Date: Mon, 1 Apr 1996 13:34:00 MST
To: The Culinary Herbs & Spices List <HERBS.HOME.EASE.LSOFT.COM>
From: Margaret Lauterbach <mlaute.MICRON.NET>
Subject: Angelica (candied and otherwise)
Esther, I think you asked about angelica a few posts earlier (I'm not getting chunks of 100 letters at a time). A friend and I spent many springs planting seeds to no avail. The problem was that the seeds were not fresh enough. By the time a seed co. stores, labels and sells them, they're too old. Buy a plant, and let it go to seed. You'll have fresh seeds to plant and/or volunteers will come up all over the place. I think the only culinary use for angelica is candying the stems, but I don't know how. I grow it out of curiosity to see how it will grow. Margaret
From: James Eason <jeason.MIDWAY.UCHICAGO.EDU>
As has been noted, angelica is very good candied. In that form, it can be eaten plain, or used in buttercreams for some very interesting dacquoises. Alas, there are numerous recipes out there, and I've found that most of them don't work. Here's one that does (from Larousse Gastronomique, with a little translation and a bit of finagling):
Candied angelica stems
Cut angelica stalks in their second year. Unlike many other plants, the big stalks are actually better than the small, so long as they're still green (and not purple or white). Deleaf, remove leaf stalks, and cut into pieces of about 6 inches. Soak these pieces in cold water for about 8 hours or so.
Boil water and plunge the stalks into it. Boil them until they begin to soften. (I usually add about a half teaspoon of baking soda per gallon of water, to get that virid green color that is associated with the "real" candied angelica you get in France. It also helps to soften the stems. Some people object to this procedure, so do what you like or what works best--if you've got really tough stems, you'd best do what you can!)
Cool under cold running water, drain, and peel them, like celery, removing the long stringy parts on the outside of the stalks.
Put into a syrup of 1 cup sugar:1 cup water, soak for 24 hours.
Drain. Cook the syrup to 225 F, pour it over the angelica.
Repeat once a day for three days. On the fourth day, cook the syrup to 245 (small pearl). Put the angelica into the pot, bring it to the boil several times (you want the angelica to look translucent, without losing its shape).
Remove the pot from the fire, let it stand til cool, and then remove the angelica. Drain the angelica on racks (or screens).
This part if you want to keep them for a long time: When they're dry, coat them with superfine sugar and dry them in a 170 F oven. Put them in glass jars or in tins.
You can also make a liqueur out of the seeds of angelica, of which, as Margaret wrote, you will have plenty. The recipe is one of those "brandy and loaf sugar" 19th century affairs. I'll forward it when I've located my "Times Picayune Creole Cookbook", unless someone else does it first!
From: Henriette Kress <HeK.HETTA.PP.FI>
The latin name of what you call the garden variety and what I call a wild plant is Angelica archangelica.
There's two subspecies (over here that is):
- A.archangelica subsp. archangelica - grows abundantly in the northern parts of Finland
- A.archangelica subsp. litoralis - grows here and there along the shores of the Baltic Sea, in Finland. This is the one I pick when I find it, if I don't just go on and use A.sylvestris which is abundant just anywhere over here.
The one you folks got in your gardens is probably A.a.subsp.archangelica.
Next some treats; most of it translated from a research report I've got: Väinönputki hyötykasvina - Angelica as a useful plant; Raija Kurkela and the research group at the Research Institute of Northern Finland, University of Oulu; 1986.
Formerly an important vegetable and medicinal plant. A.archangelica was used by the inhabitants of Lapland and northern Siberia, A.lucida by the folks around the St.Lawrence river, and A.atropurpurea in Labrador. The shoots, leaves and roots of angelica were at one time the only vegetable of the inuits of Greenland.
It has been grown in Norway (by the vikings), Iceland, the Faroe Islands, and probably also in Sweden. It's the only plant to spread south from the far north of Europe.
In Iceland it was grown until about 1900; they buried the roots and ate them raw in winter with dried fish, milk and butter, and they made wine out of the roots. In the Faroe Islands folks used the leaves and stems with dried meat and fish, and the roots were smoked as tobacco. It was usually the only cultivated plant in these places.
(there's lots more but I'll spare you).
Folklore: if you eat a piece of angelica root on midsummer night it'll cure any ailment. Go ahead, just try it ;)
Growing it from seeds: none will sprout in darkness, long days (16 hours of daylight a day) will give you 1-44 o/o sprouts, constant light will give you more. (I'll just rub this one in, with you folks boasting of planting herbs and sprouting things while there's a snowstorm raging outside here (like right now): we're blessed with the midnight sun over here. So I'll gloat when that time comes, you just wait.)
Stratification will help sprouting too, but 2 weeks won't do the trick. Keep the seeds for 4 weeks in damp sand in your refrigerator (+5 deg.C), after that give 'em long days and +27 deg. C and you'll get the most plants out of your seeds. If you don't have proper winters that is. If you have winters just scatter some seeds straigth from your mother plant where you want some more plants next year.
If you store your seeds for one year at 5 deg.C you'll also get more plants, but even if you do this you won't get plants if you try to sprout them in the dark. All seeds will become inert after 40 months, so just throw those out, or eat them as snacks, if they do get that old in your cupboard.
The biennial / perennial status of the plant: if you let it flower and go to seed it was a biennial. If you faithfully break off every single flower stem that tries to rise it's (ugly/beautiful - take your pick) head it'll be a perennial. I kept mine for 5 years until last summer... oh well.
Preserving: Dry the roots: as usual with roots, first wash, cut into thin slices (5 mm) and dry in 40 deg.C in a dehydrator.
Freeze the leaves and stems: rinse, drop for a minute or so into boiling water, freeze the plant parts. Discard the water you boiled the plants in.
The young leaves and stems can be used. Leaves are more aromatic than stems, and older plant parts are more aromatic than younger - over here you don't pick angelica leaves/stems for food if the cuckoo has arrived. This means we pick it during our very short spring, not in summer.
You probably won't want to use the root for food, the taste is too strong. The seeds are good for making tea with and as a spice, dried or fresh.
Väinönputkikastike - angelica sauce
1 l broth of reindeer meat
60 g butter
60 g wheat flour
2 dl full fat cream,
150-200 g tender young stems of angelica - preboiled and cut into very small pieces
1 tablespoon rowanberry jelly
Melt the butter, add flour and let it be for a while in the molten butter, add boiling broth little by little (stir constantly), let boil on low heat for about 20 minutes. Add the angelica stems, then add cream and spices; last add the rowanberry jelly (optional).
Väinönputkikeitto - angelica soup
4 l broth made with reindeer bones
160 g butter
160 g wheat flour
3 dl fullfat cream
500 g tender young stems of angelica - preboiled and cut into very small pieces
Melt the butter, add flour and let be for a while. Add boiling broth little bylittle while stirring, let boil on low heat for 20 minutes. Add stems of angelica, add cream, salt and pepper.
Väinönputkikeitto - angelica soup
5 dl broth (vegetable, chicken or fish)
2,5 dl tender young stems of angelica - peeled and cut into pieces
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons wheat flour
5 dl creamy milk
Boil the stems until tender in broth, pour through a sieve; discard stems. Add butter and flour, let boil for a while, add cream, let boil again. Add spices and serve.
Hillottu väinönputki - angelica stem jam
2 dl water
4 dl honey or sugar
2 dl stems of angelica, cut into thin disks
Boil honey or sugar with the water until you have a clear liquid. Add stems, let boil for 30 minutes. Pour into glass jars with tightfitting lids. Let be for some days in a cool place, boil again, let cool, pour back into the glass jars. Close the jars. Store in the fridge. Use with fruitcakes or icecream - or use your imagination.
Väinönputkitee - tea of angelica
Take some fresh leaves of angelica, cut into small pieces, put some of these into your teapot, add boiling water, leave for 5 minutes. Serve as is, or with sugar and lemon.
That's it folks. There's more but I don't want to spend the rest of this week translating väinönputki recipes ... especially as I've done it and found it way too strong for my taste buds.
From: Henriette Kress <HeK.HETTA.PP.FI>
>I'm assuming I could substitute beef for reindeer :-))? Also, how would I translate a "dl"?
Yes, well, if you don't have reindeer use elk. If you don't have that use moose. If you don't have that use beef, but spike it with some juniper twigs (that is unless you have kidney problems or are pregnant). And the vegetarians out there can experiment with their favourite veggie in this brew instead.
A dl is a fifth of a pint. ('dl' is deciliter, that's 1/10 liter). For the g/kg translations: one ounce is about 28 g - correct me if I'm wrong...
From: "Susan L. Nielsen" <snielsen.OREDNET.ORG>
>Yes, well, if you don't have reindeer use elk. If you don't have that use moose.
I have to say, HeK, having hung a tongue on reindeer, beef has got to be a poor substitute, even junipered up. Elk or other kinds of deer come closer, and I'm afraid I cannot speak to moose. But I found reindeer to be fairly distinct among the venisons of my experience. Who was it said, 'If you can't get the ingredients, cook something else?' Julia Child maybe? 8-)
Maybe the British cattle farmers could be spoken to about switching over to reindeer as a staple farm animal. They give milk, they give meat. And, as far as I know, we have not yet seen a Mad Reindeer Disease. Who is to say a McReindeer Burger wouldn't catch on?
Real bummer for Santa Claus imagery, though. ;-)
PS: Yes, I know. Reindeer are not an herb. Sorry.
From: Laurie Otto <lotto.PTIALASKA.NET>
Usually you find recipes for candied angelica stems, or for liquers flavored with angelica, or recommenations that you add pieces of angelica to rhubarb pie or other dishes (4 parts rhubarb to one part angelica) to counteract the tartness and intensify the flavor. I've also read that in France, the leaves are blanched and used in salads, and that in Lapland and Norway the root is sometimes used as a substitute for bread, and the stalks peeled and eaten as celery.
I found the most interesting recipes in Honey from a Weed: Fasting and Feasting in Tuscany, Catalonia, the Cyclades and Apulia by Patience Gray. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this excellent book, I highly recommend it as a fascinating mix of autobiography, recipes, and stories of rural life on various shores of the Mediterranean. I really can't recommend this book highly enough. Gray says that in February, the people on the Salentine peninsula (Southern Italy south of Brindisi) go "feverishly" in search of wild angelica: "This is the moment when the incipient flower-heads are still enclosed in their sheaths right up against the greenish-purple stem. You cut these sheaths with a knife." In Salentine dialect, angelica is called 'zavirna'. Gray gives the following recipes (none of which I have tried, since I usually only grow a single anglica plant in my garden - it is VERY large - and use the stems to candy or to mix with rhubarb):
ZAVIRNE FRITTE. Boil the sheaths for a few minutes, leave them in water for an hour, drain and dry. Dip in beaten egg and then in flour. Fry in hot oil. Aromatic and faintly sweet.
ZAVIRNE ABBRUSTOLITE. Set the sheaths on a grill over a hot braise, and after a few minutes turn them over. Slice them across, making two or three cuts, and serve with a dressing of olive oil and a few drops of wine vinegar, and a pinch of salt.
AS SALAD. Boil some salted water, and throw into the pan an equal number of sheaths of angelica, dwarf garden-grown broccoli heaads and the points removed from the head of a cluster of cicoria asparago (this is an Italian asparagus chicory that Gray discusses earlier in her book - any chicory would do I suspect). Boil fast for 4 or 5 minutes, drain and dress with olive oil and a little wine vinegar. Eaten hot or cold, this dish is pleasant in both taste and color, a vivid green.
Culinary herb FAQ: http://www.henriettes-herb.com/faqs/culi-2-36-angelica.html