I confess I am in the camp of “where have you been all my life.” Which might be concerning as I am me, and I have forever lived in my own body.
(Wow, did I really just write that?)
((What is real is that I have spend ungodly amounts of time in airport and airplanes in the last 7 days and my sanity might be finally breaking… Meanwhile, I promise to share with you in due time what I’ve been up to….)).
(((But if you absolutely can’t wait, you most certainly can pop on over to instagram for vacay picture stalking…))).Okay so 1 break from reality and stream-of-consciousness-style-posting later, let’s talk about why in the world I’m posting jars of brown liquid on the internet.
So first off- what the heck is chicory?
Chicory is a root that has been historically used for various medicinal purposes and/or as a coffee extender or coffee substitute. Most of us are most familiar with chicory being used in Cafe Du Monde (or other New Orleans) coffee blends and drinks. In NOLA-style preparation it is actually roasted and ground just like its coffee bean counterpart, and mixed together to create a very distinctive coffee-blend. The flavor of chicory is similar to coffee in that it creates a dark and bitter brew, however it is completely uncaffeinated and the flavor profile, while similar to coffee, tastes to me a bit more smoky and sour. And a little earthy and maybe just a little nutty. I wish I could pinpoint a more familiar example to compare it to, but I think the flavor is just uniquely chicory.
Now comes the why part of this post-
I saw this awesome recipe for Chicory Creme Brulee over on my friend Darya’s blog and I became super curious about the idea of using chicory as an extract in recipes. I searched high and low for chicory extract and was unable to locate any, even on amazon. So I decided to make my own.
And by extract I mean simple syrup. I suppose you could make an extract out of this using vodka, but my intention was to use this primarily in my morning coffee and I felt a little weird about combining my uppers and downers so early in the morning.
The simple syrup version couldn’t be easier or faster to make, though. I expected to at least have to wait for a few minutes for the chicory to steep, but remarkably this potent roasted root darkens the syrup almost immediately and the effort spent making this is as little as waiting for the sugar to dissolve.
But for now, stay tuned for Friday’s post on one idea for how to use my Chicory Simple Syrup.
How to Make Chicory Simple Syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup roasted ground chicory
- Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.
- Turn heat to medium and stir until sugar is completely dissolved and chicory has been well-steeped.
- Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a mason jar to reserve for future use.
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