Binomial name

Edible part

Way/mode of ussage (in human nutrition)

Culinary use of ESHs in the Republic of Moldova

Sources: [15] [17] [18]

(the results of the interview)

Borago officinalis L.

Flowers, leaves, oil

Leaves: raw or cooked. They can be used as a potherb or be added to salads. They are also added whole as a flavoring to various drinks such as Pimms and wine-based drinks. The leaves have a salty cucumber flavor. The leaves should always be used fresh, because they lose their flavor and color if dried.

Flowers: raw. They are used as a decorative garnish on salads and summer fruit drinks. A refreshing tea is made from the leaves and/or the flowers. An edible blue dye can be obtained from the flowers. It is used to color vinegar.

The leaves smell like cucumber, have a sweet-sour taste. Use young leaves that blush, then harden. They are made into soups-creams, sauces for noodles (noodles—fine pasta made of wheat flour and egg). The flowers: have a sweet taste and are used to decorate salads and desserts. In modern cuisine, flowers are used to make jams. The flowers of Borago officinali L. are also consumed in their natural state, mainly by children, absorbing the sweet nectar of the flowers.

Cichorium intybus L.

Flowers, leaves, roots

Leaves: raw or cooked. The leaves are rather bitter, especially when the plants are flowering. The blanched leaves are often used in winter salads (they are known as chicons) and are also cooked. The unblanched leaves are much less bitter in winter and make an excellent addition to salads at this time of year.

Flowers: raw. An attractive addition to the salad bowl, but rather bitter.

Root: cooked like parsnip. The boiled young roots form a very palatable vegetable. The root is said to be an ideal food for diabetics because of its inulin content. Roots are used in seasoning soups, sauces and gravies, and to impart a rich deep color. The roasted root is used as a caffeine-free coffee adulterant or substitute. Young roots have a slightly bitter caramel flavor when roasted.

In the diet of children in the form of tea.

Chicory root is used to abstain from a coffee-like drink [43] .

Malva sylvestris L.

Flowers, leaves, seeds

Leaves: raw or cooked. Mucilaginous with a mild pleasant flavor, they are nice in soups where they act as a thickener. The young leaves also make a very acceptable substitute for lettuce in a salad.

Immature seed: raw. Used as a nibble, the seeds have a nice nutty flavor. Flowers: raw. Added to salads or used as a garnish. The leaves are a tea substitute.

The fresh or dehydrated and crushed plant is used in teas, infusions.

The leaves and flowers are used in salads. In some parts of MD they are used for sarmale.

The fruit, which has the shape of a coil or a cheese wheel, is a delight for children, eaten raw.

Papaver rhoeas L.

Flowers, leaves, oil, seeds

Seed: raw or cooked. Much used as a flavoring in cakes, bread, fruit salads, etc., it imparts a very nice nutty flavor. The seeds are perfectly safe to eat, containing none of the alkaloids associated with other parts of the plant.

Leaves: raw or cooked. Used like spinach or as a flavoring in soups and salads. The leaves should not be used after the flower buds have formed. Edible oil is obtained from the seed. Said to be an excellent substitute for olive oil, it can be used in salad dressings or for cooking. Syrup can be prepared from the scarlet flower petals, it is used in soups, gruels, etc. A red dye from the petals is used as a food flavoring, especially in wine [28] .

Poppy seeds are widely used, especially in pastries: as a filling for pies, rolled, for decoration. It is added to bakery products.

It is also added to salads, to meat products.

More recently, the use of leaves (raw but also cooked) has gained a new revival, being used in salads or vegetable stews.

Portulaca oleracea L.

Leaves, seeds

Leaves and stems: raw or cooked. The young leaves are a very acceptable addition to salads, their mucilaginous quality also making them a good substitute for okra as a thickener in soups. The leaves have a somewhat sour flavor, a spicy and somewhat salty taste.

Seed: raw or cooked. The seed can be ground into a powder and mixed with cereals for use in gruels, bread, pancakes etc.

The young leaves are used in salads, soups. As a food supplement: fresh leaves covered with bee honey are eaten.

The sauce is also prepared from the leaves, adding yogurt and cucumbers.

Rumex acetosa L.

Flowers, leaves, roots, seeds

Curdling agent. Leaves: raw or cooked. They make a thirst-quenching on their own, or can be added to salads, used as a potherb or pureed, in sauces and used in soups. A delicious lemon-like flavor, liked by most people who try them, they can be rather overpowering in quantity and are more generally used as a flavoring in mixed salads. The leaves can also be dried for later use. The juice of the leaves can be used as a curdling agent for milks. Flowers: cooked as a vegetable or used as a garnish.

Root: cooked. It is dried, ground into a powder and made into noodles. Seed: raw or cooked. Ground into a powder and mixed with other flours to make bread.

The leaves are widely used in soups (borscht), especially spring green borscht (prepared mainly from weeds). It is used, including as an acidifying agent for soups. The young and fresh leaves are used in salads, pie fillings, vegetable stews, sauces, sarmale.

Taraxacum officinale L.

Flowers, leaves, root

Leaves: raw or cooked. Tender young leaves are considerably less bitter than older leaves. The leaves are often blanched (by excluding light from the growing plant) before use. Root: raw or cooked. Bitter. A turnip-like flavor. The roots of 2-year-old plants are harvested in the autumn, dried and roasted to make a very good coffee substitute. Flowers: raw or cooked. A rather bitter flavor, the unopened flower buds can be used in fritters and they can also be preserved in vinegar and used like capers. Both the leaves and the roots are used to flavor herbal beers and soft drinks. A pleasant tea is made from the flowers. They are also used to make wine. The leaves and the roots can also be used to make tea.

The young dandelion leaves were and are used for salads, in omelettes. The boiled leaves are used in soups and broths, teas.

The flowers are used to make wine or jam, and the crushed and roasted root can be used to make an energizing infusion with an effect similar to black tea. It was consumed more widely during the war and after the war, when hunger was rampant. Now, the dandelion enjoys a new life, being more and more frequently used in the daily diet of Moldovans.

Urtica dioica L.

Leaves, oil

Couloring, drinh, oil, curling agent

Young leaves: cooked as a potherb and added to soups etc. The young shoots harvested in the spring when 15 - 20 cm long complete with the underground stem are very nice. The plants are harvested commercially for extraction of the chlorophyll, which is used as a green coloring agent (E140) in foods and medicines. The juice of the leaves, or a decoction of the herb, can be used as a rennet substitute in curdling plant milks. Nettle beer is brewed from the young shoots [34] .

One of the best known and most used spontaneous plant.

Egg stew is most often made from the leaves of the young plant, but it is also used in the preparation of soups, omelets, meatballs, pie fillings, sauces, etc. Leaf teas are also made.

Currently the leaves are also used for risotti, tarts, smoothies, pesto.

Tussilago farfara

Flowers, leaves, oil

Flower buds and young flowers: raw or cooked. A pleasant aniseed flavor, they add a distinctive aromatic flavor to salads.

Young leaves: raw or cooked. They can be used in salads, added to soups, or cooked as a vegetable. The leaves have a bitter taste unless they are washed after being boiled. An aromatic tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves and flowers. It has a liquorice-like flavor. The dried and burnt leaves are used as a salt substitute. The slender rootstock is candied in sugar syrup.

The most well-known use is due to the leaves, for packing the găluci (rustic name of the current Moldovan sarmales or internationally known variant—dolma) [44] .

Viola odorata L.

Flowers, leaves

Young leaves and flower buds: raw or cooked. Usually available all through the winter. The leaves have a very mild flavor, though they soon become quite tough as they grow older. They make a very good salad. When added to soup they thicken it in much the same way as okra. Also used as a flavoring in puddings etc. A tea can be made from the leaves.

Flowers: raw. Used to decorate salads and desserts. A sweet mild flavor with a delicate perfume, the flowers are an especially welcome decoration for the salad bowl since they are available in late winter. The flowers are also used fresh to flavor and color confectionery. A soothing tea can be made from the leaves and flowers. A leaf extract is used to flavor sweets, baked goods and ice cream.

Both flowers and leaves are used raw in salads, and flowers for decoration.

From the fermented flowers, a slightly alcoholic, aromatic drink similar to cherry or socata is obtained.

The flowers are sugary and are used to decorate and flavor desserts.

Lamium album L.


Young leaves: raw or cooked. They can be added to salads or mixed with other leaves and cooked as a potherb. They can also be dried for later use. A pleasant herb tea is made from the flowers.

Shoots, the top of the plant and the young leaves are used. Flowers: in salads, stews, omelettes. The flowers are often eaten by children, due to their sweet taste. Occasionally, it is also used in green sauces.

Pulmonaria officinalis L.


Leaves: raw or cooked. They can be added to salads or used as a potherb. A fairly bland flavor but the leaves are low in fiber and make an acceptable addition to mixed salads, though their mucilaginous and slightly hairy texture make them less acceptable when eaten on their own. The young leaves make a palatable cooked vegetable, though we have found the texture to be somewhat slimy. The plant is an ingredient of the drink Vermouth.

The flowers are eaten, which are a delight for children due to their sweet taste.

Sonchus oleraceus L.

Leaves, roots, stems

Young leaves: raw or cooked. This species has the nicest tasting leaves of the genus, they usually have a mild agreeable flavor especially in the spring. They can be added to salads, cooked like spinach or used in soups etc. Stems: cooked like asparagus or rhubarb. They are best if the outer skin is removed first.

Young root: cooked. They are woody and not very acceptable. The milky sap has been used as a chewing gum by the Maoris of New Zealand.

The young leaves are used in salads, soups (just like spinach). They were also used for pie fillers, colțunași. Colţunaşi—dough food, similar to Italian tortellini, with various fillings (cheese, greens, potatoes or cherries), boiled in water and served with sour cream or other dressing. The tender stems are also eaten raw. Accompanied by a light rubbing between the palms, while a folk song was said: susai-susai, make yourself sweet that you cut yourself... After which the stem was given to the children to eat

Thymus serpyllum L.


Leaves: raw in salads or added as a flavoring to cooked foods. Thyme retains its flavor well in long slow cooking. If the leaves are to be dried, the plants should be harvested in early and late summer just before the flowers open and the leaves should be dried quickly. An aromatic tea is made from the leaves.

Moldovans use thyme (both fresh and dehydrated), mainly for flavoring soups, and traditional Moldovan zeama.

Sour borș (borscht) is also flavored—A sour liqueur for acidifying soups, obtained from the fermentation of wheat bran. It is also used to flavor iron wine, oil or vinegar. Inflorescences, stems and leaves are used to make tea.

Arctium lappa L.

Leaves, root, seeds, stem

Root: raw or cooked. Very young roots can be eaten raw, but older roots are normally cooked. Although it does not have much flavor the root can absorb other flavors. Young roots have a mild flavor, but this becomes stronger as the root gets older.

Young leaves: raw or cooked. A mucilaginous texture.

Young stalks and branches: raw or cooked. Used like asparagus or spinach. They taste best if the rind is removed. The leaf stalks can be parboiled and used as a substitute for cardoons. The pith of the flowering stem can be eaten raw in salads, boiled or made into confections. A delicate vegetable, somewhat like asparagus in flavor. The seeds can be sprouted and used like beansprouts.

Young stems are eaten sauteed or fried, but also raw (when young and tender). Young shoots are consumed in the same way as asparagus. The leaves are also used to shape sarmales.

The cleaned roots are also eaten, either heat-treated or raw, because they are crispy and sweet. However, the consumption of burdock on the territory of the Republic of Moldova is quite limited.

Anethum graveolens L.

Leaves, seeds

Leaves: raw or cooked. Used as a flavoring in salads etc. The leaves lose their flavor if they are cooked for any length of time and so are best used raw or added to cooked dishes only a few minutes before the cooking is complete. The leaves can be harvested at any time the plant is growing but are best just before the plant flowers. Seed: raw or cooked. Very pungent and bitter in taste. It is used as a flavoring in salads, preserves etc., its chief uses being perhaps in making dill vinegar and as a flavoring in pickled gherkins. It can also be sprouted and used in breads, soups and salad dressings. Essential oil from the seed is used as a flavoring in the food industry. A tea is made from the leaves and/or the seeds.

Dill leaves, stems and seeds are used. Dill leaves are used in soups, stews, traditional products, salads, pie fillings.

The leaves, stem and inflorescences are used to flavor pickles, canned food for the winter. Store pickled, salted, frozen or dehydrated.

Dill is also used to make tea or flavor the oil.