Along the Natchez Trace

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Chicory Defined....

It's been a busy day...  scratched off a couple more things on my "to do" list.  Caught up with my son this evening.  His phone quit working...  really something how much we all depend on our phones these days.  Still working on getting some kind of agenda for the weekend...  daughter from NY will be in Friday evening...  here for the weekend.  Looks like we might actually have a "Wallace Family Reunion" before the weekend is over.  Weather looks good....  it will be great if that works out.

No photos...  did take some bird pictures today... goldfinch... males starting to get their winter feathers.  I walked with a friend on the bike path this morning... I found a $10 bill laying in plain sight on the asphalt.  When Bill picked me up I gave it to him and he gave me a $5 to give to my friend (I never carry my purse with me)....  I believe in splitting the booty ;-)

Last post I had a photo of chicory.  I had to google it to see if that pretty blue flower and the stuff that (especially in the South) they grind up for coffee were one and the same.  Yep...  looks like that' so.  The following is from Wikapedia....

The chicory plant is Cichorium intybus, is a hardy perennial with purplish-blue flowers that open and close at the exact same time each day. Chicory is common in North American and in Europe. Although chicory leaves are used in food (they are often known as endive, frisée, escarole or radicchio), chicory's roots are the parts used to make 'chicory.'

Each chicory plant has a single, long, thick root (known as a 'tap root'). Chicory root is roasted before it is brewed, but it can also be boiled and eaten like a vegetable.

For more on the chicory plant, see this chicory definition from Herb Gardens.

Chicory's History

Chicory is one of the oldest recorded types of plants. Chicory is native to Northern Africa, Western Asia and Europe, and its cultivation is thought to have originated in Egypt in ancient times. Later, chicory was grown by Medieval monks in Europe (at which time commonly added to coffee by the Dutch). It was brought to North America in the 1700s and has been a popular coffee substitute or an ingredient in coffee in France since around 1800.

More recently, chicory consumption has been associated with embargoes and cost cutting. Across history, there have been many substitutes for coffee when coffee was unavailable, including roasted acorns, yams and a variety of local grains, but chicory tends to be the preferred coffee substitute, and in some circles it is even used when coffee is available and cheap.

One historical and cultural example of chicory's use as a coffee substitute is found in New Orleans. Due in part to its influences from French culture, New Orleans was a major consumer of coffee prior to the Civil War. Then, in 1840, coffee importation to the New Orleans harbor was blocked. Taking a cue from their French roots, locals began to use chicory as a coffee substitute. Today, chicory remains a popular coffee replacement or coffee flavoring in New Orleans, and 'New Orleans Coffee' typically refers to chicory coffee. New Orleans coffee vendors often blend their coffee with up to 30 percent chicory root.

For cost-cutting reasons, and perhaps for safety reasons, chicory is also used as a coffee substitute in many U.S. prisons.

I have an appt tomorrow to get my eyes checked...  but then, after spotting that ten spot maybe I'm doing okay.  

That's All For Today!


  1. I have never tried chicory plain or with coffee. Some say it is good, some say it isn't. I am now sipping on a huge cup of strong Columbian Sepremo. Yum, yum.

  2. Fun post! My Dad always fixed the morning coffee before my Mom got downstairs...he told me about the time he substituted Chicory for Folgers or whaterver it was, and she knew it instantly..he had to dump it and re-make her some coffee.

  3. Don't drink coffee, so I just enjoy the flowers...

  4. Wow, that chicory plant has a lot of uses. I had no idea the leaves were in my salad mix!! thanks for the info.

  5. and I can tell you that after drinking Nawlins' cup of Chicory ... you can walk on the Pontchartrain... I gar on tee .. ha remember Justin Wilson?

  6. When my oldest brother lived in New Orleans, he worked for Folgers. His wife preferred chicory. I think it is a little bitter but I like that. hope the get-together works out!