Chicory



Chicory (Cichorium intybus) is a bushy perennial herbs in the family Asteraceae, native to Europe in the Mediterranean region, and naturalized in North America and Australia. It bears blue, lavender, or white flowers. It has a few common names, such as blue sailors, succory, and coffeeweed. Cultivated chicory is grown for its leaves (var. foliosum), or for the roots (var. sativum), which are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and additive. Common names for varieties of var. foliosum include endive, radicchio, Belgian endive, French endive, red endive, sugarloaf or witlof. Cultivated chicory is generally divided into three types of which there are many varieties.

Radicchio has variegated red or red and green leaves. The leaves has a bitter and spicy taste, which mellows when it is grilled or roasted. It can also be used to add color and zest to salads.

Sugarloaf has tightly packed leaves, looks more like cos lettuce.

Belgian endive has a small head of cream-colored, bitter leaves. Normally grown underground or indoors in the absence of sunlight, in order to prevent the leaves from turning green and opening up. The cream-colored, smooth leaves may be served stuffed, baked, boiled, cut and cooked in a milk sauce, or served raw. The whiter the leaf, the less bitter the taste. The harder inner part of the stem should be cut out before cooking to prevent bitterness.

Endive is cultivated by cutting off the leaves from the growing plant, then continue growing the living stem and root in a dark place. A new bud develops but without sunlight it is white and lacks the bitterness of the sun-exposed leaves. France is currently the largest producer of endives in the world.

Root chicory (Cichorium intybus var. sativum) is cultivated as a coffee substitute in Europe. It is popular in Mediterranean region where the roots are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and additive. It is also used as a coffee additive in India, South Africa, and southern United States.

Beer brewers also added roasted chicory to their stouts, to enhance the flavor.

Root chicory contains inulin, a polysaccharide similar to stach, and can be converted to fructose and glucose through hydrolysis. The whole chicory plant especially the root, contain volatile oils which is effective at eliminating intestinal worms. Ingestion of chicory by farm animals results in reduction of worm burdens.

Chicory flowerChicory flower
Author: Sue Sweeney (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Chicory flowerChicory flower
Author: Alex7357 (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

Chicory flowerChicory flower
Author: Rasbak (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0-unported)

Chicory flowerChicory flower
Author: Fabelfroh (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Radicchio Treviso precoceRadicchio Treviso precoce
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Radicchio Castel francoRadicchio Castel franco
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Radicchio Grumolo grünRadicchio Grumolo grün
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Cichorium endiviaCichorium endivia
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WitlofWitlof
Author: Rasbak (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Witlof Cichorium intybus var. foliosum seedsWitlof Cichorium intybus var. foliosum seeds
Author: Rasbak (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

SugarloafSugarloaf
Author: Goldlocki (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

 Index of 690 Plants in The Flowering Garden





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