Meadowsweet

In the medieval times, meadowsweet was a very popular stewing herb. Meadowsweet forms a basal clump of pinnate leaves, and bears dense, frothy, tall corymbs of almond scented, creamy white flowers to 1.2m in summer. The leaves smell like wintergreen when crushed. The plant occurs in moist meadows and around fresh water and is widely distributed across Asia and Europe.

 Meadowsweet

photograph sourced from Wikipedia

Hardy meadowsweet will grow in full sun provided the soil is very moist. It prefers a well enriched alkaline soil. Propagate the species by seed in autumn, or by stratified seed and plant in spring, or by division in spring. Every 3 to 4 years lift and divide in autumn.

Cut the flowers when in full bloom and use fresh for culinary use. The flowers are used to flavour jams, stewed fruits and wine, as well as mead and Norfolk Punch.

information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs

Tandy

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About Tandy Sinclair

I am passionate about regional, sustainable and seasonal produce. I live in Gordons Bay in a cottage with my husband, our three dogs, a tortoise and a fish. We are busy building a house which is an adventure all in itself. Each year we visit a new place to experience the food of the area.

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Meadowsweet — 19 Comments

  1. Pingback: Friday’s Food Quiz Number 72 | Lavender and Lime

  2. What a lovely name. We used to gather these flowers from the country lanes, when we were children in England, and my mom would put them in a vase. Soon, the flowers would drop bits everywhere. ;) I didn’t know that they had a use in the kitchen, but they’re very pretty.

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  3. I’m sure – correct me if I’m wrong – but wasn’t Meadowsweet used as a strewing herb (i.e. one which got thrown on the ground in communal eating halls etc.), rather than as a stewing herb? So far as I know, it’s culinary uses are as a flavour for beer, wine, vinegar and sometimes for jams. I just thought I should mention that, before someone decides to throw a great bunch in with their beef stew! LOL

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    • Jenny, thanks for popping in! I have the book at my office and I am home for the weekend but I will double check it on Monday :)

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