Chicory is a flowering plant in genus Cichorium in family Asteraceae. There are two important species in genus Cichorium.
Chicory (Cichorium intybus) is a perennial herb with flowers that are usually blue. It is originally from the Old World and was naturalized in North America, where it is seen as a rank, roadside weed. At times, its roots have been used as a substitute for coffee. It is also used as a flavoring in coffee.
There are three principal types of endive: Belgian endive, curly endive and escarole:
- Belgian endive (also known as French endive or witloof) has a small head of cream-coloured bitter leaves. It is grown in complete darkness to avoid the leaves turning green.
- Curly endive (sometimes mistakenly called chicory in the United States) has green rimmed curly outer leaves.
- Escarole has broad, pale green leaves and is less bitter than the other varieties.
Preparation of Chicory Coffee
Dig beside the chicory root with a long tool and cut it down deep. (Don't pull the leaves. They tear off more easily than the root pulls out.) Cut off the leaves and peel the roots. Split the roots and wash them because they may have soil inside. Next, cut the roots into long strips. Bake them at 140C (250F) for four hours. Maybe a little higher. Last, grind as you would coffee and add into coffee one for one...or boil only the ground chicory (one spoon per cup) for three minutes instead of coffee.