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What Is Angelica? FAQ + Recipes

What Is Angelica? FAQ + Recipes

What is angelica? Here’s the best guide to tell you everything about this unique herb, from its best storage method to its culinary uses!

Angelica is a peculiar name for a herb, but it is steeped in history, mythology, and legend.
It has been used in culinary dishes for centuries and is still a popular ingredient in many cuisines.
So, what is angelica?
Angelica is a biennial herbaceous plant that is a member of the Apiaceae family, to which carrot, celery, and fennel also belong. 
It is also known as garden angelica, wild celery, and European angelica.
The herb has been used for culinary purposes for hundreds of years.
It has a strong odor but a sweet, delicate flavor and can be used in both savory and sweet dishes.
In this post, we will extensively talk about what angelica is, its culinary uses and recipes, as well as some tips for storing angelica.

What is angelica?

Angelica is a flowering herb with several parts that are used in tea, savory cooking recipes, and even sweets. 

It’s a biennial or short-lived perennial plant that belongs to the carrot family
This plant has a strong, musky odor and a warm, aromatic sweet taste that has been used for culinary purposes for hundreds of years.
In fact, cooking angelica is quite similar to preparing asparagus or celery

You can use the fresh stalks and leaves in fruit salads or as a garnish; they can be eaten raw, too! The roots however, can be toxic to humans and need to be cooked first.

The [angelica] root is long and fibrous and is poisonous if used fresh.

(Encyclopedia Britannica)

Its appearance resembles a candied celery stick, which is a reason why it is also referred to as wild celery or European angelica.
It can grow as tall as 10 feet and features purple-colored roots.
Its leaves are large and lobed, while its flowers are small and white.
Angelica can thrive in cool weather or in the full sun of regions that have a cool climate.
The plant also thrives in areas with a steady running water supply.
It grows in many northern European countries, including Greenland, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Norway, and Iceland.
It can also be found in France, mainly in the Marais Poitevin, a marshy area near Niort in the department of Deux-Sèvres.
Proper care for the angelica means keeping the plant’s soil consistently moist.
Be sure to positively identify this plant before consuming it, as it shares visual similarities with some poisonous plants, such as Conium maculatum (hemlock).
One legend claims that an angel presented the idea to Angelica in a dream as a means of curing the plague.
Some people believe the plant gets its name from Michael the Archangel because it blooms on his feast day.
People also think that this plant protects against evil spirits and witchcraft.
Every component of the plant was once thought to be capable of warding off spells and enchantment.
In fact, it had such a lofty reputation that it was known as “The Root of the Holy Ghost.”

Culinary uses for angelica

Angelica has plenty of culinary uses.
This herb is not only used in the production of gin and other spirits but its leaves can be candied to use as a garnish on cakes and other desserts.
Angelica seeds are used in making cakes, candies, and other sweet treats.
Not only are the seeds aromatic and bitter in taste, but they are also used in alcoholic distillates, such as Vermouth and similar preparations.
They are also crucial ingredients in other liqueurs, like Chartreuse.
One popular recipe is candied angelica which has an anise (licorice) flavor.
You can easily make this at home and use it as a dessert decoration.
Angelica roots may also be made into an herbal tea.
Angelica’s flavor is sometimes mistaken for that of Jupiter berries, which are widely used in gin production. 
You can cook angelica the same way you would asparagus or celery.
Fresh stalks and leaves make a great addition to fruit salads or can be used as a garnish.
Meanwhile, you can stew the stalks and turn them into pie filling or even jam.
Angelica stalks may also be roasted with meat or sauteed in butter, creating a sumptuous side dish.
The stems in baking can stabilize high-acid fruits or cut back on the amount of sugar needed.
The leaves of the plant can give poultry, fish, soup, fruit pies, or stews an added flavor.
For best results, add the leaves towards the end of cooking. 
Here are several recipes that incorporate Angelica, which you can recreate from the comfort of your kitchen:

Candied angelica is a traditional English confection made from the stalks of the angelica plant.
The stalks are peeled and boiled in sugar syrup before being coated in sugar and then dried.
The resulting candy is chewy and slightly sticky, with a strong flavor reminiscent of anise
It is often used as a decoration for cakes and desserts or can be relished on its own as a sweet treat.
Candied angelica can be found in most specialty food shops, or it can be made at home with just a few simple ingredients.

Fried angelica blossoms with honey might not be a familiar dish to many, but it is a unique and innovative way to enjoy Zavirne, as Angelica is more popularly known in Southern Italy.
The blossoms are fried in a light batter and then drizzled with honey.
They can be set out as an appetizer or a dessert, and they will impress any guests.
The key factor to making this dish stand out is to choose fresh, firm blossoms.
Once you have your blossoms, batter them and fry them until they are golden brown.
Then, drizzle with your favorite honey and enjoy!

If you’re searching for a refreshing and exciting way to prepare angelica, why not try sauteing it?
This cooking method helps retain the vegetable’s delicate flavor while ensuring it is cooked through.
To sauté angelica, heat a skillet over medium heat and put in a small amount of oil.
Then, add the angelica and cook for a few minutes, occasionally stirring, until it is tender.
You can enjoy your sauteed angelica as is or utilize it as a base for a delicious soup or stew.
Regardless of how you enjoy it, this particular dish is sure to please.

There’s nothing quite like a homemade cookie, and these Angelica & Fennel Cookies are sure to hit the spot.
The combination of sweet and savory spices is simply delicious, and the hint of citrus from the angelica is the perfect finishing touch.
These cookies are also elementary to make, so they’re perfect for last-minute entertaining.
Preheat the oven, mix the ingredients, and bake!
In no time at all, you’ll possess a tray of cookies that will be devoured in no time.
So, whether you’re looking for a quick and easy treat or a simply scrumptious dessert, these angelica and fennel cookies are sure to please.

This refreshing cocktail is perfect for entertaining guests during an intimate gathering.
It features the tangy sweetness of angelica, mint’s cooling flavor, and citrus’s bright kick.
The drink can be easily customized to your taste, so feel free to experiment with different proportions of each ingredient.
Whether you’re having a backyard barbecue or a pool party, this refreshing beverage will surely be a hit with your guests.

Making jam is a delicious way to preserve the taste of summer fruits.
Rhubarb and angelica are two traditional jam ingredients that are often used together. 
Angelica has a distinctive flavor that pairs well with the tartness of rhubarb.
The combination of these two ingredients results in a jam that is both sweet and sour. 

In addition, the bright color of this jam makes it a beautiful addition to any breakfast table.

What is another name for angelica herb?

The angelica herb goes by a lot of names. 

It is commonly known as angelica but is also called Holy Ghost plant, wild celery, and Norwegian angelica

Other names angelica goes by include angelica root, wild parsnip, and St. Michael’s flower.

What does angelica taste like?

Angelica has a flavor that can be described as earthy and woody with a hint of bitterness and licorice (anise). 

Some say it tastes similar to juniper berries. 

Tips on storing angelica

Angelica roots should be dried quickly and placed in airtight containers.
Candied or dried angelica can be kept in a sealed container for around four months at room temperature–just be sure to keep it away from direct sunlight. 
As per the leaves, here’s the best way to store them: 

Tools needed:

  • Angelica leaves
  • Damp paper towel
  • Perforated plastic bag
  • Refrigerator

Instructions for storing angelica leaves in the fridge:

  1. Wrap angelica leaves in damp paper towels. 
  2. Place them in a perforated plastic bag. 
  3. Then store the leaves in the refrigerator for 3 days.

The bottom line

Angelica is a versatile herb that can be used in sweet or savory dishes.
It has a distinct flavor that pairs well with other ingredients.
Angelica is unique and versatile, and diners will no doubt be asking how you turn this underrated herb into such a masterful dish.
So, go ahead and try incorporating angelica into your kitchen arsenal today!

How To Store Angelica Leaves In The Refrigerator

How To Store Angelica Leaves In The Refrigerator

Learn the best way to store your angelica leaves in the fridge so they will stay fresh for a few days!


  • Angelica leaves
  • Damp paper towel
  • Perforated plastic bag
  • Refrigerator


  1. Wrap angelica leaves in damp paper towels. 
  2. Place them in a perforated plastic bag. 
  3. Then store the leaves in the refrigerator for 3 days.

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Tuesday 30th of January 2024

My grandmother collected and then boiled angelica, sprinkled it with pepper and served it with sour cream. And I also made the filling for dumplings. Here in Russia, in the Urals, this plant is called pican.

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