Epazote – what is it?

Photo of epazote

Epazote is native to Mexico, Central and South America; the name looks odd to us because it comes from nahuatl, the ancient Aztec language. It’s widely used in that part of the world to cook with pinto beans and black beans – add a sprig at the start of cooking – but it’s also good with other traditional Mexican dishes, such as enchiladas,  chile, squash and corn. It’s more pungent than most herbs, so use only a little until you get to know it.  If you have an outdoor garden, you can plant it outside to come back year after year, as it does in New York’s Central Park where it has naturalized.