Epazote in a Vermont Garden

August 21, 2011
By Holly Jennings

Epazote in the garden at Dowdy Corners, planted in and among the arugula

A couple of books ago, Dowdy Corners Cookbook Club was thick in the middle of Mexican cooking, and it was my chance to find out what the herb epazote is all about. It’s usually described as being quintessential to the cooking of Mexico and as having a distinctive and pungent flavor so unique that no other herb will do; recipe writers eschew substitutions of any kind, saying it’s better to omit, if you don’t have it.

If you don’t live in an area with markets that cater to Mexicans, the only opportunity you’ll have to try it, particularly when fresh, is to grow it yourself. So, against all odds of having something leafy and green to work with before the club moved on to the next book, I ordered epazote seeds in February, when we started cooking from The Art of Mexican Cooking, planted them in seed starter pots, and stuck then in my window sill. (more…)