"I love the robust, complex flavours and the variety of textures and colours that this family of leafy plants offers the salad bowl. February has, in previous years, been the middle of our chicory & endive season. This year, with the tunnel out of action and the rains trashing the outdoor seedlings, I can only look at the pictures and dream of last years crop and make a mental note to sow plenty this year." Laura Hudson
"Me pascunt olivae, me cichorea, me malvae"
A small history lesson. The chicory plant is one of the earliest cited in recorded literature. Horace mentions it in reference to his own diet, which he describes as very simple: "Me pascunt olivae, me cichorea, me malvae" ("As for me, olives, endives, and mallows provide sustenance").
Lord Monboddo describes the plant in 1779 as the "chicoree", which the French cultivate as a pot herb. In the Napoleonic Era in France, chicory frequently appeared as either an adulterant in coffee or a coffee substitute; this practice also became common in the United States and the United Kingdom, e.g., in England during the Second World War and in Camp Coffee, a coffee and chicory essence which has been on sale since 1885.
Chicory is an ingredient in typical Roman recipes, generally fried with garlic and red pepper, with its bitter and spicy taste, often together with meat or potatoes
The chicory flower is often seen as inspiration for the Romantic concept of the Blue Flower. It was also believed to be able to open locked doors, according to European folklore.
Root chicory (Cichorium intybus var. sativum) has been in cultivation in Europe as a coffee substitute for a long time. The roots are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and additive, especially in the Mediterranean region (where the plant is native), although its use as a coffee additive is also very popular in India, parts of Southeast Asia and the American South, particularly in New Orleans. wikipedia
I wish you all a happy and sunny weekend
and to Australia a lot of heavy rain!
It is Blooming Friday meet all the other participants here at Katarina