Dittany is a unique aromatic plant, which is a local endemic to the island of Crete in southern Greece. The leaves and flowers of this cushion-forming, beautiful shrub have been traditionally used for the preparation of herbal teas. In the wild, it grows exclusively as a rock-dweller over 500mt of altitude, and it was traditionally believed that one has to be truly in love in order to climb and gather its tender shoots – a legend that reflects the plant’s romantic vernacular name Erontas, from the ancient Greek God of love.
Sourcing: Even though it’s nowadays cultivated even outside of Crete, the outcome can often be of dubious quality. It took us a while to track down the marvelous young family of farmers who are Daphnis and Chloe’s suppliers. In their remote estate, they cultivate, naturally dry and hand-sort some of the most beautiful Dittany that we’ve tasted in years.
How to use: Historically, it was widely used in medieval monasteries, in liquors such as Benedictine. The plant’s aromatic infusion is praised for its appetite-triggering, antioxidant and digestive properties. It has a strong, sharp and slightly bitter flavor, with a savory nuance that reminds of thyme.
As an Infusion – You’ll need a teaspoon (less than 1g) per teacup, dosage on taste. Simmer for 5’ at 95C, covered. Strain and serve.
As a cooking ingredient – Great for boiling green beans or marinating meat. The infusion of dittany can successfully substitute plain water in many recipes.
Whole leaves and flowers, 24g/0.85oz