Erfurter Orangefarbige is a variety of calendula bred specifically for its medicinal virtues. Although the whole plant has long been used as a culinary and medicinal herb, the bright orange flowers alone are recommended for kitchen use today, since the leaves are very bitter. The flowers are mild tasting and slightly sweet, and can be used both in savoury and sweet dishes – the nickname ‘pot marigold’ comes from its popular use in the soup pot. When dried, its petals, which have been called ‘poor man’s saffron’, can be used to create a natural dye or, funnily enough, in chicken feed to make egg yolks extra vibrant!
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