Endives, from garden to cellar

Endives, from garden to cellar

Who invented the endive ? One says that it is thanks to the head gardener’s Mr. Bréziers’ forgetfulness in Brussels around 1850, that the endive was created. Therefore when he discovered his forgotten endives at the end of his cellar, he did not recognize them. Their leaves had whitened and lengthened.  Their taste had almost lost their bitterness. And everybody was crazy about this. Continue reading “Endives, from garden to cellar”

The Fig, False Fruit, Real Flower

Drawing of 4 types of figs

Was it because the fig tree was considered a divine tree in the Mediterranean basin that Louis XIV was crazy about it? He had 700 fig trees planted in crates that were brought in during the winter, like his famous orange trees. It was for those trees that Mansart designed the Fig Garden in the King’s Kitchen Garden. The pavilion still called by that name now houses the large exhibition rooms of the Ecole Nationale Superieure du Paysage (ENSP). Continue reading “The Fig, False Fruit, Real Flower”

The king, the princes, and the green pea

the green pea

Did you know that before being small and green, the brown peas had fed men and animals since the Neolithic era in order to survive the harshest winters? In fact, easy to produce and well kept in a dry place, it is the best food to face periods of scarcity as its nutritional power surpasses meat. The pea belongs to the “fabaceae” family, like lentils or beans. Its destiny changed when in 1660, a daring cook named Audigier offered peas, still green, and in the middle of January, to the Sun King. And as it was the fashion in Italy, they loved it. Continue reading “The king, the princes, and the green pea”

Rosemary, the elixir of youth

Who hasn’t heard of the famous Hungarian water, perfume, made with rosemary, rose water and orange blossom? This recipe for beauty and health would have enabled Queen Isabella of Hungary to regain at the age of 72, strength and beauty. So much so that the King of Poland would have asked her to marry him. Even if it is a legend created by perfumers from Montpellier, the revitalizing virtues of rosemary have indeed been confirmed. Continue reading “Rosemary, the elixir of youth”

From garden to cellar

Endives, winter salad

How can you imagine that the endives, so pale with their leaves barely edged with yellow, have one day become as green as lettuce? And yet, in a first life, they looked like big dandelions, growing in broad daylight in spring and summer. The chlorophyll gave them their green and crunchy appearance like any salad. This is also the only period of their life when the sun is necessary for them. Then it’s the other way around. The less light, the better the endives. Continue reading “From garden to cellar”

Squash or pumpkin ?

Squash or pumpkin

The gardeners’ reward when autumn is rearing its head, is the harvest of squash, in other words, the cucurbits, the pumpkin family. It adorns our vegetable gardens and reminds us of the tales of our childhood. In the garden running stems of the cucurbits play hide and seek and reserve a real surprise during the last mow of our lawns. They came from America in Europe in the luggage of the explorers. Continue reading “Squash or pumpkin ?”