Actualités-Epices et Extraits de Plantes

Thèmes: Poivre de Sichuan à Nancy; Encens et Myrrhe; Les Rois Mages; Thé contaminé

“Du Poivre De Sichuan Récolté À Eulmont, Aux Portes De Nancy”

“Il est à la Chine ce que la mirabelle est à la Lorraine. Le poivre de Sichuan, petite baie très aromatique et particulièrement prisée par les grands chefs, est récolté depuis cette année dans notre région, à Eulmont, aux portes de Nancy, à la ferme « Les fleurs anglaises ».
Véronique Verdelet, originaire de Normandie et que « l’amour » a conduit à s’installer en Lorraine il y a 13 ans, est surtout réputée pour ses légumes bio et ses fleurs aromatiques. « Nous sommes présents sur les marchés de Nancy et nous recevons aussi nos clients à la ferme », indique-t-elle.
Sur un foie gras, une viande grillée, un dessert
Mais depuis quelques semaines, elle commercialise sa propre production de poivre de Sichuan. Le parfum de sa récolte est littéralement enivrant. Concassée entre ses doigts, la coque fleure les épices. Il se dégage aussi une note légèrement citronnée et boisée. On l’imagine tout de suite sur un foie gras, un magret de canard, une viande rouge grillée ou dans une salade. Il peut même se marier avec du chocolat et des fruits.
Véronique est donc assez fière de sa récolte. Elle l’est d’autant plus qu’elle n’avait pas prévu de produire ce faux-poivre, puisqu’il s’agit davantage d’une baie dont la coque est nettement plus goûteuse que la graine noire qu’elle enveloppe. Dans cet arbre tout est d’ailleurs bon, la feuille s’utilisant pour parfumer les plats mijotés, à l’image de la feuille de citronnier kaffir, mais en moins prononcé. (…)”

“Frankincense And Myrrh”

“Culture and chemistry meet in fragrant plant-based incense
Spicy-smelling frankincense and myrrh have been intimately intertwined with humanity throughout recorded history, from the frankincense pellets found in the ancient tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun to the myrrh-infused brandy concoction used to preserve the body of Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, a 19th-century British war hero. The substances’ musky plumes of smoke are most often associated with embalming, perfumes, and religious rituals around the world, including ceremonies in the ancient temples of Jerusalem and modern Roman Catholic liturgies. Beyond those uses, frankincense and myrrh may also have medicinal and psychoactive components.
Both of the earthy entities are gum resins, which are viscous secretions from trees. Frankincense, also known as olibanum, comes from select trees in the Boswellia genus, and myrrh usually comes from Commiphora trees. The plants belong to the same botanical family and commonly grow on the Arabian Peninsula, in India, and in northeastern Africa. « Both trees are usually gnarled and look stunted, without very many leaves, » describes Kerry Hughes, an ethnobotanist and founder of EthnoPharm, a consulting company specializing in plant products.(…)”

“Christmas Gifts by 3 Wise Men: Frankincense, Myrrh and Gold”


“Three wise men came from the East to pay their respects to the newborn Holy Child in Bethlehem. This is probably the first encounter many people have with the mysteriously shady perfumery ingredients of frankincense and myrrh. Gold, thankfully, for most is a known commodity, even in the less nominally elevated versions. As a child I was always impressed that two out of three of the precious gifts were fragrant. What possible use could baby Jesus have for them? It consolidated the budding thought that smell and the pleasure of this sense is of paramount importance!
Let’s not forget that the wise men were called « Magi »/μάγοι (i.e.magicians) in the gospel of Matthew (2, 1-12), written in Greek, the only gospel in which they make an appearance. Because fragrant materials have magical powers, obviously, my elementary school intellect fantasized! And they do…albeit in a differert way than I had imagined.
But the fact stands. Frankincense, myrrh and gold are magical in their own right. (…)”

“Tainted Tea: The Abysmal Conditions On Assam’s Tea Estates”

“A recent BBC investigation shed light on the squalid conditions existing on some tea estates in India’s northeastern state of Assam. Some of the world’s best-known tea brands buy from these estates. The report elicits many questions about the need for greater visibility and accountability along the supply chain, as well as about the price of a simple cup of tea (Camellia sinensis, Theaceae).
Assam is a Y-shaped state containing 32 districts that lies at the southern edge of the Eastern Himalayan Mountains and straddles the Brahmaputra River. It is contained within an area of land surrounded by Bhutan to the northwest, China to the north, Myanmar to the east, and Bangladesh to the southwest. Assam is the largest tea-producing region in the world. According to the Tea Board of India, for the 12-month period that ended March 31, 2015, the state produced 606.8 million kilograms of tea (more than 1.3 billion pounds), accounting for 50.7% of India’s total production for that time period and approximately 13% of total world production. At the end of 2013, 304,400 hectares (more than 1,175 square miles) in Assam were dedicated to the production of tea. (…)”