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Wednesday, October 26, 2016


Nola's Recipe for Chicken and Trotters in Gelatin  
Photo by: Lord-Williams
espicanardo, espicanardi, OCast espica nardo, Sans, nalada (spreading fragrance), Gr. rumi (from the mountain), L. Nardostachys jatamansi, Ar. sunbul or nārdīn, Fr. spĩca nardī, Eng. musk root, Indian nard, Indian spikenard. It is a native of the Indian Himalayas and is part of the valerian family. It spread to humid areas of northern Asia to the west by Biblical times especial as an oil. The plant is mentioned three times in Song of Songs. After the fall of the Temple of Solomon, it was prohibited as a sign of mourning. Christ’s feet were washed with the oil and women’s tears.

Indians have used it in medicine and as perfume. A costly perfumed ointment is extracted from the spikes and leaves, which was highly valued in ancient times. It smells sweet like galingale. The flowers appear in May and June. The roots and sprouts are edible. Sprouts are parboiled for salads or fully cooked to serve in various dishes. In cookery it was an ingredient to flavor dishes. With galingale and other spices it gave flavor to medieval meat gelatins. Then it was believed it made it jell.

It was used in medieval medicine to treat epilepsy and hysteria. Currently, the roots are used in herbal medicines to combat depression. An aromatic confection continues to be made with the leaves and spikes. See espliego. [ES: Anon/Perry. Sep 5, 02:105; ES: Carroll-Mann.Guisados 2-art. Jun 6, 01:ftn 35; ES: “Nardostachys .” Jun 13, 05; and Nola. 1989: xxii-2]

See blog titled cuajar published September 25, 2013 for a Nola's recipe in which he suggests   spikenard or galingale to make the dish jell faster.

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