What is Sweet Woodruff?
It is a perennial flowering plant that loves the shade and a slightly acid soil, frequently seen in the woodland. So why is it here in my food blog? Because it has a lovely heady scent (smells like cut grass and vanilla) and some herbal properties, too.Sweet woodruff has a long herbal history for use in a variety of ailments, including liver problems and jaundice. A tea made from the leaves was used for stomach aches, and a poultice from the brewed, crushed leaves was applied to wounds to promote healing. But those are not the reason it's here.
So why, then, Jeff? Don't keep us in suspenders.
Alright. The reason it's this week's Name This Food! food is because it is mainly used to flavour May Wine.
A celebration of spring! This wine is extra special when the white flowers are blossoming. Plant some sweet woodruff and start your own springtime tradition.
3 litres white wine (any good, light white wine should do)
1/2 cup sweet woodruff, new growth
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 cup sliced strawberries
Early in the day that you are going to serve this wine, combine all ingredients in a large container and chill. After a few hours the flavours will have had time to 'get happy' together. Serve in a big punchbowl while your guests enjoy the spring sunshine!
(Or, you could do what they do in Scotland, where May Wine is part of the Beltane ritual, where they dress like this
and dance round a big bonfire.
But, whatever floats your boat.)
So... what's the next Name This Food! food?