Germany is known as the “European Herbal Kingdom”. There are more than 2,000 Chinese medicine clinics, more than 40,000 doctors use herbs to treat patients, and pharmacies selling herbs are everywhere. In particular, the Franconia region of northern Bavaria, Germany, is also known as the “hometown of herbs”. Local people not only grow herbs at the house, but also add some herbs when cooking. In an interview with the Global Times reporter, Keithman, a Berlin-based food culture scholar, said that “the herbal diet fever” is related to the current Germans’ advocating health, ecological food and reducing the consumption of meat. The herbal diet is indirectly beneficial for coping with global warming.
Herbs in front of the house
The Franconian region is a famous wine growing region for its cold winters and hot summers. More than a decade ago, under the guidance of the state’s agricultural department, the region began to plant herbs such as Astragalus and Xiaobaiju. Since then, the herbs have “rooted” on this land. The reporter of the Global Times reporter drove a short time ago and found that there were patches of herbal medicine on both sides of the road.
The reporter lived in the local town of Fichtelberg in the Schonbrick hotel. The hotel name is literally translated as “a beautiful glimpse”, full of poetry and painting. The hostess, Ms. Uta, specially prepared herbal snacks to welcome guests from afar. These snacks look beautiful, but the reporter is worried that the taste will not be very good. One of the snacks is to put a variety of small chrysanthemums on the bread slices, including chamomile, white chrysanthemum, blue chrysanthemum and the like. The reporter tasted it, unexpectedly – the taste is softer than imagined, with the taste of nature. The most amazing is the spruce cake. The cheese of the cake is added to the chopped spruce leaves, and the surface is decorated with chocolate covered with spruce leaves (pictured), which is full of spruce fragrance. The drinks prepared by the hotel are also immersed in fresh herbs such as mint leaves.
The reporter and his team found that the town houses were planting some herbs in front of the house. Many farmers also use the fields to grow herbs. The most cultivated varieties are dandelion, sage, rosemary, mint, tarragon, oregano, thyme, and stevia.
“Europe has a tradition of growing herbs in ancient times, but herbs have not been influential in China,” Rab said. Later, European missionaries promoted Chinese planting techniques in Europe, but did not form a large “climate”. In recent years, there has been a rise in the cultivation of herbal medicines, not only as herbal medicines, but also as ingredients. Germany’s water, air and soil conditions are better.
More than 1,000 herbs have “food permission”
Karin from Hamburg, who came to the Franconia area a few years ago, met the local farmer Horace and also liked herbal medicine. She took the reporter to the field of her home to introduce the names and cultivation of various herbs. She said that locals will add some herbs to the dishes, such as adding rosemary when cooking meat.
Karin prepared a table of herbal meals for journalists, cold dishes made of herbs, various sauces made from herbs, and herbal drinks of various flavors. The reporter likes the dandelion juice she made. When drinking herbal drinks, first pour one or two spoons from the bottle, then dilute with water, the taste is slightly bitter, and there is a return.
“Dandelion has high nutritional and medicinal value,” Karin said. “The nutrient is rich, containing a variety of trace elements, such as carotene, vitamin C, vitamin B and calcium, iron and other substances, can treat chronic bronchitis, hepatitis. It has a stomachic effect. Its optimum temperature for growth is 10 ° C to 20 ° C, which is very suitable for German climate.”
Karin usually uses a variety of herbs to make herbal teas: cold tea made from elderflower, thyme, willow bark and mint, and soothing tea with mint leaves, balsam, hops, etc., with pepper, mint, green tea , balsamic grass and the like and stomach and intestine tea.
Chur, the head of the Fichtelberg Tourism Bureau, told reporters that the current official certification in Germany is about 1,000 kinds of herbs that can be added to the diet. Many restaurants have also begun to use herbs as vanilla to add food.
The reporter went to the local family restaurant Royce restaurant. Chef Rab showed us how to use herbs in starters, main dishes and desserts. He said that most herbs are vanilla, and when they are used, they can be used to cook foods with better taste and medicinal value.
German nutritionists even classify herbs such as alfalfa and buckwheat, acai and amaranth as “super food”. The so-called “super food” refers to those foods with particularly high nutritional content and good health. It is also used as a trendy food by NET red, used to adjust buttermilk, mix salads, bake cakes, and even some people crush the dried fruit into a mask.
Herbal House promotes “herbal education”
In the small town of Nagel in the Franconia region, there is also a herbal house. It sells a variety of herbal products made by small town residents, and it is also a promotion agency. However, this herbal house is not official, but was founded by the local residents of the Glegels.
The hostess Yuseifen told reporters that the role of herbal medicine still has great potential to be dug, and it needs an institution like herbal medicine to promote it. To this end, they hold a variety of themed events every week: for example, “herbal cosmetics”, where herbalists teach you how to make herbal lip balms, mascara, emollient oils, etc. “Grandma’s recipes” are taught by grandmothers. The younger generation produces herbal foods and beverages; the “bitter mouth” is a tonic to make bitter. The Herb House is also preparing to work with local education departments to develop herbalists.
The “herbal garden” in Nagel is home to hundreds of herbs. There are names and descriptions next to each herb. Local residents can learn herbal medicine while walking. The town’s herbal open-air museum focuses on the long history of herbal medicine.
In the interview, the reporter also found that restaurants in the Franconian area and many residents’ homes are labeled “herbal calendars.” It turned out that this was produced by the local herbal diet association. Each month, the agency launches about 10 herbs that are distributed to residents and restaurants to improve herbal knowledge.