The dandelion – by its Romanian name Papadie – is very common in all areas of Romania.In April – May dandelions start to flower, turning meadows into yellow spotted areas.
It is a beautiful and very persistent flower.
Its leaves are considered the Romanian version of rucola – that’s what my mother in law says 🙂
True, I remember from childhood, my best friend’s mother would pick the dandelion leaves as soon as they emerged, well before they would start growing the stem for the flower. The leaves were used as a salad, it was bitter, we added salt and lemon and it was a perfect spring treat (sometime in March – April), one of the first fresh green treats of the season.
People say you can also eat the flower and its stem (the stems are recommended to eat raw, just like the leaves, 4-5 stems a day, to reinvigorate the body. But they are very bitter…).
The flowers can become tea, either fresh flowers, or after drying them – this is how they are kept for the winter.
If not used at all, sometimes in May or at the end of their life cycle, the flowers dry out and become those puffy globes people like to blow on (thus helping the dandelion seeds spread faster 🙂 )
Scientific name: Taraxacum officinale