If there is a typically local tradition, a little forgotten, which links the Alsatians and the Mosellans it is that of the Wàldmeister!
Lucky you, I’m going to share my experience with you, because spring is coming and it’s soon the season of the fragrant woodruff, the French name for Wàldmeister. In Latin it is called Asperula odorata but I prefer its name in dialect which means “master of the forest”. A well-deserved designation for this small plant with white flowers, which spreads a typical smell, of hay and vanilla (according to me!) in the half-shaded undergrowth from March.
This odor, which develops even more strongly when the flower is faded, is that of coumarin, which is also found in the so-called “Amsterdamer” tobacco. Coumarin has a tranquilizing and blood-thinning effect. The woodruff being a medicinal plant, it is advisable to scrupulously respect the doses!
You can use the woodruff as an herbal tea or in the form of a Maibowl (white wine flavored with woodruff, to be consumed in moderation 🙂 !) but I prefer to use the plant to make the Wàldmeister, a maceration in schnapps.
I am fortunate that the woodruff has acclimated in my garden, but you can very well find it in the forest. Be careful not to pull the plant out, but cut it with a chisel at about 5 cm from the ground. And take only what you need, the rest will allow the plant to survive, and will make other amateurs happy!
- 1 liter of fruit brandy, neutral
- 100 grams of powdered sugar
- 40 sprigs of sweet woodruff
Recipe for Wàldmeister
- Wash and dry the woodruff sprigs
- Gather and tie the strands with a food thread
- Put the strands upside down in a 1.5 liter jar
- Add the sugar, then the fruit brandy
- Leave to macerate for 4 weeks, turning occasionally to mix the sugar well.
- Remove the bouquet and filter the liquid to avoid impurities
Your Wàldmeister is ready to eat! Es gilt!
My photos of the Wàldmeister