Papaloquelite is a fabulous ancient Mexican herb. The name comes from the word papalotl, Nahuatl for butterfly.
Unusual, piquant, fresh green leaves have a marvelously complex, distinctive flavor - like cilantro on steroids! Predates the Chinese introduction of cilantro and used for tacos, salsas, meats and cheeses. It is used fresh or only added at the last moment to cooked dishes. Cafes in Mexico often place small branches in vases so diners can add to their beans and filled tortillas.
Does not bolt in summer like Cilantro. The herb must be used fresh as it does not dry well, and is never cooked. The herb grows wild in Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas but is not typically used by the locals.
Bunches of the herb are used as centerpieces in restaurants where diners pick the leaves to add to foods as desired. For high-elevation dwellers this is a daily tonic. Little known outside of rural Mexico.
In October 1999, when Alice Waters, renowned chef of Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, first tasted one variety of papaloquelite, she was ecstatic, demanding to know why she had never experienced it before. She purchased every seed packet available from the Underwood Gardens booth at the Taste of the Midwest Festival, an annual event sponsored by the American Institute of Wine and Food. (From the December/January 2000 issue of The Herb Companion). To learn more about its history and uses, read Papalo - Heat Loving Cilantro Alternative.
As you can see from the photos, the seeds are delicate and require special packaging. If the stem is broken from the umbrella-like top, it will not germinate. The price includes special packaging.
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