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Old 06-03-2005, 11:03 PM
Mark. Gooley
 
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Default What IS "hierba de conejo"?

Diana Kennedy's _The Art of Mexican Cooking_ mentions it as
used in some Oaxacan dishes and says the plant is a species of
the genus _Tridax_. Other sources say that it is a species of
Indian Paintbrush, namely _Castilleja lantana_.

Anyone here know 1) which it is 2) whether the flavor is special
enough to be worth seeking out 3) a source for seed given that it is
not an Indian Paintbrush? (_C. lantana_ is available from at least
one source I can easily find online, but I suspect that it's not the
right plant.)


Gernot Katzer, the Austrian with the Spice Pages, plumps for _Tridax_.
I can't find much on-line for plants of that genus apart from their
potential as invasive weeds.

Thanks very much.

Mark. Gooley
gooley at gator dot net




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Old 07-03-2005, 09:23 AM
 
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Gernot Katzer, the Austrian with the Spice Pages, plumps for
_Tridax_.
I can't find much on-line for plants of that genus apart from their
potential as invasive weeds.


Actually, the idea with Tridax coronpiifolia also stems from Diana
Kennedy (in "From My Mexican Kitchen: Techniques and Ingredients").
There, she gives a photo of the plant: It looks similar to a
dandelion, with tiny, slim leaves. Moreover, there is a flower
haed which clearly marks the plant as a member of the Asteraceae
family. It looks somewhat similar to the plant shown in
http://www.classicpix.com/cat/psdbi/...am1=058703677X ,
but the leaves are more serrated, and the flower head is closed
so that I cannot guess its size nore color.

In contrast, Castilleja lanata is a member of the Scrophulariaceae
family that looks totally different.
http://www-plb.ucdavis.edu/botanyclu...a%20lanata.jpg

Kennedy describes the flavour of hierba de conejo as "waxy but
pleasant", which seems pretty oxymoric to me. I have never seen
the plant, as the finer points of Mexican food are pretty outside
the general scope here in Europe.



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