Cooking itchiness

Submitted by gwolf on Sun, 05/04/2008 - 10:35

Every now and then, I want to understand a bit better English. Today, when Joeyh mentioned nettle soup, I had to ask Wikipedia what a nettle is. And Joey, no wonder it itches... It refers to around 45 species of genus Urtica in the family Urticaceae - In Spanish, of course, urtica is known as ortiga, or as blind person's herb, as even a blind person will quickly recognize it to touch - Touching it will cause the apt-named urticaria, which Joey seems to have discovered and learnt to fear. At least in Spanish, urticaria is generalized and used to call all kinds of skin diseases.
It happens to be a very common plant in the area I live and dwell in (the ecological reserve REPSA spans a good portion of the University, and limits my neighbourhood), a large extension of Southern Mexico City where the lava of the small Xitle volcano covered everything, rendering a good portion of the Mexico City valley unfertile, known as malpaís (badland, literally).
Anyway... I don't think I'll rush to cut some ortigas and make them into soup, as both Joeyh and Wikipedia (Spanish and English versions) suggest. But it is always an option, having so many fine specimens around.
This posting serves no other purpose than to show my appreciation to the Mexico City Area

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araqnid's picture

People eat them

People eat them too:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dorset/content/articles/2005/06/17/nettle_eating_fe...

as well as making wine or beer out of them.

They always give me the shivers. There were *huge* nettles growing next to the cemetery railings round the back of my parents' house when I was young.