Lemongrass: traveling with taste to the East!
Lemongrass is an herbaceous tropical plant, grown for its aromatic lemony stem and leaves, thanks to the citronellol it contains. It belongs to the Cymbopogon genus, of which 60 varieties have been identified (the most widespread being Cymbopogon citratus), all originating in Asia. However, the exact region of the original plant has never been identified. Used as a condiment in marinades, finely sliced in strips or chopped in rings, lemongrass brings its unique aroma and taste to a host of dishes and is, above all, a distinctive feature of Asian culinary traditions: Indian, Thai, Indonesian, Malaysian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Taiwanese… Lemongrass is also grown and appreciated in Africa and South and Central America. In Europe, it was used uniquely as a perfume during the Renaissance, and for a long time was confined to Asian cooking. Today, its subtle citrussy taste, its green herbal notes and its versatility in mixing with other aromatic flavors and spices, such as ginger and cinnamon as well as coffee or chocolate, makes it an ingredient for innovative cuisine, savory and sweet. It is used in numerous sauces and marinades, mixed with garlic, shallots or chili peppers, to enrich the taste of fish, seafood and poultry dishes. In baking, it subtly enhances and adds an extra dimension to citrus-based pastries.