Marigold flavors come to mind when tasting oregano. It is slightly bitter with grassy undertones. Use only the leaves. It is a wonderful dried herb, and it works well in Italian sauces, for seasoning fresh tomatoes and for flavoring crusty breads or croutons.
Rosemary leaves are needlelike in shape. You should strip the leaves from the stems before using them. The flavor is a combination of lemon and pine. It makes an excellent rub for pork. It also adds an interesting flavor to fruit and vegetables. Ancient cultures believed it would increase memory.
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This wispy herb has a delicate onion flavor and, in fact, looks like the tops of tiny green onions. To use chives, snip them into small pieces with kitchen shears. They lose flavor in cooking, so add them late in your recipe, or sprinkle them over the top of a finished dish. They are excellent in many savory recipes.
Basil has a pungent flavor often described as a blend of licorice and cloves. It works well with any tomato dish, and it is wonderful when made into a pesto. According to lore, if you add basil to your mop water, it will banish evil and negativity from your home.
This herb is slightly bitter and musky. The flavor is similar to thyme. In fact, sage and thyme can be substituted for each other in many recipes. Use only the leaves, as the stems can be woody and bitter. Sage is often used in poultry seasoning and stuffings. According to ancient lore, sage promotes wisdom and banishes negativity and evil.
There are many varieties of parsley. The most popular are curly or flatleaf Italian types. Parsley is an all-purpose herb and is sometimes used as a garnish. The flavor is fresh and grassy. Add it to salad dressings, soups and stews, or sprinkle it on sliced tomatoes. In ancient times, it was believed that parsley would ward off drunkenness.
There are many types of mint. Spearmint and peppermint are the best known. Spearmint has a refreshing, clean flavor. Peppermint is a bit more pungent and hot. Both types of mint can be used in savory or sweet dishes. Spearmint is the one used to make that Southern drink favorite mint julep.
Thyme is a member of the mint family. It has a slight tea flavor, and it is an excellent herb for flavoring meat, poultry and fish. It is an essential herb in French cooking and is a key ingredient when creating a bouquet garni, a mixture of seasonings for flavoring cooking liquids. According to lore, you should burn thyme when asking advice from loved ones who have passed on.