Roots

Rhubarb Renaissance: A Curious plant indeed

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Originally, rhubarb (Rheum palmatumn) was valued for its medicinal prowess. Native to the wintry steppes of Central Asia, Himalayas and Mongolia, the Chinese cultivated and harvested the big yellow root (da haung) for its strong purgative effect and as a cure-all for a raft of other afflictions. First documented in “The Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing”, the earliest book on materia medica, the Chinese have been conversant with its medicinal efficacy since 2700BC! Traded extensively along the ancient silk road routes, its therapeutic properties were soon held in high regard and demand, by the 10th century it became a major export and spread into India, Russia, Europe and North America.   Read More . . .

 

The Globe Artichoke: An Expression of Civilised Living

Monday, December 23, 2013

The globe artichoke, an edible thistle, the aristocrat of the Renaissance kitchen garden was seen as the vegetable expression of civilised living. With its dramatic silver gray architectural leaves and elegant flower buds comprised of a tight head of pea-green and purple-tinged leaves, it was a botanical curiosity. It wasn’t the roots or leaves that were edible; it was the young flower buds and the succulent heart of the unopened flower that was protected by a fibrous ring - the choke.    Read More . . .