31 May 2012

Flavour of the Week

Chamomile, Roman

Roman chamomile is an herbaceous perennial native to western Europe and North Africa. Chamomile flowers contain anti-inflammatory and sedative ingredients and have been used in medicinally for centuries.
The word derives, via French and Latin, from Greek χαμαίμηλον (chamaimilon) ("earth apple"), which is evocative of one of the aromas of the plant.

Interestingly, even though chamomile flowers are white and yellow, when distilled the chamomile oil turns a dark blue. This is due to a naturally occurring chemical, named sesquiterpenoid chamazulene (C14H16) [6] [86].

In aromatherapy the essential oil is considered in general to be calming, rejuvenating, and relaxing.  The scent is hard to pin down and has been described as woody, peachy, prune-like, soapy and sweet. The flavour can be described as sweet and somewhat heady. It is most commonly used in a tisane, or tea, but it can also be found in powdered form. Chamomile in cocktails lends a delicate sweetness and floral note.

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