Last year’s experiment with growing stevia left me intrigued by its sweetness but not sold on its aftertaste.
Happily, cold weather worked its sugar magic last fall and the aftertaste disappeared completely. Results of hanging those cold-snapped leaves to dry are good too, so stevia has now earned a spot in our pantry.
Stevia from the store is a white, powdery product.
Unsurprisingly, fresh stevia looks nothing like that. We came across a plant this spring at a garden center and surreptitiously snipped a leaf to give it a try. It was different than anything we had ever tasted before, which meant it had to come home with us. So far it’s been a novelty plant for us – something I ask everyone who visits to taste – but hasn’t made its way into our diet. It’s sweet, as you’d expect, but then it has a very strange aftertaste, one I’m not sure I quite like. I have some sprigs hanging to dry in the kitchen, so we’ll see how that affects the flavor. Experimenting with new plants is one of my favorite parts of gardening. Some may not grow, others may not be to my taste, but the trying keeps things interesting.