Quelite : Anís de campo : Tagetes filifolia
Tagetes filifolia The Latin Tagētes is derived from the name of the Etruscan Tages, born from the plowing of the earth.The species epithet, filifolia, is derived from the Latin, filum “thread” and folium “leaf” and describes the plant as having thread-like leaves According to a legend, Tages was a wise child who sprung up from the freshly ploughed earth. Later he taught Etruscans divination.Cicero reports … Continue reading Quelite : Anís de campo : Tagetes filifolia
Tithonia : The Mexican Sunflower
This Post is not about the sunflower you might typically think of. The flower I know as a sunflower is of the Helianthus (1) species. This plant (H.annuus) is also a Mexican plant and although it has been posited that this plant was introduced into México by the Spanish (Heiser 1998) (2), there is evidence (Lentz etal 2008) that this plant arose in the southwestern … Continue reading Tithonia : The Mexican Sunflower
First of all. It’s not pronounced like this… Its closer to huh – my – ca (the last bit sounds like cup without the p). We are talking about a species of hibiscus whose calyxes are used culinarily and medicinally. The images below are from my garden. The plant/flower is also regularly misidentified (which is kind of a gripe of mine) See Flor de Jamaica … Continue reading Harvesting Jamaica.
Totomoxtle (and the Tamal)
Hoja para tamales (leaves for tamales) One of the most interesting things (well to me anyway) when learning about something is the language used. I really enjoy looking into the etymology of the origin of a word. Mexico is very interesting as you already know several words of Nahuatl origin, perhaps even without being aware of it. Words like chocolate, tomato and avocado all have … Continue reading Totomoxtle (and the Tamal)
Medical/Botanical Term : Allelopathy
The language of botany and medicine can be quite poetic. The words are derived from historical languages and may (usually) contain Latin or Greek terms (1) and each word if etymologically (2) broken down is a story in itself. As a somewhat appropriate example I present an example as given by Babbel Magazine (3). “The word avocado comes from Spanish aguacate (sometimes ahuacate), which in … Continue reading Medical/Botanical Term : Allelopathy
Authentic Mexican Food?
See also my Post :“Cultural” Appropriation of Cuisines? for another aspect of this. What is authentic Mexican (1) food? In my mind it is the food cooked in the homes, by the people. Restaurant food is one aspect of a cultures food but it is a distorted aspect. Just as I don’t eat at a café or restaurante every day for every meal nor does … Continue reading Authentic Mexican Food?
Porophyllum ruderale : A Medical Study
Porophyllum ruderale is used as both a culinary (1) and medicinal herb in its place of origin (2). It has unfortunately suffered from its association with the indigenous peoples of México and like many of these plants has been replaced by imported herbs due to this association (3). This is also noted by the author of the study we are now looking at who states … Continue reading Porophyllum ruderale : A Medical Study
Aceitilla : Bidens pilosa
Genus epithet ‘Bidens’ (BY-dens) means ‘twice’ (bi) and ‘toothed’ (dens), a reference to the two bristles on the tip of the achene-seed (1) of some members of this genus. Species epithet ‘pilosa’ means ‘hairy’, describing the velvety foliage. Synonyms: Bidens abadiae DC; Bidens abadiae var. Sherff pilosoides ; Bidens arenaria Gand.; Bidens gully ME Jones; Bidens bimucronatus Turcz.; Bidens californica DC.; Bidens caracasana DC.; Bidens … Continue reading Aceitilla : Bidens pilosa
Estrella del Mar (Ulam Raja) : Cosmos caudatus
Cosmos caudatus Synonyms Common Names Sometimes called “Spanish needles” although this name is typically used for the (closely related) herb Bidens pilosa. Some Common Names in Asian countries Indonesia: kenikir (Java), randa midang (West Java). Philippines: cosmos (Tagalog), turay-turay (Bisaya), onwad (Ifugao). Thailand: daoruang-phama (Bangkok), khamhae (northern). Malaysia: ulam raja, hulam raja, pelampong. In Malay culture, the word “ulam” refers to certain plants found locally … Continue reading Estrella del Mar (Ulam Raja) : Cosmos caudatus
Cilantro Substitute : Kesum
My search for cilantro substitutes, which gave me my first introduction to papalo, also introduced me to another herb called Rau ram (1) and, although this herb was found in Teubners book (2) as a potential substitute for cilantro, its flavour was simply too different and I have never really used it (either in cooking or medicinally). I have grown it though. I do have … Continue reading Cilantro Substitute : Kesum