Tuesday, May 6, 2014
It's that time of year again when you see the ever-present dandelions. School children would bring me bouquets of them but here in Amana they were paid by the wineries to bring the blossoms in by the gallons to make dandelion wine. Originally from Europe, the dandelion with it's the saw-toothed leaves that resemble the teeth of a lion, led the French to come up with " dent-de-lion" and the Germans tagged it " Loewen-Zahn" or lion's tooth. The young, tender leaves were used for Ziggorie Salat in old Amana. The blossoms used for the wine peaked only a few days after the plant was two weeks old, with the best time to pick being between 10-3 on a sunny day. 180 pounds of dandelion blossoms made enough extract for 50 gallons of wine when pressed. Sugar was added and fermented a year to a pale yellow sweet, white wine. This was one of the wines unique to the Amanas for many years.