WHAT IS CHICORY?
Chicory is a woody plant of the dandelion family. The most common uses are salad leaves, livestock forage and a coffee substitute.
WAIT WHAT? COFFEE?
When an economic crisis strikes and coffee becomes expensive, chicory root can be roasted, ground and added to or even replace coffee. (Mixed with acorns and grain for example during WWII) Desperate times call for desperate measures. (Similar to when you are banting and have to make bread from seeds. It aint the real thing but it soothes the craving…well.. sort of)
THE COFFEE CRISIS
WWII was not the last time the weed like plant was (semi) enjoyed. The people of East Germany were in love with coffee and thus it was one of the most important imports. In comparison with earlier years, 76 and 77 had a huge rise in coffee prices, which they paid… but this sort of lead to financial problems. The Soviet Political Bureau had to start limiting coffee and introduced Mischkaffee (mixed coffee), a combination of coffee, chicory and other this-should-rather-be-on-a-plate-than-in-my-cup ingredients. So foul tasting was it that the whole experience was called ‘The East German Coffee Crisis’. Eventually coffee prices fell and agreements were made with the 90’s up and coming coffee supplier: Vietnam
TO BREW OR NOT TO BREW?
Though there seem to be pros and cons for ingesting chicory (like with any other food product) we are not currently at war and can afford the real thing… coffee. For now, this coffee lover’s chicory will be taken in leaf form with tomatoes olives and feta.