To: herbs.teleport.com
Subject: Epazote
From: Daniel M. Germán dmg.csg.uwaterloo.ca
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 1996 11:03:01 -0500

| I am making a dish called Sopa Azteca that calls for a couple sprigs of Epazote. We have tried to find it a specialty store and was unsuccessful. One of the Mexican restaurants said it may be called Messo/Mezzo.

Epazote is the most Mexican of all the spices, and because it is extremely wild, nobody cares to bottle it. While I was leaving in the States, I searched for it (growing wild), and I found it. But its flavour was not as strong. It is very similar to American Wormseed (Chenopodium ambrosiodes).

It looses some of its pungency when dried, but it still has some. I can find epazote once in a while here in Waterloo (Canada), but in a grocery store run by Mexicans. I can probably give you its scientific name, but I have the info at home, so I'll do it tomorrow.

Do anybody grow epazote? indoors?

From: "Fran E. Rich" <frich.tenet.edu>

> Do anybody grow epazote? indoors?

I'm always somewhat amused to see epazote plants for sale in nurseries. I've finally managed to eradicate it from my back yard! If you decide to grow it, put it in the back of your garden as it gets quite tall. And be aware that it self-seeds like crazy. I've never been extremely fond of it myself, it smells like kerosene. Mexican lore (or Tex-Mex or whatever) says that it reduces the gas in beans when a sprig is added.

From: snielsen.ednet1.osl.or.gov (Susan L. Nielsen)

>Do anybody grow epazote? indoors?

Not indoors, where I think it would be a trifle overwhelming, but I've grown it as an annual outdoors here in NW Oregon, US. It gets quite tall -- mine went to about 5 ft. last summer -- and has a profound odor (let me not understate this -- it stinks!) of creosote.

To my surprise, in a dish, it does not have this particularly offensive quality. Not quite the amazing character change that asafoetida enjoys, but something on that order.

In order to preserve its culinary pungency, we froze ours in zip-lock bags. The harvest from one plant, one season, is probably enough for a few years' worth of Mexican cookery. No kidding: it's a _big_ plant.

I know seed is available through the Native Seed Source, and I think, through Shepherd's Seeds as well.

Buena comida!


From: Conrad Richter culinary.richters.com

> Epazote is the most Mexican of all the spices, and because it is

Epazote is among the easiest of herbs to grow. Most people grow outdoors in the garden -- direct sowing is fine -- but it is also easy to grow in pots indoors, the provisor being, as is the case with so many herbs, that the light intense enough. Although, epazote is tall and gangly, it can be treated as a quick-cutting herb where one cuts them back at an early stage. Cut back this way the plants may not come back, but one can maintain a continuous supply of fresh leaves by having a series of pots growing at different stages of development.

From: Chris CReeve.banyan.com

I grew epazote in CT 2 years ago. I couldn't kill the thing. It got about 3 foot high or so. I didn't like the smell of it though. Maybe it's just something you acquire a taste for (I didn't care for cilantro the first time either). It smelled to me like dirty socks, I was afraid to put it in my bean dishes for fear of what it would do. :-)