Peumus boldus is an evergreen shrub found throughout South America, with a large concentration of plants in Chile. Boldo leaves are highly aromatic and can be quite pungent when crushed. The leaf is typically used in Chilean cooking, in a similar fashion as bay leaf in Mediterranean cooking. The leaves have also made their way into liqueurs and bitters. Dried leaves can be steeped and enjoyed as boldo tea.
Boldo is an evergreen shrub most commonly found in Chile, but also occurring in other parts of South America including Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru. The plant has since become naturalized outside its native range, with small populations in Europe and Africa. The waxy leaves are highly aromatic to the point of being unpleasantly pungent when crushed. The boldo plant produces small green fruits that are sweet with a pleasant taste. Boldo is a member of the Monimiaceae family.
Archaeologists excavating in the Monte Verde region of southern Chile have found boldo in combination with 22 other herbs wrapped in a seaweed basket estimated to be 12,500 years old.
Boldo leaves are used in Chilean cooking, similar to how bay leaves are used elsewhere in the world. The scent becomes more palatable after drying and cooking, bringing to the surface notes of camphor, pepper, and mint. Essential oil of boldo is used in the perfume industry, and the leaf is an ingredient in liqueurs and bitters.
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