Angelica, who remembers Angelica
I recently had a large assignment in Northern Sweden, the food and menus were designed to mirror the local produce in Jamtland, Angelica a local product suddenly jumped up as a blast from my past. Angelica is a bit unusual not a common ingredient and certainly not a well recognised flavour.
|So this is it, I love these fantastic old drawings, so much more detail that a photo.|
Angelica is cultivated for its sweetly scented stems roots and flowers, and as an ingredient in folk medicine, angelica root and seeds are used in traditional medicine or as tea for treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts, nervous system, and also against fever, infections, and flu.
Angelica grows wild in Russia, the alp region, Pyrenees and in northern Scandinavia. It is cultivated France, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Germany and Poland. During its first year it grows only leaves, but, during its second year, its stems can reach a height of 2.5 meters,
|I Found these fine candied angelica stems on internet|
thank god for the internet as none of the major local suppliers could help me.
|This is how we are used to seeing and using angelica, sliced as a garnish|
with its emerald green colour and interesting form
From the 10th century on, angelica was cultivated as a vegetable and medical plant and is still used today especially by the Saami or Laplanders. The Sami or Lapp people use angelica as a flavoring agent in reindeer milk. I also came across the thinner stems cut into smaller chunks that had been candied and were used as sweets for the children.
|Angelica creme cooked with angelica root, not really a wow factor taste wise|
but an interesting little experiment
The stems are also used in flavouring liqueur’s such as Charteuruse, Bénédictine, Vermouth and Dubonnet the root is more suited to flavour local aquavit aquavits, and bitters as well as being part of the aromatic base together with juniper berries and coriander in gin distillation.
The hollow stems of the Angelica are picked clean of their leaves, crystallised in sugar syrup and coloured green as cake decoration. This is how I remember Angelica during my kitchen apprenticeship in Tasmania we always had a little box of candied emerald coloured sweetness that we cut into small shapes and forms that we used it to decorate cakes and desserts.
|cloudberry swiss roll garnished on top with a slice of angelica, as good as it looks.|
It looks like the same gig is coming around next year again, with a little more time up my sleeve I'll try and come up with a few little more original desserts.
All downhill until then.
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