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"It's not just a coffee substitute anymore...."

Chicory (Cichorium intybus) is a common roadside weed with a wide range in the Americas. It is related to the common dandelion and sends up flowering stalks in the summer, up to a meter high, which branch and sport numerous blue flowers similar in appearance to dandelion flowers except for the color. The petals are wider than the dandelion's and toothed at their terminus. Their spring leaves are eaten in salads and their dried taproot is used to make a brew somewhat stronger than coffee. The roots are of interest in winemaking, although their flowers could certainly be collected and used the same way dandelion flowers are used in making wine. The long roots are dug, cleaned and dried before use.


Place finely chopped or coarsely ground chicory root in small pan and add 2 cups water. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered 15 minutes. Strain liquid through piece if muslin cloth or very fine mesh into primary. Add all ingredients except yeast and stir well to thoroughly dissolve sugar. Cover and let sit 10 hours. Add activated yeast, recover primary, and stir daily until vigorous fermentation subsides. Transfer to secondary, attach airlock and ferment to dryness. Rack every 30 days until clear and no new sediments fall between rackings. Stabilize, sweeten if desired, let sit 14 days, then rack into bottles. [Author's own recipe]

This page was updated on September 26th, 2003

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