January 2014

Silphium: The most delicious plant you've never tasted

The ancient Greeks and Romans ate it all
Back in classical antiquity times, the world revolved around silphium. It was used in cooking, its sap was used as a medicinal treatment and as birth control, its flowers were used for perfume, and its relative scarcity caused it to become the basis of several forms of currency. But you've probably never heard of it, because it went extinct some time during the rise of the Roman Empire.