Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sassafras

Any girl scout worth her cookies should be able to recognize the Sassafras tree! It is the tree with the mitten shaped leaves. Sassafras is a Native American tree that grows from Canada to Texas and reaches to about 50 feet. The inside bark of the root is used to make a delicious 'tea' and is considered to be a spring tonic. It is also a prime ingredient in root beer or sarsaparilla. Many home brew hobbyists use sassafras in their micro brews. Unfortunately, sassafras was a herb that got a bad rap from the FDA when some faulty lab test found sassafras to be carcinogenic. It isn't! In 1994, Sassafras became readily available again to be used in tea, beverages, apple butter and hard candy. Sassafras leaves are mixed with thyme leaves and that is referred to as Gumbo file and used as a thickening agent for the famous Louisiana soup.
Think Spring everyone...

7 comments:

Lady Katherine said...

I was just thinking about Sassafras Tea yesterday. My brothers would dig the root, and Mama always made us Sassafras Tea! Many of the trees still grow on my families land, but in the winter I do not know which one it is. How I have wanted and tried to transplant a small tree here. Join me for Tea Time Tuesday! For I was thinking if only I could get the root, I would make Sassafras Tea, just like Mama use too!

Marilyn said...

I am thinking Spring for sure. Hadn't thought of putting Sassafras in apple butter.

lemonverbenalady said...

Remember those mitten leaves from the woods! Thanks for bringing back childhood memories! Yes, spring can't come soon enough!

Angela McRae said...

I am currently reading about herbs so thanks for the fun info here! I had never heard that about "mitten shaped leaves" on this plant. I have so much to learn!

Mary Jane said...

My dad always had a bottle of Pappy’s Sassafras Tea Concentrate for mixing up a quick cup. I remember him drinking it on cold Winter days.

I have a recipe for Root Beer Cake using the Sassafras Tea Concentrate. I use a Whipped Cream Frosting on it and it tastes like a Root Beer Float.

Thanks, Nancy, for the pleasant reminder from my childhood.

Mary Jane

Mary Jane said...

My dad always had a bottle of Pappy’s Sassafras Tea Concentrate for mixing up a quick cup. I remember him drinking it on cold Winter days.

I have a recipe for Root Beer Cake using the Sassafras Tea Concentrate. I use a Whipped Cream Frosting on it and it tastes like a Root Beer Float.

Thanks, Nancy, for the pleasant reminder from my childhood.

Mary Jane

Bernideen said...

When I was a teenager, I had met a girl at camp in Toms River, NJ. I think her name was Pam- anyway I went from Va to see her on the Greyhound bus and one night we stayed up until 1:00 Am making Sassafas Tea on her mother's stove - what a mess we made of OF COURSE we never cleaned it up! Ah - yes - memories!