Different metals are often baked into mythology. Look at griffins and dragons with their hoard of gold. Or Bellerophon’s use of molten lead to kill the deadly chimera. According to legend, people paid for their passage to the underworld with coins placed over their eyes. But how do different metals turn up in folklore? Why […]
There is something almost glamourous about poisonous plants. From their showy blossoms to their exotic names, they cry out for attention. So it’s easy to overlook the folklore associated with the far more humble edible plants. These are the herbs we cook with. We might pass them in the dried herbs section. Or we see […]
Thyme is native to the western Mediterranean, and it is also found around western Asia and southern Europe. Garden thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is the most common variety, and the type found in historical remedies (Brennan 2020). The usage of thyme dates to 3000 BC, at least. Sumerians used thyme as an antiseptic and to clear […]
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Rosemary is perhaps one of the most instantly recognisable scents among culinary herbs. It makes roast potatoes taste amazing, and I’ve always found its scent helpful when I need to concentrate. There’s also a lot of folklore associated with this plant. Rosemary was also known as Dew of the Sea, Elf Lead, Compass Weed, Guardrobe, […]
Sage has long been associated with wisdom, with the plant name even applied to those we consider to be wise (Harrington 2020: 114). As the second plant in the famous refrain, “parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme” from ‘Scarborough Fair’, it’s also the second plant in our Folklore of Edible Plants series. This fantastic plant was […]