Costmary is also normally known as the Tanacetum Balsamita. It is the perennial herb. It has some other names, like Bible leaf, sweet Mary, alecost, mint geranium, and balsam herb. Costmary belongs to the Asteraceae family of plants. Moreover, this plant is also known as the plant of the Virgin Mary; that’s why it is also called sweet Mary. It is a flavoring spice used in a wide range of products around the world, especially in wines.
In the old days, Costmary was widely used for medical purposes. For example, this plant works great on menstruation problems. During the 18th century, Costmary was also used to cure stomach problems. Therefore, a lot of people recommended it for curing various pains and diseases. The Costmary leaves also contain numerous essential oils. According to research, the oil contains carvone as the key ingredient. Besides, Costmary also has religious significance like Coriander. Its leaves were used to mark Bible’s scriptures in ancient times. That’s the reason behind its Bible leaf name.
What does Costmary Look Like?
The Costmary has yellow flowers that have a button-like structure. The flowers appear in small clusters during summer. Its flowers provide a very breathtaking appearance. You can also find white ray flowers sometimes. While its leaves are oval serrated. Normally its leaves grow at the height of around 2 m. The leaves point upward. They are silvery-haired and have a pale green color. The leaves have rounded teeth. The lower leaves of the plant are comparatively larger than the upper ones. The upper ones are also stalkless.
Where does Costmary Come From?
Botanically, Costmary comes from the plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family. However, if you talk about the region, then this herb came from the Mediterranean region. In those regions, a specific type of plant was planted. It was called balsamita. It was mentioned in the plant catalog for the first time in 812. Afterward, the plant got famous worldwide. And especially after the 19th century, this plant started growing in a large amount. It was largely used for medical purposes around the world. Currently, Costmary is not as famous as it was in the 19th and 20th centuries. It has almost disappeared in most regions, including Europe.
How is Costmary Made?
Costmary is made through the plant. Once the plant grows and reaches a certain stage, it is harvested. For cooking and drinking, people mostly use its leaves. So, begin plucking the leaves once it reaches to harvesting stage. You can use both fresh and dry forms of this herb. For making a dry form of this herb, you can follow the steps used for mint. Firstly, wash and rinse the flowers and then put them on any paper on a tray. Then leave it until it dries. Make sure to put it under direct sunlight to let it dry well. Once dried, the leaves become a little crunchy. Then, you can place them in any jar and use them in your cuisines and drinks.
What Does Costmary Taste Like?
Costmary has a very delightful flavor and fragrance. This ornamental herb has a taste that resembles spearmint. It also gives a little flavor of eucalyptus. Some people also describe its taste as slightly lemony.
How is Costmary Used in Cooking?
For cooking, you can use fresh and dry Costmary leaves. You can chop and add the fresh leaves at the end when the food is almost cooked. You can also use the dry form and add them with other spices like angelica and cook it well in the dish. But most people also use it just for garnishing at the end.
What Types of Cuisines Use Costmary?
Due to the great flavor of Costmary, it is used in wide varieties of cuisines around the world, especially in culinary cuisines. It is used in poultry, meat, English ale, and even vegetables. A fresh form of Costmary is also used in salads, including romaine lettuce. Along with dishes, Costmary is also used for tea and other drinks due to its spearmint flavor and great aroma.
What is a Costmary Substitute?
If you are looking for something to substitute Costmary, then we have some good suggestions for you. For replacing Costmary, you can use Mint.
Where to Buy Costmary?
Costmary leaves are mostly available in fresh form. So, you can easily visit any nearby vegetable store and ask them if they have it. While dried Costmary leaves are a little difficult to find. So, you can dry it yourself. But you can grow them in your backyard or garden and use your fresh leaves. For this, we are suggesting the best seeds and soil mixture for Costmary. These are listed below.