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4646Herbal Trivia

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  • kingstaste@mindspring.com
    Jun 3, 2005
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      This week's Food Reference Ezine has some trivia questions that are herbal
      in nature. I thought I'd pass them along (I did ok - about half and half).
      Christianna

      3) Cheese has been colored with various plant substances for hundreds of
      years. Yellow/orange coloring may have originally been added to cheese made
      with winter milk from cows eating hay to match the orange hue (from vitamin
      A) of cheeses made with milk from cows fed on green plants. Can you name 3
      plant substances which have been used to color cheese yellow/orange?

      4) The native habitats of this herb are wide indeed, covering the temperate
      and northern parts of Europe, Siberia, and North America. It has a long
      history of use in the kitchen, with some recipes from China going back at
      least 5,000 years. Rumanian Gypsies used it as part of their fortune telling
      rituals, and when dried bunches were hung in the house it was believed to
      drive away disease and evil influences.
      It is a hardy, fast growing herb in the lily family, having clusters of
      usually pink to purple edible flowers and is cultivated for its long slender
      leaves. This herb is used in salad dressings, herb butters and vinegars,
      soups, stews, and croquettes. The flowers are also edible, and make a nice
      addition to salads.
      It contains significant amounts of Vitamins A and C, potassium, calcium,
      iron, and sulfur. It is believed to strengthen nails and teeth, and has
      antibiotic properties. It is said to be an appetite stimulant, relieve high
      blood pressure, and is a natural insect repellent. It inhibits mildew, and
      is used in feed for turkey hatchlings.

      5) A thistlelike Eurasian plant (Carthamus tinctorius) of the daisy family,
      having heads of red or orange flowers that are the source of a red dye. The
      seeds, which look like small pine nuts, contain an oil used in foods
      (especially margarines), cosmetics, paints, and medicine. The flower petals
      are sometimes used as a substitute for saffron.

      6) An aromatic herb, a member of the parsley or carrot family, and
      indigenous to the regions around the Black and Caspian Seas. It is an
      essential ingredient of fines herbes, widely used in French cuisine. Some
      varieties also have edible roots which are like small turnips, and were
      enjoyed by the early Greeks and Romans, and in England during the 14th to
      17th centuries.

      7) They are the product of a southeast Asian evergreen shrub or tree with a
      rough bark, cup-shaped flowers and dark, glossy leaves with or without
      serrated edges (from 2 to 10 inches in length), and in the wild the plant
      can reach a height of over 60 feet. The fruit is a smooth, flat, rounded,
      three-celled capsule with one seed in each cell, the size of a small nut.
      The seeds contain a volatile oil.
      Some believe the holy Buddhist saint Daruma grew the first plant in the
      6th century. He cut his eyelids out to stay awake while meditating (for 5
      years) and where he threw his eyelids, the plant grew. Others believe that
      they were first discovered in 2737 B.C. due to sloppy housekeeping. Parts of
      this plant were used as a medicine in China for 4,000 years and the ancient
      Greeks used them for asthma, colds and bronchitis. In 1560 Father Jasper de
      Cruz, a Portuguese Jesuit, was the first European to personally encounter
      and write about this plant. In France, Louis XIV's doctor prescribed a
      tisane of the leaves for his royal headaches. Russian scientists were
      partial to them. Introduced to Dutch society in 1610, they soon became
      popular (initially they cost $100 per pound), and were the rage in Paris in
      the mid 1630s.


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      3) Annatto seed, carrot juice and marigold petals.

      4) Chives.

      5) Safflower.

      6) Chervil.

      7) Tea leaves.


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