Il y a des pissenlits à perte de vue.
eel yah day pee-sah-lee ah pairt duh VEW. Click below to hear this.
There are dandelions as far as the eye can see.
We can take care of the end of this sentence in the blink of an eye. A perte de vue literally means to loss of vision. I suppose you could argue that a field of blooming dandelions might dazzle the eyes with their brilliance, but that’s not the intent. No matter how farsighted you are, at some distant point you can no longer see the horizon. That’s a perte de vue.
But there remains this little matter of the dandelions. The English comes from the alternative French name for these flowers: le dent-de-lion, or lion’s tooth. That’s pretty obvious.
But what about des pissenlits? Where did that name come from?
Well, they have a reputation to uphold: The name pissenlit means pee in bed! It sounds vulgar, but it’s really not. The leaves of le dent-de-lion alias le pissenlit have a strong diuretic effect, a fact which has been known for many centuries. This plant has a long history as a medicinal herb; it is used to this day to treat ailments of the liver and kidneys, among others.
Les dents-de-lion are plentiful at this time of year in my part of the US. You can make a tasty salad from the young leaves (try them very lightly sautéd with a bit of bacon!). You can also make wine from the flowers. (See this link if you want to try cooking with them.) Enjoy!
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