“A friend” reached out to me with a strange request. “What could Tasmanian mezereon possibly be?” Seems he’d been served it at a fancy place in Germany.
The name tinkled a faint bell, which turned out on closer listening to be Daphne mezereum, a pretty shrub whose twigs are highly toxic, an extract being used to blister the skin (why? — wart removal?) and to treat arthritis (again, why?). That didn’t seem right, and anyway, the plant isn’t from Tasmania.
There have also been racehorses of that name, but when I offered that as a possibility, my friend said only “might have been, judging only by the taste”.
At this point I naturally had the bit between my teeth, so to speak, and set off in hot pursuit. Further searching revealed the item in question on the English language version of the fancy place’s website, to which I refuse to link as it assailed me with cheesy music. Looking at the website, though, all of the English seemed to be just a bit off. And the menu item in question:
Tenderlion [sic] of beef iced with hibiscus
Tasmanian mezereon au jus
A bunch of pumpkin, serrano-thai-asparagus
As an aside, why bother even having an English language site if you can’t be arsed to pay for it. Anyway, off to the (presumably original) German version:
Rinderfilet mit Hibiskus glasiert
As my friend noted, “that is super interesting”.
I wonder what the Germans would have made of Cornish pepperleaf?