Poli Museo della Grappa

Poli Grappa Museum

Poli Distillerie

Poli Distillerie

"Black salsify" for a clear Grappa

  • Plant: Black Salsify (Scorzonera Rosea)
  • Plant part: root
  • Plant feauters: diuretic, purifying, laxative

  • Description:
    All plants which belong to the genus of the black salsify can bear both, yellow and pink flowers. It is common to them, that they all have a large rhizome with a black bark (scorza), while the pulp is white, as it contains a milky-white juice. Perhaps it was one of those specimens that the pharmacist Nicholas Chiavenna from Belluno encountered in the sixteenth century while exploring the pastures in search of medicinal herbs. Nicholas, who was the first to discover and to use this medicinal plant, which later was called Silvery Yarrow L., was convinced that this time he had also discovered an unprecedented species.
    For this reason he called them Italian black salsify, was absolutely convinced of the extraordinary healing power of this "new" plant and thought to use them as a cure for the plague.
    In this context, the author also published a manuscript, where he reported all the testimonies of recovery, obtained by the black salsify, and their miraculous powers: an antidote for all poisons and a miracle cure against bites of snakes and rabid dogs.
    In fact, the therapeutic use of the black salsify had already been extensively described by several earlier authors, including all those enormous uses of this plant. Also the various wild and cultivated species of black salsify have been known since ancient times and have already been classified to a large extent; It is therefore difficult for us to determine which plant the author described as "Italian black salsify".
    It is a fairly ordinary species, which can be emphasized in the light of modern pharmacology, besides chicory or dandelion, referring to its therapeutic aspect. Like the last two plants, the root of the black salsify (we mean all species) contains a considerable amount of carbohydrates (insulin 30%) and mucilage which make the plant a discrete remedy and nothing else.
    The sweet-sour taste of its juice makes the black salsify a popular ingredient for flavoring Grappa.  
Black Salsify (Scorzonera Rosea)
  • Ingredients:
    - rhizome of the black salsify
    - 1 liter of Grappa
  • Preparation:
    Let the peeled and cut rhizome dry in the sun and leave them to soak for 6 months in the Grappa in a sunny place.
    Three rhizomes are enough for a liter of Grappa.
    After filtration and 2 months of aging the Grappa will have a straw-yellow color like that of the dried root.

    Flavored Grappas

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  • Lesser Calamint (Satureja Calamintha)
  • Black Salsify (Scorzonera Rosea)
  • Service Tree (Sorbus Domestica)
  • Goat's beard, Buck's-beard (Spiraea Aruncus)
  • Cloves (Syzygium Aromaticum)
  • Tansy (Tanacetum Vulgare)
  • English yew, European yew (Taxus Baccata)
  • Wall Germander (Teucrium Chamaedrys)
  • Breckland Thyme (Thymus Serpyllum)
  • Bilberry, Lingonberry (Vaccinium Myrtillus)
  • Flat-leaved Vanilla (Vanilla Planifolia)
  • Ginger Root, Ginger (Zingiber Officinalis)
  • Jujuba, Wall Germander (Ziziphus Jujuba)