Friday, October 21, 2016

History of dill and dill weed

In the southern Mediterranean region, as early as 3000 BC, dill was popular for its magical and medicinal properties. It was cultivated b y the ancient Babylonians and Assyrians.

Dill promoted digestion and soothed the stomachs of Assyrians and later Egyptians, Romans and Greeks and eventually northern Europeans.

Pedanius Dioscorides (40 – 90 AD) described the medicinal value of the dill plant: The decoction of the tops of dried dill and likewise of the feed being drunken, ingendreth milke in the breath of nurses, allayeth the gripping and wind, provoketh urine increase and detroyeth the hiccups.

Dill seed
In the gardens of ancient Athens and Rome, dill held a permanent spot. Fragrant dill garlands crowned war heroes on their return home, Aromatic wreaths of the yellow flower hung in Roman banquets. Romans thought dill brought luck, and they adorned themselves with its graceful fronds.

Dill weed
Dills name comes from the Old Scandinavian word dilla, meaning ‘to soothe’ because their parents used it to ease the stomach pains of crying babies and to lull them to sleep.

In 1640 an English writer noted that dill ‘….is put among pickled Cowcumbers, wherewith it doth very well agree, giving unto the cold fruit a pretty, spice taste or relish.’

Although at one time dill had medicinal uses, they have been forgotten over the years. Today, dill seed is used as a pickling spice, while dill weed, the light, feathery leaves is used to favor fish sauce and salad dressing.
History of dill and dill weed