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Lemon Grass: The Pride Of The Tropics Is Now A Western Culinary Staple

from: Lawn and Garden Magic

One of the world's most beloved spices is lemon grass, a tall variety of grass that grows in the tropics and famous for its lemony odor, lemony texture and lemony taste, thus its name.

Since this spice traces its origins in the two latitudinal parallels, tropical countries have been the first to incorporate it in their native dishes. Indeed, lemon grass is a staple in Indonesian, Sri Lankan, Thai, Guatemalan Malaysian, Indian, Singaporean, Caribbean and even Chinese cooking. Often, it's used along with coconut milk, resulting in tasty and hot delicacies.

Western cuisine was quick to adopt this spice, since Marco Polo introduced it to this side of the hemisphere. Though lemon remains the more popular choice, this grass actually wins the attention of a lot of cooks because of its hint of ginger. It's not just its lemony taste at work. Rather, its lemony taste actually lingers in the mouth for some succulent moments.

Lemon grass also has some medicinal properties. It's said that this spice is quite effective in alleviating the discomforts of dysmenorrhea. Also, it's known to be a rejuvenating substance, perhaps because of the ingredients it shares with ginger. It's also known to cure difficulties associated with urination. In some cultures, this grass is used to lower the temperature of patients suffering from fever. Good digestion is likewise a benefit attributed to this spice. Some people even claim that it's an aphrodisiac, and they're willing to testify in support of this belief.

And because of its lemony ingredients, this grass is also used to ward off mosquitoes. Think of it as a pre-modern day insect repellant.

Nonetheless, it's in the field of culinary arts where lemon grass gained wide acclaim.

These days, you can purchase this grass either in powder form, or in their original form. Either way, please take note that the application of this spice on your dishes should be kept at a minimum. It's quite tasty, and you won't want it to defeat the flavor of your other ingredients. Its role is to supplement and not to replace. A teaspoon of powder is more than enough for a meal that would feed a family of seven. A cup of freshly cut stems is more than enough for the same purpose.

Chances are, you've tasted a dish imbued with lemon grass. The taste is very distinctive, and with the right amount, it's something you'll definitely want to taste again.


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