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Dictionary

Epazote

A common herb that plays an important role in Mexican and Guatemalan cuisines as well as traditional medicines, epazote is highly aromatic. It has a pungent flavour with somewhat lemony undertones. The word “epazote” is derived from the Nahuatl words “epote” which means foul or disagreeable, and “epatzotl”, which means sweat, signifying its strong, pungent aroma.

Even though epazote is native to Central Americas, as well as central and southern Mexico, it is widely cultivated in different regions across the globe today, including Asia, Europe, United States, and of course, Mexico and Central America, where they are most commonly used.

The leaves of the herb are green and tender when they are still young, but gradually turn red and coarse as they begin to mature. It is also to be noted they as they mature, the leaves develop a stronger flavour, meaning that the older they are, the more bitter they become. Used as flavouring agents either in fresh or dried forms, epazote is used in salads and soups, as well as all kinds of meat dishes, moles, beans and rice. It goes well with line, garlic, cumin, pork fat, cheese, cilantro, etc. In Spain, epazote is used to add flavour to tea.