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Recipe with history Caraway cabbage

Apr 24, 2020Edible Wild Plants

Recipe and nutrients
of caraway (cabbage)

But first of all, especially at this time, what is important is what the legends tell us, namely that caraway spice is antidemonic, as malodorous substances keep evil at bay. Trolls, for example, are driven away by caraway bread. Sometimes even heavy juicy farts are enough! Whether it helps against viruses is not known!

Everyone knows the popularly called caraway seeds, which have the characteristic spicy scent when they are ground. Their use in the kitchen can be traced back to the cookbook attributed to Apicius, which was probably written in the 3rd century AD.

But even the star chef of the Roman Empire Apicus knew nothing about the delicacy from my tiny home village on the North Sea coast.

Caraway (Carum carvi), is a biennial semi-rosette plant with root beet. Caraway is found in Europe as well as in the temperate zones of Asia to India, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan.

As shown here (youtube channel: 1life4outdoor) caraway grows near the sea in the foreland of the dike as well as on fertile meadows and in mountainous areas up to 2,200 metres above sea level. The best time to cut out the leaves of the young rosettes of caraway near the ground is in March and April.

A dish with a history of traditional regional cuisine is

the simple ancient spring dinner from my home village. This has been passed down orally for generations. In the foothills of the dike, the gathering of caraway rosettes in spring (March, April) was for centuries the event when hordes of hungry coastal inhabitants crawled around the dike after a winter full of privation to pierce the so-called caraway cabbage.

The Recipes

Caraway cabbage

mother nature’s delicacies

The cleaned caraway cabbage is briefly steamed with a little water until it sags together, depending on the amount of cabbage add bacon as a piece with rind or cooked sausages, some leftover goose fat (from Christmas), then the cabbage is cooked, later bound with oat flakes and seasoned with salt and pepper.

In addition there are young potatoes in their skin, which are not peeled; just unpeeled potatoes, which are cooked with caraway (1 tablespoon) and 1 tablespoon of sea salt and no less. Caraway cabbage is prepared like kale and served with fatty pork belly and new potatoes. The dish does not taste of caraway, more like cabbage/ kale!

Since the winters were long and the summers short, there was always a tablespoon of the fruit on a bottle of grain, that results in a week the so-called „Köm“ – unbeatable for smoked eel. Köm tastes of course also without eel, eel rather not!

Previously, with restless children, a bowl of boiled caraway seeds used to be placed under the bed or a Köm was put in the milk. Today it’s called ADHD syndrome – and there’s a Valium, Rohypnol or Ritalin.

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E-Book recommendation

Eat or Die!

edible wild plants

mother nature’s delicacies

Detlev Henschel

English translation by Philip Brown

Where, when and how to collect and use them
With over 700 recipes for gastronomists and connoisseurs

The second book by scientist and adventurer Dr. Detlev Henschel is about edible wild plants, which might just save your life if you get into trouble – hence the subtitle: Eat or Die!

Henschel’s first bestseller was inspired by his 2,500-kilometre (1,500-mile) solo kayak expedition on the Baltic Sea to the Arctic Circle, where he had to make do with what he could find along the way. 
In the wake of the decline in quality veggies etc. self-picked wild plants have become popular for everyday salads or even as delicacies from nature among nature lovers, hikers, foodies and outdoor fanatics, not to mention ambitious amateur chefs in the comfort of their own kitchens, too. 

In addition to the 136 most important edible plants, over 300 species are listed in this book and depicted in more than 360 Leica-quality color images. Moreover, the plants’ botanical characteristics are described to avoid any mix-ups with inedible (or poisonous) relatives. 

E-Book recommendation

Eat or Die!

edible wild plants

mother nature’s delicacies

Detlev Henschel

English translation by Philip Brown

Where, when and how to collect and use them
With over 700 recipes for gastronomists and connoisseurs

The second book by scientist and adventurer Dr. Detlev Henschel is about edible wild plants, which might just save your life if you get into trouble – hence the subtitle: Eat or Die!

Henschel’s first bestseller was inspired by his 2,500-kilometre (1,500-mile) solo kayak expedition on the Baltic Sea to the Arctic Circle, where he had to make do with what he could find along the way. 
In the wake of the decline in quality veggies etc. self-picked wild plants have become popular for everyday salads or even as delicacies from nature among nature lovers, hikers, foodies and outdoor fanatics, not to mention ambitious amateur chefs in the comfort of their own kitchens, too. 

In addition to the 136 most important edible plants, over 300 species are listed in this book and depicted in more than 360 Leica-quality color images. Moreover, the plants’ botanical characteristics are described to avoid any mix-ups with inedible (or poisonous) relatives. 

You can find this e-book in bigger and also smaller online shops (e.g. Thalia, Weltbild, Amazon, etc.) in mobi format or as epub!