Yacon, Marijuana, Flowers and Vegetables: Not The Usual Sources of Wine
Most wines are made from fruits (like grapes, apples and many others), rice and sugar cane.
Most wines are made from fruits (like grapes, apples and many others), rice and sugar cane. Unknown to many, some wine can be made also from vegetables, flowers, roots and others.
Quite unusual but extract of Cannabis which is commonly known as Marijuana can be fermented to produce wine. Although the most common form of cannabis used as a drug is the natural herbal form.
Another peculiar source of wine is the Yacon, a root crop that is grown in the Andes Mountains, particularly in Peru. It’s a crisp and sweet-tasting tuber with texture and flavor that have been described as a cross between a fresh apple and watermelon which is why it is sometimes referred to as the apple of the earth. It has recently been introduced to the Philippines and is now widely available in markets. One province in the Philippines that produces Yacon wine is Nueva Vizcaya in northern Luzon. Yacon also provides for two nutritional products the yacon syrup and yacon tea. Both products are popular among diabetic people and dieters who consume these products because of its low sugar properties.
Another unusual source of wine is honey and the alcoholic beverage that is made from honey and water through fermentation with yeast is called Mead. The alcoholic content of Mead may range from that of mild ale to that of a strong wine.
Potatoes are the world’s 4th largest food crop and yes, potatoes are not just for fries, mash and chips. Potatoes are also used to brew alcoholic beverages. And do you know that the popular “vodka” is made from potatoes?
One of the best sources of essential vitamin called beta-carotene is carrot, a root vegetable that is usually orange in color. Other color variations of carrot include purple, red, white, or yellow. It has a crisp texture when fresh. The edible part of a carrot is a taproot. Extract of carrots can be fermented to produce wine.
Another root vegetable aside from carrot whose extract can be fermented to produce wine is parsnip. Parsnips resemble carrots, but are paler than most of them and have a stronger flavor. Like carrots, parsnips are native to Eurasia and have been eaten there since ancient times.
Rhubarb can also be used to make wine. This plant is also called Turkish celery. Rhubarb is a group of plants that belong to the genus Rheum that grow from thick short rhizomes and have large leaves that are somewhat triangular in shaped. The leaves of this plant are toxic but the stalks are used in pies and other foods for their tart flavor.
Botanically speaking, Peapod is considered a fruit but treated as vegetable in cooking. It is a cool season crop grown in many parts of the world that can be made into wine. Peapod is used as a vegetable – fresh, frozen or canned, and is also grown to produce dry peas like the split pea.
There are also some plant species whose flowers can be made into wine like Sambucus which is also known as Elder or Elderberry. This plant is endemic to temperate-to-subtropical regions of the world. Wines, cordials and marmalade have been produced from the berries.
Another plant whose flower extract can be fermented also to make wine is the Dandelion, a plant which is considered a weed. This unique plant is endemic to Europe and Asia.
Medicinally and commercially speaking, the flowers of Hibiscus have so many uses. Its extract can be fermented also to make wine. The flowers are also used to add flavor to the end of year punch, along with many other plants as cinnamon, guava and sugar cane.