Hyssop, also known as Hyssopus Officinalis, is an evergreen herb. This plant belongs to the mint family that is called Lamiaceae in the botanical language. This herb has highly aromatic flowers and leaves. And that’s what it is famous for. Its plant can only be grown in areas that are highly exposed to direct sunlight. That’s why it is the native plant of regions around the Caspian Sea, the Middle East, and Southern Europe.
Like the majority of other herbs, Hyssop also has a big history of usage for medicinal purposes. In old times, it was used to cure cough due to its antiseptic properties. The traces of its existence fund in the 8th century BC. And since then, it has been important of human kitchen and medicine. Besides, the name of Hyssop has been derived from the word ezob, which means holy herb due to its religious importance like few other herbs.
What does Hyssop Look Like?
Hyssop has a bright color. It is either the combination of few subshrubs or a single shrub. These shrubs have a height of around 30 cm to 60 cm. This plant has a woody base stem. These stems grow from various upright branches. Besides, the leaves of Hyssop have a dark green color. They are lanceolate. Each leaf has a normal length of 2 cm to 2.5 cm. The Hyssop plant also produces some flowers during summer. The color of these flowers may vary based on their region and type. The few common colors are blue, white, purple, and pink. The flowers give rise to a few tiny oblong tetra-achenes.
Where does Hyssop Come From?
Historically speaking, Hyssop came from Greece. It was used in their classical antiquity. Its production around the world started from the production of its essential oil. Hyssop also produces a specific type of oil. These oils are extracted from both leaves and flowers of this plant. The Greeks used this oil for both culinary and apothecary purposes. Soon after this, few other countries also adopted this plant which includes Israel and Egypt. While Romans had religious reasons for adopting Hyssop. The Hyssop plant was protected against the evil eye since Hyssop was also mentioned in the Bible. But eventually, due to its exceptional benefits, it was also adopted by the rest of the world.
How is Hyssop Made?
The production of Hyssop starts with plantation. It has high resistance against drought and sandy soils. So, you can easily grow the plant. You can harvest the plant twice a year, i.e., beginning of fall and end of spring. You should begin cutting the stalks once it gets ready to harvest. Then, you must dry the stalks for further use. You should choose a cooler and well-ventilated spot for drying them as they cannot dry well in warmer areas. When you put the stems for drying, make sure to mix them well. Otherwise, the upper stems will dry, and the stems at the bottom of the container will remain wet.
What Does Hyssop Taste Like?
Since Hyssop belongs to the mint family, its taste also resembles mint to a great extent. However, unlike mint, Hyssop has floral overtones such as the minty lavender with a slight bitterness. This herb has a refreshing aroma and adds a great flavor to all types of cuisines and drinks.
How is Hyssop Used in Cooking?
For cooking, you can use both fresh and dry forms of this herb. While using fresh leaves, make sure to wash them well. We suggest you steam its fresh leaves. It will reduce its bitterness and makes it taste better. While you can sprinkle the dry leaves in any dish, you want.
What Types of Cuisines Use Hyssop?
Hyssop can be used in different cuisines. It is widely used in soups, salads, broths, vegetables, meat, and even pasta. Besides culinary items, Hyssop is also used for making tea and cocktails, etc.
What is a Hyssop Substitute?
You can use two main ingredients to replace Hyssop. Both of these ingredients belong to the mint family. These ingredients are mint and lavender.
Where to Buy Hyssop?
Hyssop is not a very common herb like basil. So, you may feel a little trouble finding it in normal shops. Therefore, we have listed few products for you. However, you can get these products online with great ease, and you won’t need to visit different shops in search of Hyssop. These products are listed below.