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  • Chicory

    Hi all,

    When I was in New Orleans and Canada 14 yrs ago, I had coffee that had chicory in it.

    Has anyone ever heard of this?  

    If so, how, when, where do I get it?

    I have never found it over here and first had it in New Orleans and loved the taste!

    Thanks in advance

    "The taste for coffee and chicory was developed by the French during their civil war. Coffee was scarce during those times, and they found that chicory added body and flavor to the brew. The Acadians from Nova Scotia brought this taste and many other french customs (heritage) to Louisiana. Chicory is the root of the endive plant. Endive is a type of lettuce. The root of the plant is roasted and ground. It is added to the coffee to soften the bitter edge of the dark roasted coffee. It adds an almost chocolate flavor to the Cafe Au Lait served at Cafe Du Monde. "

  • #2
    Re: Chicory

    Its still readily available in most supermarkets, and produced by Bickfords. Look near the other crappy coffees on the shelf.

    Supermarkets also still sell lollygobbleblissbombs and curly wurlys. The latter probably goes well with the Bickford product.


    EDIT: Found this...


    • #3
      Re: Chicory

      You can also buy a Bushells Coffee and Chicory mix as well. I used to like having a weak one of these late at night but havent for a long time! If you could just purchase the chicory then that would be good to try in your own coffee. Maybe try health food stores for the chicory by itself.


      • #4
        Re: Chicory

        Another option if you cant get your hands on chicory, is dandelion root.

        Its probably the closest herbal-coffee-alternative Ive tasted that approximates the taste of plunger coffee.

        Its also reputed to be a great liver tonic to boot

        Available at health food stores (try & secure the actual root, & grind it yourself in a spice grinder)



        • #5
          Re: Chicory

          You could also try chinese herbal medicine shops.


          • #6
            Re: Chicory

            ah sweet, havent tried the Bickfords one but when I was in highschool I used to love coming home on a humid summers day and having a huge iced coffee with a coffee and chicory syrup.. mmmm.. memories..
            it was quite a nice drink, I think you can get a few different types of syrup at the normal old shops, as Dennis suggested.. worth a try!!
            I wish I could remember the one I used to have, but its been so long .... what is chicory anyway? I got no idea!


            • #7

              Originally posted by NeedCoffeeeee..... View Post

              I have never found it over here and first had it in New Orleans and loved the taste!
              Chicory blended coffee is very popular in the south of India, (which is a coffee growing location). it is usually in ratio of 75-25 .

              The idea of blending chicory was introduced in India by the british during the war, and then it took on a journey of its own.
              Traditional Coffee in South India is made by adding milk to drip espresso ( called decoction) in a sauce pan and is later "pulled" to create frothing.
              A very different experience, and almost haunting taste. I tried that here with just a shot of bickfords chicory essence.
              somewhere close..but almost not quite!! :-)



              • #8
                Just checked the pantry and found Bushells Coffee & Chicory Essence 250ml.
                But on the lid "Best Before Nov 09".

                Now in the rubbish bin.
                Last edited by Geoff_L; 14 August 2012, 12:54 PM. Reason: Update


                • #9
                  Mrs Rocky unfortunately does not like real coffee but drinks heaps of Bushell's Coffee & Chicory Essence. Always has at least half a dozen bottles of the stuff in the pantry. I think it must be addictive just like caffein. I think she steps into the pantry and has a quick swig when I'm not looking. The Bushells has been around for decades. I remember having it as a child 50yrs ago.
                  On Chicory, Mark Prendergast's book "Uncommon Grounds" says:
                  " This European herb (a form of endive) when roasted and ground, produces a substance that looks somewhat like coffee. When brewed in hot water, it produces a bitter tasting, dark drink without the aroma, flavour, body, or caffeine kick of coffee. Thus the French developed a taste for Chicory during the Napoleonic era, and even after the Continental System ended in 1814 they continued to mix the herb root with their coffee. The Creole French of New Orleans soon adopted the same taste".
                  As I understand it from Prendergast's book, the advent of Chicory was due to the repeated fluctuations in availability of coffee beans (and price fluctuations) in the USA in the late 1800s and early 1900s resulting in the search for substitutes and additives to bulk out the available supplies. In Europe there was considerable opposition to coffee itself at different times which saw import of beans banned (as per the reference to the Continental System above) again resulting in a search for substitutes.


                  • #10
                    Talk about dredging up an old thread.

                    Last year on my way back from a coffee crawl of Melbourne I was fortunate to be sitting next to one of the last Chairman of the Australian Chickory growers association for 4 hours, turns up he now lives 10km North of me. We had a great about Coffee and Chicory and even the Local Nestle plants use of it in days gone by. Since bumped into him a few times and made him a coffee off the cart.

                    Until the 30-40 years ago we actually had a fairly solid local industry with a lot of it being grown on Philip Island in Victoria. The industry long dead now in preference of the cheaper overseas imports sees some of the only reminders the old kilns dotted around the island. Growing up in the 70's we used to still have Chicory/coffee essence in the cupboard and it made a nice change from the Instunt of the day and ade for a really nice Iced Coffee.


                    • #11
                      Due to coffee shortages and price during and for a while after the 2nd world war, the Germans made what they called ersatz coffee, made from substitutes such as roasted grain and chicory.

                      There was a story of the person so unhappy with all the shortages and inferior substitutes during the war that he decided to end it all by hanging himself. He failed; the rope broke, as it too was ersatz.



                      • #12
                        Grow your own chicory. It's ridiculously easy to grow. Purchase a packet of seeds from The Italian Gardener (website, based in South Australia). Choose the Magdeburg variety, which is the type used to grow large roots. The pictures indicate what each of the 10+ varieties are about. Sow seeds in spring, harvest the roots in autumn. Remove all greenery. Wash and chop roots into cubes and dry for a few weeks in open baskets. Roast the dried and shrunken pieces in an oven for 30-60 minutes till the kitchen smells like chocolate and the pieces turn brown. Grind on-demand in a grinder that you do not share with coffee. Make a drink using either 100% chicory root (good for children and people avoiding caffeine), or 1/3 chicory and 2/3 coffee for something resembling New Orleans coffee.


                        • #13
                          Warning, non coffee information:

                          I worked on a farm that grew chicory but when harvested we would cut off the leaves and then place the root into compost covered with straw during the cold weather.

                          A new bud would grow which was blanched by being under the straw and this was sold for a good sum of money. It was called witlof. Very popular in Europe especially in Holland.

                          Sorry about that intrusion.


                          • #14
                            Saw seeds for the first time on Saturday! Pellagrino's in Mt Dandenong sells it. The picture of the plant on the packet looks like a kind of fine dandelion.



                            • #15
                              Malt blended with chicory was a popular substitute for coffee in Spain during the long, hard times after the Civil War. Reusing coffee, mixing half used with half new grounds, was also very common. And coffee smuggling from Portugal, a very lucrative enterprise.