An Ancient Remedy
Chamomile is a small daisy-like flower that grows wild in parts of Europe and Asia. Egyptians and Europians have consumed it as a natural remedy for thousands of years. Commonly used for relaxation and easing stomach aches, chamomile is still considered an effective herbal soother.
In Egypt chamomile is still produced entirely by hand, which is one of the reasons why Egypt has the best chamomile in the world. The other explanation is that Egypt's climate is ideal for growing chamomile.
Chamomile can only grow in a small area of Egypt, as most of the country is too arid. The growing season runs from winter to spring; summer is too hot to cultivate the plant. Most of the fields are fairly small and scattered, and irrigated with water from the Nile or wells. The flowers are typically picked by the women, then sorted and sifted by the men. After the chamomile is picked, it is dried in trays for a week.
The most important part of the chamomile plant is the pollen. When steeped in hot water, the yellow pollen imparts that classic apple-like flavor of chamomile, which is why it is essential that the pollen be of high quality.
Flavor Profile & Brewing
Bring water to a boil, then steep the chamomile for 3-5 minutes. While chamomile is known for its smooth apple-like flavor, Egyptian chamomile will taste brighter and sweeter than any other kind due to Egypt's climate. Adjust the flavor by adding a squeeze of lemon or honey. Chamomile is caffeine-free, making it a perfect pre-bedtime beverage.
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