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nettle in Russian cooling

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  • Alexey Kiyaikin aka Posadnik
    Greetings all! Some comments to using nettle in Russian cooking (mentioned in the Slovo article and beyond) Nettle is highly traditional seasonal greens, it is
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 14, 2002
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      Greetings all!

      Some comments to using nettle in Russian cooking (mentioned in the Slovo
      article and beyond)

      Nettle is highly traditional seasonal greens, it is added to "green Schi", or
      green broth of first spring greens (half a dozen of edible vegetation species).
      Though, it is never used beyond April and middle of May: after the start of
      blooming (mid-June in Russia) nettle accumulates too much formic acid and the
      level of vitamin C ceases. It simply becomes slightly poisonous. Remember that,
      if you try to make a Russian dish out of nettle: after blooming the plant is
      never cooked.

      bye,
      Alex.

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    • Jenne Heise
      ... Do you have any documentation for this use pre-1601? The cooks are ... Curious. Certainly Euelle Gibbons, who wrote _Stalking the Healthful Herbs_ mentions
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 14, 2002
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        >
        > Nettle is highly traditional seasonal greens, it is added to "green Schi", or
        > green broth of first spring greens (half a dozen of edible vegetation species).

        Do you have any documentation for this use pre-1601? The cooks are

        > Though, it is never used beyond April and middle of May: after the start of
        > blooming (mid-June in Russia) nettle accumulates too much formic acid and the
        > level of vitamin C ceases. It simply becomes slightly poisonous.

        Curious. Certainly Euelle Gibbons, who wrote _Stalking the Healthful Herbs_ mentions that older
        nettle is gritty and unpalatable; but none of my books refer to older nettles as 'poisonous' in
        any way-- they simply say not to eat Nettles after they get their first growth, though there
        are no cautions about using them in infusion or other treatments, which these books would
        normally do if the plant became poisonous at that point (like, for instance, pokeweed). Perhaps
        in America and England, the effect is not acute, and nettles are simply nasty and not poisonous?

        --
        Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise jenne@...
        disclaimer: i speak for no-one and no-one speaks for me.
        " Whatsoever might be the extent of the private calamity, I hope it
        will not interfere with the public business of the country." -Sheridan
      • Alexey Kiyaikin aka Posadnik
        Greetings Jadwiga! Formic acid IS poison in handsome concentration. And mature nettle is really something, if you have to pass through it in light clothes.
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 14, 2002
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          Greetings Jadwiga!

          Formic acid IS poison in handsome concentration. And mature nettle is really
          something, if you have to pass through it in light clothes. That's why I wrote
          "slightly poisonous". All in all, from blooming time it's not collected for
          herbal medicine.


          Pokhlebkin states that nettle was ever a kind of national greens with Finnish
          tribes (e.g. a nice Siberian recipe of venison, fish (grayling, afair) and
          partridge boiled together with lots of nettle. He mentions it's more pleasant
          to taste than to see :-) )

          (the reference from Pokhlebkin can't be available from the American edition,
          Finno-Hungarian couisine chapter was added to the second edition of his
          "Cooking of our Peoples", Moscow, 2001, Centrpoligraph.)

          With Russian couisine, nettle NEVER came into period cookbooks, as it went into
          the poorest people's dish, "pustiye schi" (empty, plain schi) or "green schi",
          made of any edible spring greens (dandelions, lungwort, sorrel, but mainly
          nettle) without any meat or fat (in autumn pustiye schi was cooked of cabbage
          leaves without anything else). The habit of cooking nettle is overall in
          European Russia, so we can hardly say it was borrowed from the Finns.

          In late period/OOP there was a proverb about cooking nettle: "Ostra krapiva da
          vo schakh uvarivayetsa" (hot/sharp is the nettle, but boils down in schi -
          every tough person can be disciplined).

          bye,
          Alex
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