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! Does not bolt in summer like Cilantro. The herb must be used fresh as it does not dry well, and is never cooked.
Papalo pre-dates the introduction of cilantro to Mexico by several thousand years, which is a very interesting story all by itself. South America is thought to be the ancestral home of papalo. The herb grows wild in Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas but is not typically used by the locals.
Cafes in Mexico place bunches of the herb in vases as centerpieces on the table so diners can pick the leaves to add to foods as desired. Little known outside of rural Mexico. It is used fresh or only added at the last moment to cooked dishes, used in tacos, salsas, meats and cheeses.
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.
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).
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