Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is tall a perennial grass, which means it comes back year after year. The plants can grow up to three feet tall. Lemongrass is native to South Asia, South-east Asia and Australia.
The common varieties used as a spice in cooking are Cymbopogon citratus and C. flexuosus of which the first has a large bulb similar to a scallion. C. flexuosus, also called Cochin Grass, is native to India, Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand. C. nardus is used mostly to produce citronella oil.
Responsible for 80 percent of the world’s lemongrass crop, India produces more lemongrass than any other country in the world. In recent years the production in Vietnam has increased as it is more grown as an alternative to growing rice.
Lemongrass is a common ingredient in Thai and Vietnamese cooking but it works very well in Western cooking where its complex flavors can liven up a variety of dishes. Lemongrass is particularly useful to combine with other spices and seasonings. As the flavour combines very well with sweet tastes, lemongrass is a great ingredient in desserts, coctails and sweet drinks. Lemongrass can be dried and powdered, or used fresh.
Lemongrass is also said to have medicinal qualities. It is assumed to help with digestion and blood circulation. Lemongrass oil is also used topically to treat headaches, stomach aches and muscle pain.
We have, in collaboration with our farmers, introduced the cultivation of organic lemongrass in Hoa An and Ha Quang. Although the climate at first seemed a little cold, lemongrass has been succesfully cultivated by the local farmers. We use Cymbopogon citratus as being the best suited for the climate as well as giving the most balanced taste profile.
In our factory we dry and grind lemongrass.