FR: Myrte GER:Myrte IT: Mirto or Mortella SP: Arrayan, Mirto BOT: Myrtus communis FAM: Myrtaceae
The myrtle should not be confused with the bilberry or whortleberry (Vaccinium myrtillus; IT: mirtillo), which belongs to the heather family and is sometimes called myrtle.
The myrtle we are talking about is a plant with fragrant flowers and leaves, which one finds on the mountains of Spain, Italy, southern France, North Africa and the Middle East. Together with rosemary and arbutus, it perfumes the air of the Mediterranean hillsides, and to many poets it typifies the warmth and blue skies of these places.
Myrtle Varieties, Culinary Uses and Nutrition Photo Gallery
Myrtle is an evergreen bush, with straight twigs and stiff foliage, bearing beautiful white flowers and, later in the summer, refreshing aromatic purple-black berries. In ancient times, these berries were dried and used like pepper. The flavour, however, is only mildly resinous and sweet, a little like juniper.
Myrtle is a flavouring of the dry mountains where it grows and is especially used by the shepherds, who put myrtle branches on the fires over which they roast lamb. The leaves are also used to flavour roast pork and the small birds which are a delicacy in the Mediterranean countries. The perfume is usually imparted by wrapping or stuffing the meat with myrtle leaves after it has been