Aubrac Tea - anyone


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Aubrac Tea - anyone

Postby Herb_Master » Aug 22nd, '09, 18:34

Off to South West France soon on holiday, researching guide books disvovered

"The D'Aubrac" or Aubrac Tea in a couple of books

out of interest did some googling on this tea and came across

http://www.aurelle-verlac.com/fleurs/fleurs3.htm

http://www.bionet.schule.de/health/healmed/rodez/theaubrac.htm

But no real info, has anone tried it?

It may be better known by it's latin name

Calamintha grandiflora Satureja Moenh = Grandiflora

or just as Calamint

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/calami06.html
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Re: Aubrac Tea - anyone

Postby Intuit » Aug 24th, '09, 13:58

I know it as mint savory, an interesting salad garnish and cooking herb. I haven't grown it, but I had an elderly neighbor that grew it when I lived in the Deep South; she would leave a small basket of bundled fresh-cut herbs and vegetables on my doorstep and in this way introduced me to a variety of heirloom seasonings.

Calamint in the kitchen: http://www.chow.com/ingredients/86

Example recipe:
Shrimp with Calamint, Garlic, and Red Chiles
http://www.chow.com/recipes/10404

UK source for seeds: http://www.magicgardenseeds.com/CAL01

It would be a good addition for your garden, Herb, although it prefers dry, rocky ground. Probably would thrive as an invasive plant here in the dry Inland PNW.
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Re: Aubrac Tea - anyone

Postby Herb_Master » Aug 25th, '09, 06:46

Thanks, interesting that the French who are as interested in their food as any nation on earth, would refer to it as a tea. I wonder if they do locally use it as a seasoning.
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Re: Aubrac Tea - anyone

Postby Intuit » Aug 25th, '09, 23:19

I wouldn't be surprised if the French use it in the drylands of Provence, but the herbal encyclopedias mention that it's primary origin is the Mediterranean.

"Calamint (genus Calamintha)-The pleasantly minty, thyme-like flavor and aroma of these members of the mint have are used to flavor vegetable and mushroom dishes in Tuscany, Sicily, and Sardinia, where the dried leaves are also used to brew teas. They are easy to grow, and like most natives of the Mediterranean, they prefer full sun and sandy soil. "

I'm looking over herbs to add to my kombucha to boost it's health effects.
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Re: Aubrac Tea - anyone

Postby Herb_Master » Aug 26th, '09, 06:01

Aubrac is somewhat wetter, and usually more famous for it's superlative Cheeses from it's own breed of Cows. I will keep my eye out for it in any usage while next door to Aubrac in the Aveyron.
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Re: Aubrac Tea - anyone

Postby Intuit » Aug 30th, '09, 18:28

Oui! I see what you mean, the elevation makes the ecotype dry-arboreal more like Spokane WA than Pullman/Moscow (the latter is treeless, rolling grassland prairie, the US version of the Palouse, eastern extent of the Columbia Plateau).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aubrac
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palouse
http://www.netrando.fr/4dcgi/us/geoquery/198.htm

I saw photos and read a bit about the dryland cropping in the area, assumed it had ~ 15-21" rainfall per year typical for Mediterranean herbs, when it has quite a bit more (much of it in winter). The drylands are to the South.

In fact, the area once was carpeted with trees - these were cleared, along with other great tracts of land for pasture lands and agricultural development in the 10th-13th centuries.

http://www.laguiole-en-aubrac.fr/anglai ... ubrac.html

This area sounds like a tremendous choice for walking vacation - wonderful historic roots, botanically and geologically diverse landscape!
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Re: Aubrac Tea - anyone

Postby Herb_Master » Nov 15th, '09, 15:15

Well I never did get to try the The D'Aubrac as a tea, it was in limited evidence as I travelled round Aveyron, Tarn and Lot.

Occasionally I saw some bags of dried herbs available in local village markets and sometimes they included 'The D'Aubrac', but all the tea houses failed to offer it as an option, having gone "International", "Signature Blend" and "Nouveau" - like the rest of the western world!

St Cirq Lapopie
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Villefranche en Rourgue
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At Gaillac the weekly market had a likely looking stall, but black looks from the stallholder when I took a couple of photos dissuaded ne from looking closer
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The spice stall looked interesting too, but again the owner was nervous
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Not to worry down the main shopping street by the permenent market all the fruit, vegetable, nuts, mushrooms, cheese, meat and fish sellers were tres jolie, one poissonier even pretending a live crab was about to pinch Zaleha as she looked at it by thrusting it at her and manipulating it's claws with a great guffaw and a mile wide grin.

we bought several items there for our picnic lunches - including tasty large caper berries
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I did see a bottle in the window of a specialist wine shop in Entraygues, but this shop was never open during the 4 days that I was there.

Shortly before leaving for home I found the same bottle on sale in a delicatessen in Albi.

I bought one, but along with all the other tinned and canned delicacies I had to pay an excess baggage fee of £200 - which would have only cost £38 had I paid for a 3rd suitcase in advance. :(

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I hope it is this good, because I have still not got around to trying it, I am still working through my Green Walnut Liqueur ("Liquor De Noix" - a sturdy digestif) and my Chestnut Liqueur ("Liquor De Chataigne" - an excellent addition to White Wine for a pre meal 'Kir Chataigne' a very favourable alternative to Liquor de Cassis for the traditional Burgundy Kir)

Next year maybe I will get organised in advance pay for several suitcases in advance, and search out more dried leaves and other goodies.

Strangely, I never made the connection when walking in the hills we often trod on plants releasing a mint scent, or stooped to look at a flower and discover the leaves were 'minty'. The picture on the bottle revealed that we had encounterd The D'Aubrac several times on our walks - maybe next year I will take a pair of scissors on our walks, or a good laguiole knife :D

In the meantime I still have my Calamint Liqueur to look forward.
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