Loroco is small green unopened flower buds used as an herb for flavouring in Central America.
Loroco tastes "green" with overtones of nuts. The closest taste perhaps to compare the "green" part to is chard, or a cross between mild broccoli and squash. It is used in salads, rice dishes, stews and sauces. In El Salvador and in Honduras, it is added to the fillings in "pupusas."
The Loroco plant is a woody vine. It grows wild in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, and prefers a temperature range between 68 and 90 F (20 and 32 C.)
The leaves can be 1 1/2 to 8 1/2 inches (4 to 22 cm) long and 1 1/2 to 5 inches (1 1/2 to 12 cm) wide. The vine produces flowers in clusters of 10 to 32, averaging 25 per cluster, that in turn, if unharvested, produce pods up to 13 inches (34 cm) long, containing 25 to 190 seeds. The pod matures from green to dark brown.
In El Salvador and in Honduras, the vine has been traditionally cultivated in home gardens, though now commercial growing is encouraged.
Loroco is not available fresh in the United States because the United States Department of Agriculture's Commodity and Biological Risk Analysis team discovered that the plants can bring with them the "Diabrotica adelpha" beetle.
Loroco can be bought in jars (brined or pickled in vinegar), or frozen. Outside America, they can also be bought fresh in some markets in season.
Loroco is native to Central America, probably El Salvador.
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- AngelicaAngelica is an herb more commonly used in Europe than it is in North America, where it is somewhat of an esoteric product that many people either give in and grow themselves, or obtain by mail-order. The plant, which is related to parsley and celery, is an energetic one, pushing up to 6 or 8 feet tall (1.8 to 2.4 metres.) It has bright green toothy leaves on ribbed, hollow stems that are purple at the base of the plant and turn light green towards the top.
- Angostura Bark
- Bay LeafBay trees can be kept trimmed into hedges or bushes, or in a warm Mediterranean climate can grow quite tall, up to 60 feet (18 metres.) The tree is an evergreen -- its thick, smooth, shiny dark-green leaves stay on the tree all year round. If you live in an area where you can grow Bay (aka Laurel) trees, you can use the leaves from the bush.
- BorageBorage is an herb plant that grows up to about 70 cm (2 1/2 feet) tall, with a spread of about 60 cm (2 feet.) The plant won't win any beauty contests -- it has wrinkled oval leaves with stiff, white prickly hairs -- but it develops beautiful flowers which are usually blue, sometimes pink or lavender. Though borage is an annual, it self-seeds, and will propagate easily in a garden.
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- TrefoilTrefoil is a perennial herb with a flavour between parsley and celery (some think fresh coriander or angelica.) It is evergreen in places where the winter is mild, and grows 1 to 3 feet tall (30 cm to 1 metre.) It blossoms with very tiny star-shaped flowers. The stems and leaves are used as an herb.
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Fernaldia pandurata Woodson. (Scientific Name)
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