Coffee Partner Natural Ground Chicory is the natural mellow partner of coffee. It takes out the bitterness sometimes produced by coffee oils to yield a smoother cup of coffee. Coffee Partner Chicory also enriches the flavor and aroma of ground coffee to help make it go twice as far.. deliciously!
What is Chicory???
Chicory is the roasted and ground root of the cultivated plant species, Chicorium Intybus, subspecies Sativum. Common names include 'large rooted chicory' and 'chicoree a café'. Many different cultures have used chicory for medicinal purposes for over 5000 years. Some of these include:
- Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used it as a liver tonic, sedative and appetite stimulant.
- Syrup of chicory is said to be an excellent laxative for children since it works without irritation.
- Ancient herbalists considered the bruised leaves to make a good poultice for swelling and inflamed eyes.
- Modern herbalists say chicory increases bile production, moderates a rapid heart rate, lowers cholesterol and destroy bacteria.
Chicory in New Orleans:
Exactly when the root was first roasted to be used as a coffee substitute is unclear. There are references to the use of wild chicory root as a coffee additive in colonial America. It is known that its use in this form was widespread in France after Napoleon initiated the 'Continental Blockade' in 1808, which deprived the French of most of their coffee.
When the blockade was lifted the French continued to use chicory as an additive because they believed it was good for one's health and improved the flavor of coffee. In the 19th century its use as a coffee additive and substitute became widespread in France and areas of French cultural influence like Louisiana. Chicory use grew with the advent of the Civil war. As trade disruptions and blockades disrupted deliveries of coffee, citizens and soldiers made do by roasting wild chicory root, as well as many other ingenuous substitutes like corn and groundnuts.
But this was a substitution of necessity, not choice, so when the war ended, chicory use decreased as prosperity improved and coffee became more readily available. Except in New Orleans and parts of Louisiana where its use was a matter of preference not necessity. Of course, chicory use, as an economical additive in coffee is widespread throughout the world. But, in New Orleans, this economic rationale ignores the influence of 19th century French culture on our cuisine, and does nothing to explain our continued preference for coffee & chicory, even when chicory becomes more expensive than many coffees.
New Orleanians hang onto their culinary traditions with a vengence. We have consumed coffee and chicory for over two hundred years and will do so for another two hundred. While espresso, cappuccino and exotic coffees from around the world are available here as they are available everywhere, one can rest assured that a café au lait in New Orleans will be made with rich black coffee & chicory and boiled milk, just as it was two centuries ago.
No matter where you live, now you can enjoy traditional Louisiana fare. We carry a wide range of New Orleans culinary delights, including chicory coffee, Barq’s Red Cream Soda and a large selection of New Orleans gift items. Call us today at (985) 377-9253 or visit our website for more information.