What is Chicory ?
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What is chicory?

It's a totally natural product from a perennial plant, grown for centuries, cultivated mainly in northern Europe but also found in India, Africa (southern), Florida and California.

Is chicory something new crop?

No. In fact, chicory dates back 5,000 years and was referred to in the days of Cleopatra and Napoleon. A charming plant with azure-blue flowers, chicory has grown along the Nile River for thousands of years. Egyptians used chicory for the heart, and Romans believed it kept the blood pure. In France, chicory leaves are cooked and eaten like spinach. The root of this age-old plant is the part most commonly used, though. Early herbalists made a tonic from chicory root, said to protect the liver from effects caused by excessive coffee drinking. Also called "succory," chicory root is best known today as a key ingredient in the famous coffee blends from New Orleans. The roasted root has an aroma like coffee, but chicory contains no caffeine (better say Caffeine free coffee), making it a satisfying alternative (or additive) to coffee.

It was thought of not only as a beverage but as a vegetable, and praised for its medicinal like effect on the digestive tract. Introduced to the American colonies by the governor of Massachusetts in 1785, it became a common household product - served as an herb beverage and as a hot or cold vegetable at mealtime. In recent years, it has been preferred as a caffeine free beverage and as a great way to enhance, enrich and extend ground roast coffee.

Is chicory used in salads?

Yes. The leaves of the chicory plant have long been popular as salad greens. Actually, chicory is a distant (but much tastier) relative of the common dandelion.

Is chicory still added to coffee?

Yes. Gourmets throughout Europe and the US have been mellowing coffee with chicory for generations. In fact, consumption of coffee and chicory has dramatically grown in popularity in recent years with several new brands and products on the market. The root of the chicory plant is sliced, kiln dried, ground and roasted to a rich dark brown color, same as coffee beans. When added to coffee, it adds body, aroma, color and mellowness, above all price wise chicory is much cheaper then coffee and have all the catachrestic of coffee so adding chicory to coffee is competitive too.

Doesn't chicory make coffee bitter?

No. In fact, just the reverse is true. Chicory blended with coffee actually produces a smoother, more enjoyable cup of coffee, as proved by extensive blind taste tests among coffee drinkers. Chicory offsets what many refer to as "the bitter taste of coffee". Since chicory tends to darken coffee, this darkness has often been misconstrued as meaning the coffee will be bitter or "stronger".

Does chicory contain caffeine?

No, which means that if you drink a coffee blended with chicory, you actually reduce your caffeine intake without sacrificing enjoyable taste and don’t forgot at cheaper rate.

Is chicory expensive?

No, since it is highly soluble (70%) and very flavourful, adding chicory to ground coffee (only 20% soluble) lets you to brew the same pot of coffee with half as much ground roast coffee, making a delicious yet economical pot of coffee.

Can chicory be brewed by itself?
Yes, and it can be served hot or cold. It has a rich caramel flavor and leaves a semi-sweet pleasantly smooth after taste.
Are there other ways chicory can be used?

Yes. Chicory is a creative, versatile ingredient which adds flavour to other drinks. The chicory root is a common ingredient in herbal tea blends and, as an extract, (made by steeping ground roast chicory in boiling water, then straining), it can be used to add a dark rich colour to soups, meats, gravies and dark breads and now a day chicory is also used for adding flavour to ice-cream in Europe and some part of Russia too.

Coffee and Chicory Mixtures

Measure out half the amount of coffee you'd ordinarily use to make a pot of coffee. Then add half that amount of chicory and brew. Example: If you ordinarily use one tablespoon of coffee per cup, you would use only 3 tablespoons of coffee, plus one and a half tablespoons of chicory to make six cups

Chicory Milk

Combine one measuring cup milk and one teaspoon chicory. Bring to a boil and let stand five minutes. Then strain and serve either hot or cold. Add sugar to taste.

Chicory Extract

Combine in a saucepan 3/4 cup ground roast chicory and 1-1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil and simmer three minutes. Remove from heat, let stand 15 minutes, strain. Store in covered jar in refrigerator. Use a teaspoon or two to flavour puddings and desserts. This extract makes an excellent colouring for gravies, stews, rye breads, or any dish to which you want to add a dark, rich colour.

Chicory for Pet.

Chicory is a highly effective and natural periodic that improves the balance of bacteria in your dog's digestive system. Chicory is harvested for its root, then is washed, dried and ground before being added to dog food. It is a completely natural ingredient and does not have anything added to it or extracted from it.

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