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Angelica

The angelica variety of most interest to cooks is Angelica archangelico, an aromatic herb that resembles a tall parsley plant. It is native to the northern hemisphere and grows well in Scotland, Germany, Scandinavia and Russia, but can be cultivated in warmer climes. In medieval times, it was thought to be an antidote to poison. According to one legend, the Archangel Raphael revealed in a dream that angelica was a cure for the plague. Today, angelica is regarded more for its culinary qualities. The fresh stems and leaves are used as a flavouring for confectionery, pastries and liqueurs; oil from the seeds and roots is used in the predescriptiontion of liqueurs; and the leaves are used fresh in salads. Its most popular use is in cake decoration, where its green stalks are blanched, peeled and boiled, then candied in sugar to produce a vivid green colour.