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Help identifying a herb for chicken soup


UHPD 1 | 2
4 Jan 2017 #1
As a child my mother grew an herb she used for chicken soup. She let the plant mature, pulled the whole plant, let it dry, and used primarily the seeds on the end of the stalk. Possibly basil or rosemary? Unknown spelling, but she called it "MEIGHTYONKA" Anyone can help me spell and/or ID please.
DominicB - | 2,709
4 Jan 2017 #2
@UHPD

Probably "majeranek", known as marjoram in English.
Ironside 51 | 11,346
4 Jan 2017 #3
dill?
seeds? What do you mean?
cumin?
DominicB - | 2,709
4 Jan 2017 #4
She let the plant mature, pulled the whole plant, let it dry, and used primarily the seeds on the end of the stalk

That would be a good description of how dill is used, though. I suspect you confused the name with that of marjoram, which she also probably put in the soup. Dill is called "koperek" in Polish.
OP UHPD 1 | 2
20 Jan 2017 #5
Clarification: Instead of seeds, what she used was the pods or seed husks that were in groups at the end of the stalks. Definitely not Dill. I'm leaning toward Rosemary, but it might be Oregano or Basal (that flowers and sprouts the seed pods). Guess I'll try to plant them in the spring and determine that way. Surprised the word she used was not recognized as my father spoke fluent Polish.......
DominicB - | 2,709
21 Jan 2017 #6
@UHPD

The closest thing I can think of is Borage, which is called Ogórecznik (pickle plant) in Polish, but used to be called Miodnik (honey plant), because it is the most popular plant with bees in the garden, and is rarely seen without bees on its flowers. It's commonly grown in home gardens, usually for flavoring pickles, and can indeed be used in soups. Use google images to see if this is the plant.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,485
21 Jan 2017 #7
Unknown spelling, but she called it "MEIGHTYONKA" Anyone can help me spell and/or ID please.

This is MACIERZANKA of which there are three types:
- macierzanka piaskowa (Thymus serpyllum),
- macierzanka tymianek (Thymus vulgaris),
- macierzanka zwyczajna (Thymus pulegioides).
Chemikiem
21 Jan 2017 #8
MACIERZANKA

Thyme in English. I was quite surprised by this, always thought rosół was made with pietruszka, or sometimes dill.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
21 Jan 2017 #9
"MEIGHTYONKA"

Probably the peasant term marionka for marjoram, undoutedly the most widely used herb in Polish cookery.
DominicB - | 2,709
22 Jan 2017 #10
marjoram, undoutedly the most widely used herb in Polish cookery.

Undoubtedly not. Parsley, dill and chives are much more widely used. Also, marjoram does not fit the description of the herb by the OP.
mafketis 30 | 9,529
22 Jan 2017 #11
Probably the peasant term marionka

Phonetically yes, an American could totally hear 'marionka' as 'meightyonka'. In terms of appearance, could the term marionka be used for different herbs in different places?
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
22 Jan 2017 #12
marjoram does not fit

But it fits the OP's popular ANglo-phonetic spelling "MEIGHTYONKA".
Of the dry herbs, marjoram is the most common. Of the fresh greens, dill and chives would be, Parlsey less so. The French use it a lot but Poles prefer dilled potatoes to parslied ones.,
DominicB - | 2,709
22 Jan 2017 #13
@Polonius3

It doesn't fit his description of the herb at all. If you read the thread, you will see that I originally suggested marjoram, but he said "She let the plant mature, pulled the whole plant, let it dry, and used primarily the seeds on the end of the stalk." And later, "Instead of seeds, what she used was the pods or seed husks that were in groups at the end of the stalks." That does not jive at all with marjoram. Or thyme.

Another possibility is coriander. However, the description of the herb is so vague that no positive ID can be made.
mafketis 30 | 9,529
22 Jan 2017 #14
However, the description of the herb is so vague that no positive ID can be made

My best guess is that she said "marionka" but it's impossible to ID exactly what she was using it of... (again my assumption was that a folk, non-standard name might be used for different herbs at different times in different places).
OP UHPD 1 | 2
30 Jan 2017 #15
I wasn't going to give up. I searched for pictures many hours on the internet, and finally came to an answer that satisfied me. The herb is SWEET BASIL! The blooms are traditionally pinched off when the plant is young so that it will continue to produce all summer. But my mother planted so much, she harvested the dried seed pods which were much more favorable than dried leaves, which were better fresh. Thanks to all who tried to help. My mother spoke very little Polish so misnaming it would be understandable.....


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