French Sorrel - Lemonade Plant
French sorrel is considered by many chefs to be the benchmark variety and is an indispensable green in French cooking. When a farmer became thirsty during spring planting, he would reach down, pluck up some wild sorrel, and eat it. The sour-citrus taste has been prized throughout the world for thousands of years as a wake-up call for taste buds dulled by bland winter foods.
A low-growing perennial about 18" tall, up to 2' wide. Flowers are small and green, which turn reddish-brown later. Leaves are green, shield-shaped and more succulent and acidic than garden sorrel, have a pronounced lemon taste.
Sorrel is a very ancient herb, the name comes from the Teutonic word for “sour”.
In the days before refrigeration, sorrel was often the first fresh food that people ate each spring. In Europe it was (and still is) a popular ingredient in spring tonics, taken to prevent scurvy as fresh sorrel leaves are a good source of Vitamin C.
Ancient Greeks and Romans used the herb for promoting digestion and considered it a good complement to rich, fatty meals.
Spring sorrel blends perfectly with other spring herbs such as dill, chives and watercress, and complements such spring foods as new potatoes, salmon, soft-shelled crab, peas, strawberries and spinach. Medicinal uses include prevention of scurvy and cleansing of the blood. Used externally to cure skin disorders and promote a clear complexion.
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