Last week in our CSA 1/2 share we got a sprig of Anise Hyssop. Anise what? Now you may be thinking 'oh yuck I hate anise flavor' but let me tell you that it is delicious! It is not the heavy flavor of black licorice but rather lighttly sweet and a bit piney. I didn't know what to do with Anise Hyssop last year when we got some in our share but a quick internet search quickly help me decide on an herbal water infusion. Well it tasted to so nice last year I was excited to find it again this year.
this photo courtesy of Herbal Companion
Anise Hyssop is a member of the mint family and many people consider it a culinary herb. It's actually an American wildflower native to central North America and it's hardy in zones 4-9. Why am I not growing this? Well it's not my zone but obviously it is hardy here or our CSA wouldn't be growing it. I'll have to plant it close to my house where I can sometimes get a zone 6-7 plant to live.
this map courtesy of the USDA
Herbal Infusions are easy. Boil a small amount of water, slightly crush your washed herbs, add them to the pot and remove from the heat. Let them steep for as long as you want. I like to transfer the herbs and water to a carafe, add more water as needed and set it in the sun to brew on a hot day. Now some times herbal infusions will get a bitter taste if left to steep too long but I haven't found this with Anise Hyssop. There are some reports of 'sun tea' making people sick but they are not pre-boiling their water so I think any dangers of this method making anyone sick are pretty slim.
Sunshine and organic herbs does it even get better that this?
Peace and Love,