Monday, July 16, 2007

Detailed information on Papalo, Papaloquelite Porophyllum ruderale subsp. macrocephalum

Detailed information on Papalo, Papaloquelite Porophyllum ruderale subsp. macrocephalum: "Papalo, Papaloquelite, Porophyllum ruderale subsp. macrocephalum"

My gardening conspirator Bill gave me seeds for this plant, which goes under various names, and is the same species as Bolivian Coriander, though this is the macorcephalum (big-headed) subspecies. Bill (who is culinarily pretty adventurous) hated it, and yanked the plants out of his garden.

I'm still trying to decide whether I like it: the flavor is very strong, much stronger than cilantro, with a bit of arugula on the finish. Lots of herbal notes, maybe a bit of citrus, too. Complex, in any case. I found this description in French that sums it up pretty well:
Une plante utilisée au Mexique à l'instar de la coriandre pour ses feuilles aromatiques. Odeur forte, ultra fraîche et musquée, qui rappele vaguement la coriandre mais aussi l'ozone. Saveur très concentrée: un petit morceau de quelques mm suffit pour assaisonner une salsa. À utiliser comme la coriandre. Grande plante à feuilles arrondies de couleur vert bleuâtre. Environ 1,50 m de hauteur. Soleil, mi-ombre.
We had it tonight on beans and rice, and I thought it played out nicely against the earthiness. I can see how it'd be really good with tomatoes and hot peppers, too.

The seeds reminded me a lot of zinnia seeds. I planted six seeds, but only had one of them germinate. I think this had to do with my lack of familiarity with the seeds: Like zins, there were a lot of husks that probably didn't contain seeds.

Mine is in a gallon pot. It yawns at full sun, low water -- conditions that spell IMMEDIATE DEATH to cilantro.

I'm going to try this recipe soon, since I have plenty of hot peppers and green tomatoes & papalo:


2 chiles cuaresmeños asados y desvenados
2 chiles cascabel o morita asados y desvenados
1/4 kg. de tomates verdes chicos, crudos
4 dientes de ajo asados
6 hojas de pápalo (se puede usar 2 cucharadas de hojas de albahaca, perejil, cilantro o epazote);
1/2 cucharadita de jugo de limón
1 cucharadita de aceite
sal gruesa
2 cucharadas de cebolla picada fina


Se muelen la sal, los chiles, el ajo, el pápalo, los tomates; se añaden el limón y el aceite. Al final, se agrega la cebolla picada.

NOTA: Si se muele en licuadora se pone a baja velocidad para que quede con textura y no líquida.

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