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The dark green Mediterranean herb with an astringent taste
Once you have developed a love of rosemary, you will likely remain true to it for a lifetime. Perhaps you might even say the herb is a symbol of love and loyalty?
Rosemary sprigs, sporting dark green needles, are reminiscent of fir branches. This herb, which is particularly popular in the Mediterranean cuisine, should not only make its grand appearance during Christmas. After all, this versatile seasoning is a pleasure all year round: rosemary adds a touch of finesse to oil, gives vegetarian dishes a bitter, aromatic note, and goes well with many meat and fish dishes. Rosemary potatoes are a classic side dish, and the Herbes de Provence would simply not work without rosemary.
Rosemary has a rich scent reminiscent of spruce, pine, and frankincense. Its taste is pleasantly astringent and slightly resinous. It calls to mind camphor and vaguely hints of eucalyptus. The aroma of fresh sprigs harvested during or shortly after blossoming is particularly intense.
|Class||Lamiaceae or Labiatae|
|Ingredients||essential oil, tannic and bitter substances|
|Season||mid-April to mid-October (in Switzerland)|
|Storage||fresh herbs in the refrigerator, dried in an airtight container|
|Shelf life||fresh about three weeks in the refrigerator, dried up to one year|
Rosemary stems from the Mediterranean region and forms an integral part of the Mediterranean cuisine. It grows as an evergreen shrub that can reach a height of up to two metres. Its edible flowers are small, delicate, and range in colour from blue to violet. Rosemary can easily be grown in a pot on the balcony or on the windowsill, but also fares well in your home garden. Its main season is during the warm months between mid-April and mid-October, but depending on the weather, the small rosemary leaves can be harvested all year round.
Rosemary is said to have healing powers and other beneficial properties. In ancient Greece, rosemary was even dedicated to Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. Today, the herb is mainly appreciated for its aroma and used as seasoning in savoury and even sweet dishes.
You can use rosemary fresh or dried. When whole rosemary sprigs are cooked along with dishes, they are usually removed after preparation. Needles plucked off the sprig and, if necessary, chopped, can remain in the dish to be eaten. Rosemary is best known as an ingredient in marinades for meat dishes, as seasoning in herb bread or butter, and in combination with potatoes.
Definitely not to be missed are the baked goods and other sweet dishes and drinks prepared with rosemary. For example, it is worth seasoning apple or cherry cake with a little rosemary: the dark green herb gives the baking classics a completely new and interesting note. Rosemary tea, which is said to stimulate blood circulation, can be a deliciously refreshing drink, and a sprig of rosemary in lemonade or a long drink is also a highly recommended taste experience. The richly astringent taste of rosemary perfectly complements the other flavours in these drinks.
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