Dittany is a unique aromatic plant, which is a local endemic to the island of Crete. The leaves and flowers of this cushion-forming, beautiful shrub are traditionally used to prepare herbal teas. In the wild, it grows exclusively as a rock-dweller over 500mt of altitude, and it was believed that one has to be genuinely in love to climb and gather its tender shoots. This legend reflects the plant’s romantic vernacular name Erontas, from the ancient Greek God of love.
It took us a while to track down the marvelous young family of farmers who are Daphnis and Chloe’s suppliers. They cultivate, naturally dry, and hand-sort some of the most beautiful dittany that we’ve tasted in years in their remote estate.
Dittany has a sharp and pleasantly bitter flavor, with a savory nuance that reminds of thyme. Historically, it was used in medieval monasteries, in liquors such as Benedictine. The plant’s aromatic infusion has appetite-triggering, antioxidant and digestive properties. For making Dittany tea, you’ll need a teaspoon (less than 1g) per teacup, dosage on taste. Simmer for 5′ at 95C, covered. Strain and serve. The infusion of dittany can successfully substitute plain water in many recipes. Use for boiling green beans or for marinating meat.