I was born and raised in Peru and would love to find seeds or plants of this herb so I can use it in my cooking. Does anyone know where I can find it? Thanks a lot
It looks like huacatay is a common name, the latin name being tagetes minuta (from the marigold family). Of the seed vendors I use, Chiltern Seeds (UK but don't let that dissuade you) offers tagetes minuta....but closer herb suppliers may carry the seed too, I don't grow enough herbs to know them all :)
Morz8: Thanks for the note. I did a quick search and even searched Chiltern seeds (looks very interesting--will go back to look more) but it appears the latin name encompases a lot of the marigols, how do I find out which one of the one? I think you are right --the foliage looks familiar but the flavor is very particular. How do I find out? Suggestions? Again, thanks for the note.
Various sites reading similar to this ""sometimes called Mexican marigold, Inca marigold or Peruvian black mint. It grows up to 2 metres tall and produces tiny white or pale yellow flowers (hence the name "minuta").
Native to South America, it was introduced to Europe during the Spanish conquests. Tagetes minuta is a popular companion plant in gardening because its roots produce a compound which keeps slugs, pests and weeds at bay.
In Peru, T.minuta is known as Huacatay and made into puree and seasoning that give local dishes a unique herbal flavour; said to taste like a mixture of mint, coriander and basil. ""
Catalog Seed #1222D
Here is a link that might be useful: Tagetes minuta @ Chiltern
Tagetes minuta seeds are available from http://www.seedsofchange.com/garden_center/product_details.aspx?item_no=PS16089
or from http://www.horizonherbs.com/product.asp?specific=573
Here is a link that might be useful: Seeds of Change
I just got back from Piura. bought some huacatay seeds along with Rocoto and Aji Limo. The company name is Alabama S.A. out of Callao Lima. This stuff is pretty easy to get nowadays.
Frankymac: I bought some huacatay seeds from Alabama Co a few years ago but not a single one germinated--people say it is fairly easy to grow so I took it kind of personally :)
I grew up in Piura as a child and I am very jealous of all your ajies, could you tell me if you have been able to germinate and grow Huacatay yourself?
Thanks a lot