Substitute for Pennyroyal?

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Substitute for Pennyroyal?

Postby JerBear » Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:38 pm

Calling on all the Brits....I'll looking at some ye olde black pudding recipes and all the spice ratios call for pennyroyal. Being a yankee I wasn't familiar with this herb and a little internet searching says it is from the mint family, however, should not be used. Lesser calamint was recommended as a substitute but still, don't know the first thing about it and some websites stated that it's also from the mint family but can range in flavor from thyme-like to basil-like (not helpful). When reviewing some of these old recipes anyone know how I can sub out the pennyroyal? Equal weight to standard mint?
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Re: Substitute for Pennyroyal?

Postby vagreys » Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:45 pm

Pennyroyal is close to peppermint in aroma and flavor, and fairly intense. It's use in food goes back to the Middle Ages, at least, and probably further back. It is somewhat toxic. Calamint is milder and more herbal, and tends to 'skunk'. I'd try working with peppermint and see what you think. In my historical cookery, especially with mint, I start small and adjust up, so i'd start with 1/4-1/2 the amount called for, if it were me. YMMV, I'm not from the UK.
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Re: Substitute for Pennyroyal?

Postby wheels » Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:06 pm

Pennyroyal is (allegedly!) the Bury Black Pudding flavouring. I say allegedly, because I'd like to know how far back in history you have to go to find when it was used. That it was, is certainly true, but I fancy that it's the repetitive nature of internet research, and plagiarism, that perpetuates this.

I'd be interested to know whether Brican recalls seeing large quantities of it around when he was training in NW England. There must have been if it is really the main flavour in Bury (and similar) Black Puddings, 'cos there was heck of a lot of it being eaten!

IIRC, it's been known for a long time that it can cause miscarriage and other problems.

I'd not use mint as a substitute. The one thing that Bury Black Puddings don't taste of is mint!

Maybe just use the recipe omitting the Pennyroyal?

If you post your recipe it will be easier to advise further.

HTH

Phil
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Re: Substitute for Pennyroyal?

Postby JerBear » Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:32 pm

I got my hands on a sausage book from 1980 and in the blood sausages section it mentions four spice blends. The recipes are below are are listed as parts and I now noticed that some call for both pennyroyal and mint. For those interested parties the book is Antony & Araminta Hippisley Coxe's BOOK OF SAUSAGES. I think it's been reprinted since as the Great Book of Sausages but don't qoute me on that.

The Far-famed Bury: four marjoram to three thyme, three mint, two pennyroyal & one bruised celery seed

The North Stafforshire: four thyme to three pimento, two marjoram, two pennyroyal & two coriander (ground)

The Stretford: six marjoram to three thyme, three mint and one pennyroyal

The Yorkshire: six marjoram to five thyme, two lemon thyme & one savory

Once made up into larger batches 175g (6 oz) is needed per 7 kg (14 lb) of black pudding mixure. As you might note the batch size has a little creative license as 7 kg is closer to 15.4 lbs...
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Re: Substitute for Pennyroyal?

Postby wheels » Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:58 pm

Whilst I'm no lover of the Hippisley-Coxe book, and doubt its accuracy in many areas, the more I look at this, the more I fear that I was wrong in my initial reply. Pennyroyal's included in the recipe in Maynard Davies, Finney and others. I note that the (albeit few) recipes that I have by the much respected Frank Gerrard don't use it.

If you wish to use it, it's available in the UK from many online sources; I'm guessing that this is also the case in the US. However, the more I read of it, the less I'd recommend its use.

As to a substitute? Online references say that it has many of the characteristics of spearmint, so that may be an option. However, I've never noticed any hint of mint in Bury Black pudding so this worries me.

Hopefully, someone else will have more idea.

Phil
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Re: Substitute for Pennyroyal?

Postby onewheeler » Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:04 am

I grew pennyroyal this year with the intention of making morcilla lustre, which is still a project for the future when I can get rid of some of my customers and find some time :-) The ingredient which differentiates morcilla lustre from other morcillas is hierbabuena, which translates from Spanish as either mint or pennyroyal. I believe that this variety of morcilla uses pennyroyal, and the rather rustic one that I've eaten (a couple of years ago in Andalucia) contained twiggy bits which didn't look much like ordinary mint. (It was however rather good, but recipes on the interwibbly seem rather sparse, even in Spanish). There wasn't any particularly dominant herbal flavour.

In the interests of science I've just tasted some from the garden. It looks like a rather scrawny mint with smaller leaves (tending to confirm that the Andalucian variety did contain pennyroyal). The taste is of peppermint but less intense than the real thing, slightly astringent with perhaps a note of thyme. As a replacement I reckon a much smaller quantity of peppermint and a few thyme leaves would be close. It might be worth drying the mint first to drive off some of the volatiles and reduce the intensity of flavour?

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Re: Substitute for Pennyroyal?

Postby BriCan » Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:35 am

wheels wrote:I'd be interested to know whether Brican recalls seeing large quantities of it around when he was training in NW England. There must have been if it is really the main flavour in Bury (and similar) Black Puddings, 'cos there was heck of a lot of it being eaten

Phil


I am old and decrepit ~~ long in the tooth and way much more :(

Yes it was around when I was training ~~ gad; its been over 45 years since I lived them years ~~ I have something nagging in the gray matter that will not come out :( it has reference to a Jamaican spice

I am going on a sausage hunt ~~~ later :shock:
But what do I know
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Re: Substitute for Pennyroyal?

Postby wheels » Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:52 pm

BriCan wrote:I have something nagging in the gray matter that will not come out :( it has reference to a Jamaican spice

I am going on a sausage hunt ~~~ later :shock:


Black Mint?

http://www.islandherbsandspices.com/pro ... lack-mint/
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Re: Substitute for Pennyroyal?

Postby vagreys » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:30 pm

wheels wrote:...As to a substitute? Online references say that it has many of the characteristics of spearmint, so that may be an option. However, I've never noticed any hint of mint in Bury Black pudding so this worries me...

Phil

This is interesting, Phil. What I found and purchased for my herb beds, identified as Pennyroyal seemed to me to be more like peppermint, to me. Based on your descriptions of the Bury, I'm wondering, now.
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Re: Substitute for Pennyroyal?

Postby wheels » Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:44 pm

There seems no doubt that it was used: it not only appears in Bury recipes, but also in other styles as well. But, is it still used? I wish I knew.

This article suggests that it is still used:

http://agreatbritishappetite.blogspot.c ... black.html

Phil
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Re: Substitute for Pennyroyal?

Postby yotmon » Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:15 pm

Found this reference to it under Culinary herbs.

'Mint - This name, of Greek origin, is used to designate a very large number of species indigenous to the Northern temperate regions. The three following, interest us most : - 1. Peppermint, largely cultivated for the essential oil, especially at Mitcham in Surrey. 2. Spearmint, sweet or garden mint, so much appreciated in our kitchens; 3, Pennyroyal which is less known in cooking, but is none the less employed largely in flavouring manufactured meats, and it is considered a great aid to digestion. Medicinally it was formerly much used and is even now appreciated as an emmenagogue.'
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Re: Substitute for Pennyroyal?

Postby wheels » Thu Oct 16, 2014 7:49 pm

If look it up in a dictionary, I like to think that the definition of emmenagogue will be, "A US rapper, treated like God by his fans". :lol: :lol: :lol:

Bury's almost your 'neck of the woods' Yotman, do you notice a mint flavour/taste in Bury black pud?

Phil
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Re: Substitute for Pennyroyal?

Postby yotmon » Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:23 pm

wheels wrote:Bury's almost your 'neck of the woods' Yotman, do you notice a mint flavour/taste in Bury black pud?

Phil


I've Bought plenty from Chadwick's stall at Bury market but to be honest I've not noticed a defined mint taste, although I've never actually 'looked out' for the 'minty' flavour. They are sold piping hot and ready to eat, so I normally have a dollop of HP brown sauce on the side, it probably masks the subtle flavours. I actually thought that Coriander was one of the main spices - shows wot I know :roll:

PS I had to 'google' the word emmenagogue to find out its meaning - something that causes blood to flow to the pelvic area - could it be a natural viagra substitute :shock:
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Re: Substitute for Pennyroyal?

Postby Snags » Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:18 pm

Pennyroyal is a good flea and ant repentant ,I think its dangerous for pregnant women though.
I grew a bit of it around the dog kennel.
Its closest substitute smell wise is peppermint but with a bit petrol

Can you get some Corsican mint?
This plant is also used in cuisine, most famously as the flavoring in crème de menthe.[3] It is sometimes said to have a scent similar to pennyroyal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mentha_requienii
it will keep the cabbage moth away as well as the rats :D
yet to take the plunge still researching
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Re: Substitute for Pennyroyal?

Postby Swing Swang » Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:30 pm

I find pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) very easy to grow in the UK - however if you're ever in Portugal/Spain it's readily available dried in large bunches from traditional markets (Portugal = poejo, Spain = poleo). It's used a lot in the Alentejo where I have my roots - Indeed anything with 'poejada' on a Portuguese menu will be heavily flavoured with pennyroyal. Goes particularly well with rabbit (Poejada de Coelho or even Coelho de Poejada), salt cod (Poejada de Bacalhau) and lamb (Poejada de Borrego)/mutton/goat.
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