Chicory is a wild plant in its native Europe, with bright blue flowers.
Root chicory (Cichorium intybus var. sativum) has long been cultivated in Europe as a coffee substitute, which are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and food additive. Inulin, an extract from chicory root, has been used in food manufacturing as a sweetener and source of dietary fiber; inulin is a type of prebiotic, it is not digested or absorbed in the stomach, it stays in the bowel and helps certain beneficial bacteria to grow.
In France a mixture of 60% chicory and 40% coffee is sold under the trade name Ricoré.