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Friday, July 7, 2017


Piorno (Genista florida)
Ramón Bravo Aliseda
retama blanca, escobón, xiniesta, L. Genista florida, Eng. French broom. The species is called florida for the profusion of nectar flowers that are produced from March through July. The green branches have whitish or grayish tones. It grows in southeastern France, the Iberian Peninsula and northeastern Morocco. It is most abundant in the northern and central Spain and Portugal. It is rare in Andalusia, Teruel, Zaragosa and Castellón. 

Ground broom was an ingredient used in making garum. During the Middle Ages the buds were boiled in wine vinegar or pickled. 

Photo from: 
Rafael dP. Iberia-Hispania
The English added broom to clarified mutton grease for chapped hands and used in lanoline for ewe’s udders during the birthing season. The juice extracted from the plant when crushed was used to kill lice. It is used to dye wool and flax although more commonly used is its relative common woadwaxen, also known as dyers’ greenwood (Genista tinctoria) as a yellow dye for fabrics or when mixed with woad, the dye turns Kendal Green. See almendras amaraga, chivo, compludo, ginestada  iniesta and retama negra

[Bolens. 1990:194Gran Enci Andalucia. 1979:6: Martínez:2827; Hartley. 2003:159-160; “Old.” 1894: 93; Pepys  1047. 15th C?:35; and Silva. 1994:174]

The Beauty of a Golden Color in a Medieval Dish
Photo by: Lord-Williams

See blog publications for recipes colored yellow like broom see Medieval Spanish Chef’s blogs titled:

Almendras Amargas published June 8, 2011 for Broom Pudding Recipe adapted from Sent Soví  #LVI Qui Parla Con Se Ffa Ginestrada Ab Let De Amelles, p. 100-101.  

Chivo published December 26, 2012 for Broom-Flower Pudding Recipe, Broom-Flower Pudding adapted from Nola xxi-2 Ginestada; and Iniesta published May 6, 2015 for a variation of the Broom Flower Pudding Reciped adapted from Nola xxi-2. Ginestada.

 “Compludo” published March 6, 2013 for Fried Mutton, Onions And Nuts colored brrom flower yellow with eggs and saffron adapted from Nola’s recipe for Dobladura of Mutton, 

Ginestada published November 28, 2014 for Broom Flower Pudding adapted from Nola’s  Ginestada lxix-2.

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