What does Woodruff taste of

This is the question that occupies my thoughts whist all around me imagine what the Easter Bunny might bring them!  

In an attempt to be vaguely healthy before the choc-fest begins we went swimming this afternoon…when I say ‘went’ I mean we travelled to the swimming pool and found out that it was closing in 25 mins so went for ice cream instead!

The park cafe is run buy a local award winning ice cream company, which, although being family owned in my Derbyshire hometown since 1898 still claims to be Italian and thus it was to the Gelataria that we went, not the ice cream parlour.  Anyway, they have lots of flavours and today my attention was drawn to a large tub of bright green Sweet Woodruff flavour.

i know the plant, but was not aware that it was edible, so came home to check it out in my books.  The estimable Mrs Grieve (author of THE herbalist bible ‘A Modern Herbal’ printed in 1931 and never bettered) describes it as fragrant , an ingredient of snuff and pot pori, when dried it has the scent of new mown hay and was used as a medieval strewing herb.  She also mentions that it can be added to sweet German winery make a traditional drink named ‘Maibowle’ which Richard Maybe in Food for Free gives a recipe for; he also suggests adding a stem to a bottle of Apple juice for an ‘ambrosial’ taste.

Several of my other wild food books mention it in passing, but alas not one of them actually says what it tastes like, so while you are all enjoying the gifts from the Easter Bunny I shall be imagining the taste of Sweet Woodruff and next time I see some bringing it home and wondering why anyone wants ice cream that smells of hay,

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