Growing mainly in tropical climates, lemongrass or ‘Indian verbena’ originates mainly from southern India. Its scientific name is Cymbopogon Citratus and it belongs to the Poaceae family.
Its use increased in the 4th century under the Romans, who made it a very widely used product in Europe. A real emblem of Asian cuisine, lemongrass is now used all over the world.
Lemongrass is characterised by its stems, made up of straight leaves ending in a point. The plant also has an underground part that is not a bulb.
Lemongrass grows in well-drained, humus-rich and pH-neutral soils and the plant can reach a height of 3m. To grow properly, it should be planted in a sunny spot, out of the wind and rain. It is planted over a very long period, from May to September. This also applies to the harvest.
The main feature of lemongrass is its very subtle lemon taste (it contains a compound found in lemon). Its fresh, lingering, delicate and non-acidic flavour is similar to verbena, lemon balm and mugwort.
Lemongrass is a must-have in Asian cuisine. It gives a delicate flavour to ingredients, whether cooked traditionally or in a wok. Lemongrass is used in Moroccan cuisine to flavour mint tea. It is also widely used in sorbet and ice cream mixes, pastries, meat, dishes in sauce, Asian salads and seafood products.
Lemongrass goes very well with lime leaves to bring out the lemon flavour.