HERBS & SPICES
ALLSPICE - Whole Spicebush berries. Use in place of imported
ROOT - Wild dandelion root, chopped and dried.
- Ground as in Fresh Handmade Filè
SUMAC POWDER - Ground fine.
GINGER POWDER - Wild Ginger roots, dried and ground fine.
Handmade Filè Powder
It is the powdered leaves of the sassafras tree. When ground,
they smell somewhat like eucalyptus. Filè powder is used
in authentic Creole or Cajun cuisine. Long before the use of Filè
powder for Creole and Cajun cooking, American Indians pounded sassafras
leaves into a powder and added them to soups and stews. When ingested,
the powder causes the body to perspire so it was used medicinally
to break fevers. In addition to contributing an unusual flavor,
the powder also acts as a thickener when added to liquid.
Filè is rare and we make this in the summer months. We harvest
the green leaves one at a time and dry them by hanging them in bunches
on lines in the barn. The leaves when dried are crumbled and are
ground in a burr grinder to refine the leaves to a powder. As
WIld Ginger is rare and we harvest it in small quantities in late
summer. We divide the plants in the field take the oldest roots
and replant the remaining tubers. This encourages the field to
grow larger and helps with spacing and better growth for the plants
Another great way to experiences a fruit is in a fruit syrup. Used in
cooking and cocktails. All are as available.
American Colonial days, concentrated fruit syrups were called shrubs.
A shrub is a concentrated syrup made from fruit, berries or flowers, blended
with sugar and vinegar. It is mixed with soda or tonic water, in the nineteenth
century, brandy or rum was added.
& AGED WILD VINEGARS