Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Epazote

This is Epazote, sometimes called Mexican tea or Jesuit's tea. It is a herb that is native to Central and South America but we grew it in Houston as an annual and it was a very strong reseeder. Once you had a plant go to seed, you would find it everywhere in your garden and lawn and in the cracks of the sidewalks.

Epazote has a strong smell that is difficult to describe....maybe resinous. It has been compared with the liquorice taste of anise, fennel or even tarragon but it is stronger.

Wikipedia says that epazote is traditionally used with black beans for flavor and its antiflatulent properties. It is also used to season quesadillas, soups, mole de olla, tamales with cheese and chile, chilaquiles, eggs and potatoes and enchiladas. I always try to use it in beans but haven't tried it in any of the other items.

Patricia Quintana says that if you have an unsettled stomach you should drink a herbal tea of epazote, basil and mint.

Epazote is a very important ingredient in the Mexican kitchen

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's a shame we don't have "Smell-a-vision" or "Taste-a-vision" on the net. The epazote looks like one of the weeds in my front yard but I don't have nerve enough to try it.

Bill O.

Babs said...

Your photos are fabulous!
Barb

Billie said...

BillO, it probably is epazote if it has what looks like seed brackets on the tips. Rub it in your fingers and see if it has a strong kind of resin odor. The epazote in your yard probably came from the epazote seeder in my garden just a mile or two up the road. Haha.

Babs, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hola Amiga!

We grow and use epazote in Xico - It adds flavor to beans. Grows like crazy down in Veracruz.

Juan

Billie said...

Glad to hear it does well with all the rain you get in Xico

Anonymous said...

I use epazote in quesadillas, beans, making corn even...Suegra taught me to cook here you see. lol. She even taught me how to make the tea for an upset stomach using various herbs...but the mix isn't complete until that epazote starts cooking in the brew. Of course the first time I tried it I disliked the flavor. Now, after having it so many foods, it has become one of those tastes of comfort. The tea really works on bad tummy aches (montezuma revenge indeed) so I guess that is where I got the feeling of "comfort" from when associating the smell/taste of epazote for comfort. I tease Suegra and tell her I don't like that taste because she would put it in EVERYTHING if she could. By the way, I heard it is bad for pregnant women...could cause abortion. I am trying to get pregnent, so not taking in much epazote these days.
Claudine