. Myrtle berries can also be steeped in alcohol for an aromatic beverage.
On the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, “kitchen myrtle” is important in flavoring roasted chicken and pork. In Roman times Myrtle berries were considered an aphrodisiac and were used to make a sauce eaten with wild boar. Originally the Mediterranean people used the Myrtle berry to flavor wine, but the more common modern use is in liquors and desserts.
Myrtus communis is thought to have originated in the Middle East, in Iran and Afghanistan. The leafy shrub with the dark, bluish-black berries has been cultivated in the Mediterranean area since Biblical times. The fruit was used fresh and dried as a spice before Indian spices were introduced to the region. During modern times, Myrtle berries and the shrubs they grow on are often grown for ornamental purposes.
Recipes that include Myrtle Berries. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Penniless Parenting||Myrtle Berry and Rosehip Candies|
|Hunter Angler Gardener Cook||Mirto (Sardinian Myrtle Berry Liquer)|
|Big Sis Little Dish||Myrtle Berry Citrus Sauce|