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Wednesday, July 12, 2017


Cytisus purgans - gullginst
Photo from: Scott Wahl
piorno, calabón serrano, L. Cytisus balansae or Sarothamnus balansae (previously Cytisus purgans), Eng. broom, Provence broom, Pyrenean broom, Spanish gold broom. "Piorno" is applied also to several types of brooms including the Scotch broom (retama negra). Mashed broom greens were added to garum. The stalks were used to make brooms. That its why they are called "brooms" in English.

The buds, considered a delicacy, were gathered at the end of April or May and salted or pickled. Later they were boiled or washed and added to salads like capers. The English used them in pastry stuffing’s for main dishes. Geneste was a summer dish colored yellow like broom flowers by the use of egg yolks and saffron see ginestada.

The flowers were made into a drink with water for their purgative affects. As a diuretic, the seeds were added to drinks for two weeks, removed and then imbibed for fever and liver problems. Sheep eating the green tops of broom do not contract rot. Also these were thought good for kidney problems, fever, gout, sciatica, black jaundice, dropsy and hip and joint pains.

Buy a broom, bud?
Photo from: Bryan Costin
Today it is known to be a purgatory and cardio tonic for its sparteine content and a diuretic for its glucoside content. It is used for patients requiring these three treatments and for dropsy (today called oedema) caused by heart disease, gout, rheumatism, liver, kidney and bladder affections.

Layman are advised not to try broom for the large number of species. Spanish broom (Spartium juncerum), for example is poisonous, see iniesta. Also see retama negra.

[Bolens. 1990:194; ES: Grieve. “Broom.” Nov 28. 02; Hartley. 2003:159-160; Font. Plantas. 1999:238:362-363; and “Old.” 1894: 93]

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

Broom Pudding
Photo by: Lord-Williams
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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