Sorrel is practically speaking, an ‘herb-vegetable’ or ‘pot-herb’ as it can be cooked like a vegetable, while it has a distinctive lemony flavour like an herb. It can be harvested at baby leaf stage and is a great lettuce substitute in salads and sandwiches as it doesn't go limp. It is most delicious when cooked; the flavour is delightfully acidic. It is a fantastic partner to fish, veal, eggs, and potatoes in soup or gratin. Sorrel was gathered from the wild until the late 1600s, when French gardeners decided to bring it under cultivation to improve the flavour and texture of the leaves. The oldest cultivated sorrel still extant is ‘Belleville,’ domesticated in France during the 1730's. Sorrel De Belleville is a small French cultivar with pale-green leaves to 8cm (3in) long. It is hardy, fast growing cultivar and well-proven to be productive under almost any conditions. Its powerful lemony flavour can be tamed easily by blending it with other milder ingredients. Very easy to grow, producing clumps of pale green leaves with a good lemon flavour, it is greatly appreciated in France, where it is grown in everyone's garden and is easy to find in produce stands. This hardy perennial pot herb can even withstand freezing winters. Once established, it can be treated as a 'cut and come again' crop. The plant should produce greens for 8 to 10 years.
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