When I was googling for information about oysterleaf I ran across a French company, Alsagarden, that sells oysterleaf as well a plant they call "Plante Fromage" that is said to have leaves that taste like cheese! It took a bit of digging to find the species, which you can see in the picture below. I'm just wondering if anyone here has tasted it and grown it and if they think it's worth playing with. Also, if anyone has any idea where to get it in the USA. Thank you in advance wonderful Permie people :)
A couple of replies from the French website from customers that make me want to try this more:
"This plant does taste like cheese! It grows very easily and loves water and sun."
"I received my two plants to the taste of cheese this morning, they are very beautiful, with a dense foliage ... I taste and as amateur of good cheeses, it seems to me that the flavor is very similar to famous Maroilles. I'll do tests in the kitchen."
Regarding that second customer reply, I had to look up Maroilles cheese. Here's a tidbit from Wikipedia: "Maroilles is often reported to have first been made in 962 by a monk in the Abbey of Maroilles. The cheese rapidly became famous throughout the region and was a favourite of several French kings including Philip II, Louis IX, Charles VI and Francis I."
Alsagarden compares the flavor to camembert. Here's their description:
"Plante Cheese® is an edible plant with a surprising taste of cheese discovered and launched on the French market by Alsagarden since 2015. Belonging to the same family as the coffee tree (Rubiaceae), this rare plant from Asia with an unusual flavor is often used as a vegetable in Vietnamese cuisine and it would also have medicinal properties. Decorative and edible, the leaves of this plant have an astonishing flavor of refined cheese, close to Camembert cheese! In the kitchen, they are used as well in hot preparations as cold, sweet or salty. The typical cheese flavor of its leaves is perfect for salads, meat or fish. An ideal plant for an experimental gourmet kitchen.
The leaves of the cheese-flavored plant are harvested all year round as and when needed. They can be kept in the refrigerator for about a week. Easy growing, this fast-growing tropical climbing plant requires a regular size for good foliage production. Sensitive to temperatures below -8 / -10 ° C, it is grown very well in pots indoors during the winter and can be grown without problems outside, the rest of the year. Packaging: A plant of the Plant Cheese® True (Paederia lanuginosa, Hondbesseion lanuginosum) in 12 cm pot."
They really make me want to try these leaves. I hope that if I can find seeds or plants in the United States that they will taste the same and that this isn't a special selection of the species. If that's the case perhaps it can be imported if it hasn't already been (?).
Thank you Anne! Even with them calling it "Skunk Vine" I still want to try it :) ! It reminds me of a quote from Michael Pollan in his book Cooked: “A French poet famously referred to the aroma of certain cheeses as the ‘pieds de Dieu’—the feet of god. Just to be clear: foot odor of a particularly exalted quality, but still—foot odor.” It's so interesting how smell and taste collide when it comes to cheeses. I'm scared but fascinated! I'll contact them to see about getting this shipped in the spring. I'm thinking it's too cold to ship this to Maine right now.
Sorry to be negative, but if it tastes of camembert without the creaminess, i'll pass, and i live in France. French kids do not eat it, was it George Bush II that stopped all the import of French cheese alarmed by the smell of camembert? First buy a camembert cheese and a good red wine, the combination is sublime!
Creating edible biodiversity and embracing everlasting abundance.
Hugo Morvan wrote:First buy a camembert cheese and a good red wine, the combination is sublime!
No worries about being negative, your advice sounds wonderful. If I wasn't getting ready to go to work I'd take your advice right now Hugo! When I get home some camembert, red wine and a nice baguette will be waiting for me. Might be my dinner :)
This does sound like a wounderful plant to grow. I would like to get some as well I want to see if I can track down the seed also and $10 for 15 seed doesn't sound bad to me for this. It sounds like its easy to grow and can bring in for winter in pots and keep it going. I think this would be a wonderful salad addition.
I did email the company and ask if there's any possible way of getting seeds or plants shipped to the U.S.
I didn't get a response. Not blaming them at all, it's probably an insane request and I dont speak any French....except "merci", which I forgot to use. 🙃
It is a common vegetable plant in hawaii. When i lived there, i had it growing all around my community garden - and it can be very invasive. If you have a friend there, ask them for a little cutting, one with about 3 or 4 nodes. Also if you have any Vietnamese neghbors, you are bound to get get it from them.
I like the flavor when i put it in fish, but can be used on chicken and pork soup, too. It is almost like the leaves of pepper leaves so be sure you know what you are getting.
Thank you Christine. Let us know what you think!!! I actually drove through there in late November when I drove from Maine to Halifax. If only I'd known I would have made a pit stop. Another reason to go back! Not that I needed one....I loved it up there. You Canadians are super great folks.
This forum says to ask asian restaraunts- especially vietnamese for La Mo Long.
This sounds about right, I know we have a few families in the Vietnamese enclaves that raise all kinds of interesting plants. There is a vacant lot that has a bunch of little hoop houses that apparently supplies several restaraunts in Richmond. I got a little lost going to get some item in a very industrial part of town and asked what was going on when I got there. Apparently it was well known around there and everyone thought it was interesting.
Standing on the shoulders of giants. Giants with dirt under their nails
Thank you Thomas. If you have anything this spring then I'm interested! Saturday I was gardening in the morning, then dealing with a Nor'Easter that took out our power and has turned us into instant winter. What a difference a day makes. I'm running a tiny generator to go online right now :)
Greg, here’s a bit of 411 about this plant. It’s name is Paederia lanuginosa but it has many common names - skunk vine, sewer vine, chicken shit vine...etc. The common names refer to the smell it give off if bruised. I have eaten the leaves raw and cooked....and they don’t taste like cheese to me. The leaves are velvety so texture is kind of, IMO, off putting. Boiled the texture becomes more like sandpaper. By themselves, the leaves have a strong taste and are somewhat bitter. They are best cut into smaller pieces and cooked in with other foods. They are actually pretty good in a soup with a little soy sauce. The plant itself is gorgeous. It has dark green velvety leaves with purple undersides and grows rapidly. It also has very pretty flowers. I keep mine in the greenhouse for now but, I’m going to put a few in the ground this spring to test their hardiness. Here in Northwest Florida, I suspect that they will probably die back in winter and resprout again in the spring.
As of now, I’m not sure how cold hardy it is yet. I am not growing this plant so much for a food plant, although that’s a plus, but more as a medicinal plant. It has many uses including use as an anti inflammatory, stool softener, digestive problems as well as others. A mixture of the leaves in water is also good for killing aphids in the garden. Lastly.... the smell. Different cultivars have varying degrees of odor coming from the leaves when bruised, the stronger the odor, the stronger the medicinal properties. The cultivar I grow.....lives up to the common name sewer vine because the leaves on my vine smell very strong. I just wanted to throw all that at you so you will know a little bit more about what this plant is and isn’t. I hope this helps.