Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sassasfras Tea Means Comfort to Me

It's another snowy day in Michigan. Will it ever go away? There's only four more days until February is gone and then maybe we can move on. Until then I am looking for comfort food and drink.

When I married my husband his family introduced me to Sassafras tea. It was a big event every fall to search for the colored bushes, look for the mitten shaped leaves, and dig a few of the small, tender, roots. We washed and boiled the roots to make a big stew pot of tea. When it cooled, what was left over, after our first cup, would be kept in the refrigerator to be reheated later. Some roots would be put in the freezer for later use.

I'm a rootbeer lover so this tea was very tasty to me, but when we've mentioned it to some people, they are repulsed thinking of a hot rootbeer-flavored, non-carbonated drink. Over the many years of marriage, it has become one of my favorite teas, especially when the snow and wind are blowing. It is just so comforting to wrap my hands around that warm mug and smell that wonderful aroma. It's also naturally caffeine free so it's so good to drink before bed.

But alas, in 1960, way before my marriage, they discovered that the sassfras oil which is called safrole is a carcinogen. But of course, we didn't know anything about it or maybe we just dismissed the tests as not valid. My children grew up on the tea, but since it was a seasonal drink, they didn't have huge amounts. Once we acknowledged the carcinagens, whether the tests were accurate or not, we finally admitted we had to give up our precious drink. We couldn't risk our children's health.

And then we discovered Pappy's Sassasfras Tea. It comes as a concentrate and is safrole free. Oh how excited we were when we first discovered it. We told the whole family. When my sister-in-law would come up from Florida, she would buy a case to take home.

I'm am not in business with the Pappy's company or related in any way. But I suddenly realized that maybe some of you have never heard of Sassasfras Tea or Pappy's before. If you ever get a chance to sample some, "try it, you'll like it." In the mean time, I'll sit back with my warm, rootbeer-flavored drink and get cozy with a good book while I wait out winter.


Annie in Austin said...

Hi Jane Marie - I love root beer so the idea is interesting, but never have tried Sassafras tea.

I like those mitten-shaped leaves.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Healthy Heather said...

Sweet, I'm a herb fanatic. I'm going to link you if that ok!

kris said...

I have never tasted Sassasfras tea - but my mom used to talk about it when I was growing up. I love root beer, so think I'll have to try this. Thanks for the link.

I hope March is a little less brutal than February - I'm ready to start playing in the dirt! :)

p.s. love your cup - so pretty!!

kate said...

I have heard of Sassafras tea, but I've never tasted it. How cool that you have found a supplier of a safe version!

I'm with you on colour - I think that's why my house is filled with vibrant colour. Winter seems so long and very monochromatic ... it has its own beauty, but I'm weary of it!

LauraHinNJ said...

Those mitten-shaped leaves are one of my favorites - easy to ID!

Blackswamp_Girl said...

I have heard of sassafras tea, but never had it--and didn't know about the carcinogens, either. Very interesting! I might have to find some of Pappy's and give it a try... I love all kinds of teas, and it does sound particularly comforting at this time of the (neverending) winter!

Anonymous said...

I love sassafras tea. We made sassafras tea in wva. love it