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What is Chamomile Herb?


Description

A bright yellow daisy-like flower, most well known as a tea, which can also be used as a garnish and to add floral components to dishes. 

What does chamomile taste like?

Chamomile has a sweet, fruity scent with a strong floral flavor of apple, when heated the aromas perfume the liquid infusion. 

Where does chamomile come from?

A member of the Asteraceae or sunflower family, chamomile comes in varying shapes and colors. 

The most common is the vibrant yellow anthemis tinctoria which can be used in recipes fresh or dried. 

Chamomile is used throughout Europe, India and Western Asia.

Chamomile Uses

Generally used for sweet recipes, the refreshing sweet flower can also be infused into alcohol to counteract bitterness. 

A few flowers direct a pungent flavor and aroma, chamomile can be infused into tea, cocktails, alcohol, desserts, salad, ceviche, and savory dishes.

Chamomile Substitutes 

  • Peppermint: best substituted into tea or desserts, peppermint is sweet and calming like chamomile.
  • Lemon verbena: citrus and calming characteristics suitable in teas or cocktails.
  • Lemon balm: similar in herbal and soothing properties, use as a substitute in tea or cocktails.

Chamomile Compliments and Pairings 

Chamomile pairs best with sweet and fruit ingredients whilst also being able to heighten and contrast delicate flowers such as raw fish.

Complimentary ingredients include honey, strawberry, raspberry, apple, pineapple, melon, lemon, and raw fish.

Chamomile Expiration and Storage

  • Fresh: store fresh flowers in a vase of water and use within a week.
  • Dried: store dried chamomile flowers in an airtight container out of direct light within one year, use whole dried flowers rather than fine powder.

Fun Facts About Chamomile

  • Chamomile is the national flower of Russia.
  • English monks historically brewed chamomile into beer in the Middle Ages.
  • The Saxons revered chamomile as a sacred herb.

Popular Chamomile Recipes

  • Chamomile tea
  • Strawberries with chamomile cream
  • Yuzu and chamomile ice cream
  • Scallop crudo with chamomile oil
  • Chamo-mule

Chef Max

Michelin trained professional chef with a passion for recipe writing and all things food. I have worked for over five years at top restaurants across the UK and have gained an ability to create any recipe you desire, from comfort food recipes to fine dining recipes. My experience in food writing includes a placement at Delicious Magazine which involved feature writing, recipe testing, article research, and content creation.

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