[Sca-cooks] Rue (was herbs)

galefridus at optimum.net galefridus at optimum.net
Mon Jan 14 13:53:56 PST 2013

Rue grows pretty much as a weed in my part of the country (northern NJ) -- one SCAdian friend has a sizable "rue patch" along one side of his house, and gave me a couple of small plants. It's now in the process of establishing itself in our side garden. It's a perennial, and it stays green throughout the winter. If you have any gardening friends, maybe you could convince them to grow a bit for you, especially since it's very low maintenance.

Personally, I like the flavor that it imparts -- a kind of aromatic bitterness. And I have a special fondness for it, since it's on one of my SCA award scrolls, together with crocus (saffron) and olives. 

> Nice to see rue is on the GRAS list! Some things on the list are 
> of questionable safety, but they are items ordinary people are 
> much more likely to ingest with some frequency - rue is unlikely 
> to become something many SCAdians eat daily.
> Also, i think rue doesn't cause contact dermatitis after it is 
> dried. I didn't have a reaction to the rue i got, but that 
> doesn't mean much, as some people don't react to it. So i still 
> need to see if i can find more adequate info.
> The wikipedia article mentions that too much rue in a meal can 
> cause some people gastric distress, but there are other 
> ingredients we use that can cause issues if too much is 
> ingested, such as nutmeg.
> So all this indicates that rue is safe in small quantities. I 
> still think people should be given notice, so if know they will 
> react, they can avoid it. And i think it would be good to 
> include the information that shows it's on the GRAS list for 
> general knowledge. There are food colorings that are more 
> dangerous than rue, but about which many people have little concern.
> I'd love to see rue reappear in Roman cooking. Getting it would 
> be a problem, since it isn't commonly available (and avoiding 
> contact dermatitis - rue gives some people blisters). It's not 
> something i could grow in my apartment - i have no access to 
> outdoors (no balcony or patio), my space is limited and i have a 
> "black thumb".
> Someone sometimes called Urtatim

I also kill plants pretty effectively, but so far the rue has stood up to my ministrations!

-- Galefridus

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