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Chicory, What Is It?

Chicory, What Is It? image
Parent Issue
Day
17
Month
March
Year
1899
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

The chicory or succory plant is of tlie composite fatnily. It is found most frequently in its wild state in dry chaJky soils, or by the road-sides. It has a long fleshy tap root, a rigid branching hairy stem risiug to a height of from 2 to 3 feet, the leaves around the base being lobed and toóthed, not unlike those of the dandelion. The flowers are of a bright blue color sometimes running into a purple, few in number and measuringaboutH inches across. Chicory is largely cultivated in Europe, and as a cultivated plant it bas three distinct applications. lts roots roasted and ground are used as a substitute for, adulterant of, or addition to coffee; both roots and leaves are employed in salads; and the plant is grovvn as a fodder or hei-bage erop vvhich is greedily consumed by cattle. For the preparation of chicory the older stout white roots are selected, and aftér washing they are slioed up into small pieces and kiln-dried. It is then roasted until it becomes of a dark Drown color and looks very much like coffee when ground, but is destitute of its pleasing aromatic odor. Itgives the coffee additional color, bitterness and body, and may perhaps, as a seductive tonic, and diuretic, modiffies its stimulating aud irritat ing effects. In Belgium the roots are boiled and eaten with butter and all over Europe tbey are kept in the cellar in. the winter for salads. It was only a few years ago since a great tnany of our older citizens drank chicory with and without being mixed with coffee. At one time, the price of a cup of coffee in a restaurant, was slightly higher, when chicory wasused with the coffee bean, than when pure coffee aione was used.