Angelica the sweet healer of Western France

During a weekend trip to Deux-Sévres in the West of France with Juliachou I stumbled upon a Medieval Permaculture wonder known as Marais Poitevin. This region is known for its angelica and goat cheese or chevre.

The region is criss crossed with long sprawling canals filled with marsh water. The monks of a nearby Abbey carved the Marais Poitevin from what used to be a giant swamp.

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This is a photo of Niort, the largest city in the region. inspired by @timbrado who was nice enough to show us his favorite spots in the city.

In Deux-Sévres, where the two rivers meet, the monks carved new routes for the rivers to wind through the countryside. The area was an uninhabitable swamp but now is a charming river town known as the Green Venice.

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Deux-Sévres is a master design of waterways, motorways, old world architecture, gardens and horticulture.

The plant which they are proud of the most is their Angelica. Angelica has a slightly bitter and slightly sweet taste with a very pleasant and long lasting aftertaste. Every part of this plant is edible. The French use angelica for jams, chocolates, candy and liquor.The leaves can also be added to a salad.

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Angelica has a long history in France. It was a folk medicine known to cure stomach ache, relieve congestion , and detoxify the body. it was also used to counteract venoms. Legend has it that in Medieval France, people wore angelica around their neck to protect themselves from the plague.

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The stem is made into confit, a type of sugar candy or confiture which is a jam. My favorite is the french chocolate with angelica. The confiture is wrapped in chocolate and has a fresh taste with unique natural sweetness. These were made by us at L’Ambassade de Cacao.

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The French sure know how to take their medicine!

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Want to plant some Angelica in your garden? Here is where you can buy North American native Angelica and more specifically California native Angelica for your own uses - California Flora Nursery .

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