Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Capturing Summer

To start this post, a simple apology because it has been to hot for me to be my normal self
and so i have not posted here recently, but there has been a lot going on.

I could have titled this port: " A some what technical dissertation about tradition", but it is about drying spices and preserving summer made more sense.

So, i love traditional flavors and use them often.
I often "tweak" them to my style, but the traditional flavor is there.

The "traditional" way to dry spices is to cut the branch and hang it up side down until the leaves dry and them capture the crumbled leaves for later use.

When i first tried it, i questioned it, sure hanging the branches upside down was helpful, but flavor seemed to not be retained in the leaves, so i tried something different...
I removed the leaves and dried them separate and it seemed i had much more flavor.
This is not definitive so i decided to experiment...as a chemist.
The easiest compound for me to analyze was chlorophyll, but chlorophyll degrades to phenophytin as vegetation dies...
I separated the mint leaves into 2 groups, one i removed the leaves immediately, the other left on the stem till they dried.
I did take a sample of each first to measure chlorophyll, to insure they were approximately equal and they were.
The dried product was the checked and yes the phenophytien levels were higher in those leaves that were taken off the branch.  I make the assumption that the same happens to the flavors.

I know take the leaves off before dring herbs.