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Article: Sassafras: root beer

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irisMA

irisMA
South Hamilton, MA

February 9, 2010
12:19 AM

Post #7543025

Is that why root beer was sometimes known as sassporilla? The clear type, not the modern brown. Your article was great fun to read as they all are.
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

February 9, 2010
12:33 AM

Post #7543069

Hi Iris,
Yes, I think so, but I really didn't delve too deeply into sassporilla's history.

Thank you...memories are fun to write, and my fun memories are most often associated with all those plants that grew in the mountains. Glad you enjoy them, too.

And tonight it's snowing. Again. Yuk.
Elena
Middle, TN
(Zone 6b)

February 9, 2010
12:46 AM

Post #7543108

My mother would never drink root beer because of the saffafras taste. Her mother had put some kind of awful tasting medicine in the tea for her when she was little. Guess she thought that was a good way to give it but it surely did turn Mother into a root beer hater.

Another charming and great article my friend.
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

February 9, 2010
12:48 AM

Post #7543118

How sad that your mother missed out on a great flavor! I still need a root bear quite often in the summer. It's not the same now, but as close as I can get.

Thanks for writing, Elena...always great to see you.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Bedford, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 9, 2010
12:50 AM

Post #7543124

We had sassafras in our suburban backyard. My mom told us to look for leaves shaped like mittens! We didn't chew them, just rubbed and sniffed. Yummy.
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

February 9, 2010
12:52 AM

Post #7543128

Me too, Carrie...but the twigs were REALLY good as well.
GardenQuilts
Pocono Mountains, PA
(Zone 6a)

February 9, 2010
3:11 AM

Post #7543507

What do they flavor root beer with now?

I have never seen a sassafras tree, but may have to find one!

I was very excited when Walmart added a diet root beer to their sodas. Now, I can get my root beer fix for less than half the price!
zhinusmom
(Trisha) Olympia, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 9, 2010
4:10 AM

Post #7543644

Sharon Beautiful as always!
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

February 9, 2010
6:07 AM

Post #7543867

Well I just learned two new things...
Iris, sasporilla is a whole different plant, a vining plant, and the leaf provides the sasporilla flavor, I think. I didn't really read extensively. It was originally and continues to be added flavoring in root beer.

Sassafras, though has been abandoned because of the carcinogenic properties in everything but it's leaves. The leaves have none of that particular flavor, and are not carcinogens.
So to answer your question GQ, they have come up with an artificial sassafras flavoring. What its contents are, I haven't found yet. I'm almost afraid to know because I love root beer.

Trish, thanks. Good to hear from all of you.
GardenQuilts
Pocono Mountains, PA
(Zone 6a)

February 9, 2010
8:40 AM

Post #7543994

I have a friend who works at IFF (International Flavors and Fragrances). I could ask, but he probably couldn't tell me, anyway.

JuneyBug
Dover AFB, DE
(Zone 7a)

February 9, 2010
10:44 AM

Post #7544042

Another great article! Sure left a smile on my face ^_^
Hemophobic
Kannapolis, NC

February 9, 2010
11:39 AM

Post #7544093

Who knew that sassafras flavored root beer? I surely didn't, but then I'm not a root beer aficionado. Enjoyed the article, as always, Shar.
herbalbetty
Middleburgh, NY

February 9, 2010
11:59 AM

Post #7544115

It is very sad that sassafras got banned. When they tested saffrole oil, it was in a very concentrated form not found in nature and they fed lab rats a portion amounting to the human equivalent of pounds of the stuff. Heck, if you eat pounds and pounds of carrots, the Vitamin A hurts your liver and turns your skin orange. But, in the proper amount, carrots are terrific for you. I believe the same is true of sassafras.
oldkate
Hillsboro, OH

February 9, 2010
2:59 PM

Post #7544487

Sharran, through the falling snow I can still make out a line of sassafras trees in a fence line across the creek. At the proper time of year (whenever that is), I can pick as much as you want and mail the box to you - and to satisfy the authorities, I can mark the box as containing hazardous material! As to the snow: ENOUGH, ALREADY!
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

February 9, 2010
5:25 PM

Post #7544893

Kate, you are right at the top of my best friends list. I'll send $$ for postage. Wonder if I could get one of those twigs to root?? Spring is a good time for flavor! Well, anytime's a good time for flavor.

Betty, Hello...thank you for chiming in here. I should have asked you earlier. It's like a lot of things...I grew up eating poke sallit...but only at certain times of the early season, and only after proper cooking. Not a one of those testers ever grew up in the mountains eating what came naturally to us, or to those before us. Same with sassafras. I like the comparison to carrots, thanks. (And I'm still nibbling on the crumbles in the bag of horehound, thank you for that too.)

Hi Angie, well, then I won't serve root beer when you venture into my old KY home! Thanks.

Hi Juney, thanks...great to see you.

GQ, check and see...it won't hurt to ask.

Ladies, I am buried under a blanket of white. We never get this much snow, and it's only about 4 inches...so I'm not complaining. But I really was enjoying seeing tiny bits of green here and there.

Thanks for reading the article.
You all stay warm today.
Petalpants
Corpus Christi, TX
(Zone 9a)

February 9, 2010
5:32 PM

Post #7544927

Oldkate--- loved the idea, 'hazardous material', Ha!
Herbalbetty---think you're right about lab tests; they skew the results alot of times, so it turns out the way they want it to!
Sharon--- enjoyed your article! Guess I never tasted the real sassafras; however, if I had a chance to try a chew on a twig, I would! Before I became a coke-person, I drank root-beer all the time, esp. Barq's brand; in fact, my first car was a copper-brown color, and I named it 'Root Beer'! =)
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

February 9, 2010
5:34 PM

Post #7544931

Hi Petal, thanks...

I had a '66 Mustang once...goldish-copperish, named it Root Beer, too.
Petalpants
Corpus Christi, TX
(Zone 9a)

February 9, 2010
5:38 PM

Post #7544952

Wow, what a coincidence, Sharon! Everyone laughed at my car name choice, or looked at me kinda weird--- usually those who did not enjoy our beloved drink! Ha~

postmandug

postmandug
Bardstown, KY
(Zone 6a)

February 9, 2010
7:31 PM

Post #7545251

Sharon if you ever make it to come see us I will provide you with a sassafrass seedling tree! I have several up on the hill. I just transplanted two this past year into my woodland garden so I could enjoy their beautiful fall color if I live long enough! As a mountain girl I would think that you'd heard of "sassporilla tea" or sassporilly as Dad and Aunt Toots called it. It was made from the sassafrass roots. Just a name from the other side of Pine Mountain I guess...

Doug
LouC
Desoto, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 9, 2010
7:33 PM

Post #7545255

As always, filled with information. Keep it up, girl.
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

February 9, 2010
8:48 PM

Post #7545391

Hey Doug...
I knew about the sassporilly tea...of course, but when I went on a sassporilla search, found out it was a vine. Who knew?? Two different things...the tea made from sassafras roots, and the vine used to flavor things. Oh yeah, I know all about sassporilly tea. Drank enough of it.

I'm coming over there to raid your yard anyway, so yes, I've already got a spot picked out for a little sapling. Waiting till it warms up and the sap starts rising, though. See you then. It'll be like going home for me...without mountains, of course.

LouC...thanks, I just keep right on writin'...
FrillyLily
springfield area, MO
(Zone 5b)

February 15, 2010
6:10 PM

Post #7561344

well *I'm* not scared of Sassafrass, and when I was little, we chewed it all the time, my brother and I.

I do think Root Beer tastes like Pepto thought, nasty stuff !
I like a good name brand Root Beer, not the cheap stuff, once in a long while on my vanilla ice-cream, that's about it.

nogottarancho
Maricopa, AZ

February 15, 2010
7:51 PM

Post #7561682

another excellent article!!!

Some day, maybe in May
Will be heading KY way

would like to invite
myself to see your site





query?

would ssafs grow in irrigated desert, zone 9a or 9b?

Thumbnail by nogottarancho
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

February 16, 2010
3:25 AM

Post #7562959

Good to know you chewed Sassafras twigs, too, Frilly Lily...and yes on the root beer float. The ice cream does add to its flavor. Thanks for writing.

Hi Mr. Poet from Clark County, sure, come right along. It would be fun to meet you. I hate to tell you, but since you asked, I doubt if a sassafras tree would survive in your zone. You might have better luck in KY, though. You sure you don't want to move back??

Thanks, good to hear from all of you!
huckleberry6
Eagle Point, OR
(Zone 8a)

February 16, 2010
5:06 AM

Post #7563237

Great fun! I love it all- modern root beer, birch beer, sarsparilla. Wish I could taste the old stuff too.
I have read that sassafras has gorgeous color in autumn. Have always wanted to grow it. Maybe this will be the year...Thanks!
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

February 16, 2010
6:04 AM

Post #7563329

Hi Huckleberry, what a great name!

Good luck, it might grow there, and yes it does have beautiful autumn color.

Good to hear from you,
thanks!
Sharon
JBTalley
West Point, GA

March 12, 2010
11:16 AM

Post #7623927

I have a question about the Sassafras Tree. I grew up in western Georgia on a farm with many Sassafras Trees. As a kid I was taught that there were two type of Sassafras Trees. One tree had a root with a red skin on it and the other had a white skin. I was told that one of them would cause blindness if chewed. Now that I've retired and returned to that farm, I have forgotten which one was the bad tree. Also I can't tell which tree is which. So far I have only found the red root tree. I was just wondering if my mind is recalling properly or not.
Sharran
Calvert City, KY
(Zone 7a)

March 12, 2010
6:24 PM

Post #7624819

Hi JB,
This link might be of some help to you.

http://www.foodreference.com/html/artsassafras2.html

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Other Article: Sassafras Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Australian Sassafras kennedyh 1 Feb 9, 2010 5:56 AM
Chewing sassafras twigs roseone33 5 Feb 9, 2010 9:35 PM
Cute birder17 5 Feb 16, 2010 2:39 AM
Sassafras tea annhelen 2 Feb 16, 2010 3:38 AM
I wouldn't worry... wantrealfood 6 Feb 21, 2010 1:57 AM


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