|Mejorana (Salvia ballotifora)|
Photo from: Kim & Lynne Weber
OCast malgilana, mayorana, albahaca morisca (Moorish basil), Arag marduix,.moradux, moraduix, Basq mayorana, Cat morduj, malgilana, L.Origanum majorana, Ar. ’Anqar, Fr. marjolaine, origan, Eng. sweet marjoram, knotted marjoram, annual marjoram. Although a native of Berbery, the plant spread to the northern Mediterranean in early times. Monks cultivated the plant in English monasteries from the 13th C. This herb is a member of the mint family and difficult to distinguish by the taste. The leaves and pink or white flowers that normally bloom in summer. If they are removed, contrary to mint, they will grow new buds that bloom in the fall. The plant is dug up and dried in the shade or kept fresh for culinary use.
Marjoram oil contains terpenes and tannins, used to flavour salads, sauces, vinegars, cooked dishes and herbal liquors. To preserve the sweetness and freshness of milk, leaves were placed in milk pails especially on stormy days.
|Boiling Fava Beans Seasoned with Marjoram|
Photo by: Lord-Williams
In Al-Andalus it was thought ideal added to bake goods and animal fat. It is used also in perfume lotions, creams and soaps. Greeks planted it around tombs to help the dead sleep in peace.
Although a Mediterranean plant, medieval ladies, throughout Europe, demanded its importation for the smell. They rubbed floors and furniture with the leaves, added it to laundry water and stuffed sachets with them. People believed that the scent of the plant guarded one from misfortune and illness.
It cured the damage caused by Cupid’s arrow. The leaves contain thymol, a powerful antiseptic. Greeks and later the English used it medicinally for spasms or convulsions and as an antidote for poison. The juice was put in the nose to purge the brain and was used to remedy urine retention and dropsy. Culpeper advised that it to be stuffed up the nose in powder form, which caused the patient to sneeze. He also recommended marjoram as an anti-inflammatory for bruises and swollen eyes.
Marjoram was not known in the United States until G.I.’s took it home after World War II. Today marjoram continues to be taken for its calm warming effect, insomnia, stress, high blood pressure, menstrual pains, respiratory problems and fever.
[Anón/Grewe. 1982:CXV:140-141:CXVI:141:CXXXVIIII:159 etc; Bremness. 1990:104; ES:Collins. Apr 1, 96; Gázquez. 2002:96:ftn 173; and Nola. 1989:xxxi-2]
FRESH FAVAS IN ALMOND MILK ADAPTED FROM SENT SOVÍ CXVI QUI PARA CON SE APARTELLEN FFAVES TENDRES AB DE AMELLES, p 141
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1 lb peeled fava beans
1 qt almond milk
⅓ c olive oil
salt to taste
1 tbsp parsley, marjoram, and basil
½ tsp vinegar
1 tbsp ginger scrapings
Wash beans in hot water. Pour almond milk, olive oil and salt into a pot and bring to a boil. Add beans.
When tender add chopped herbs, duke’s powder and vinegar. Just before serving, garnish with ginger.
Serve in soup bowls.
SENT SOVÍ CXVI