Hildegard von Bingen's Hyssop Powder: Bitter, Fruity, Woody Loveliness {Fragrant Recipes & Taste Notes}

hildegarde-de-bingen-poudre-d-hysope.jpg If you're looking for new taste nuances to add to your daily fare, may we suggest to turn to a forgotten medieval, natural taste enhancer, Hyssop? (Hyssopus officinalis; not to be confused with Anise Hyssop or Agastache foeniculum)...

poudre-d-hysope.jpg Hildegard_von_Bingen.jpg The organic (bio) aromatic is produced as a Poudre d'Hysope by French label Hildegarde de Bingen, which takes inspiration from the studies on pharmacopeia of the woman mystic, musician, painter and saint from the middle ages. It was used traditionally as a digestive and respiratory medicine, among a few other medicinal properties, and is one of the plants part of the secret formula of the Chartreuse liquor. But it also offers a pleasing albeit unusual gustatory profile.

Perfume cognoscenti are unsurprisingly, usually on the lookout for new sources of taste cultivation. Here, we found out that the powder is not just "fresh and floral" as explained by the brand, but also presents a complex aromatic profile. If to the nose, it is reminiscent of the golden, warm smell of hay, to the taste buds, it comes across as bitter at first. And indeed, there is a good quantity of Thujone in it, we learn, just like in wormwood. On its own, that would not be much of a recommendation. But it is also fruity, oscillating between pomegranate and dark plum; and finally, it is woody, a bit perfumey, recalling licorice. These different shades of taste make it an unusual condiment.

Powdered Hyssop can be used, per the brand, on meat, vegetables, pasta, salads etc. Even just on butter. We found out that it goes particularly well with fresh goat cheese.

Here is some music composed by Hildegard of Bingen, Voices of Angels - Voices of Ascension,

Enjoy!

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