Angelica is an ancient herb with a lot of history. It's been used as a medicinal plant, as well as an herb. The flavor is floral and strong, and will remind many people of gin, since it's one of the key ingredients in many varieties.
The Forager's Guide to Wild Angelica | Candied Angelica Stems | Angelica Creme Fraiche | Pickled Angelica Stems |
For the purposes of this website, I use strictly A. atropurpea as it's the most common variety in my area. Many other species can be cooked similarly, but will taste different depending on the species used.
Like many plants it's related to the sap of the green, above-ground portion of the plant is a photo-toxin and can cause photodermatitis if the sap of the plant is exposed to skin in the sun. To avoid getting a rash, harvest and handle the plant using gloves.
Two other plants I harvest need to be treated similarly. For info on those, please see:
Wild Parsnip: Harvesting, Cooking and Safety
Cow Parsnip: Identification, Edible Parts, and Cooking
The young shoots, unopened flowers buds, flowers, leaves and seeds are all edible. The plant has a strong floral flavor and must be used in the right place though.
My all-time favorite part of the plant is the unopened flower buds or Zavirne as they're called in Southern Italy. Harvested at the right time they make an incredible appetizer fried in batter with lemon or even powdered sugar.