Often described as having the smell of freshly cut hay, woodruff is the leaf of a ground cover native to Europe. Its most famous use is as a flavoring in may wine, a white-wine punch popular in Germany. In Germany and Austria, woodruff is also used to season sausages, candies and many cooked dishes. Live plants are available through many nurseries, and the dried herb is available in gourmet stores and through mail order. Also called sweet woodruff.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.