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Cooking with Herbs

 

Cooking with herbs can be daunting when you don’t know much about herbs, their flavor profiles, or how to cook with them, but we are here to tell you that you do know more than you think!

We often cook with dried jarred herbs, so now that Spring and Summer are arriving, throw those jars to the side and bring in some fresh herbs into your cooking routine.

We’re here to give you some common household fresh herbs and/or fresh herbs that are readily available in our area during the Spring and Summer, and the cuisines that use them the most to create divine dishes.

*Please note that there are far more to each cuisine than what is described as well as far more spices, herbs, and culture behind what is listed. We simplified different cuisines in order to give those who may not be as familiar, or need some refreshing, on herbs and the best cuisines to use them in*

Mediterranean 

With the heart of mediterranean food being based in olive oil, wheat, and grapes, there are so many ways in which herbs can be used to spice up meals, add flavor, and make dishes look even more beautiful. Some of the commonly used herbs in mediterranean dishes are rosemary, oregano, basil, and sage. The list does not stop there but those are some of the common ones we see in our own households.

  • RosemaryA sharp flavor made up of a piney pepper flavor and woody aftertaste
  • OreganoPeppery and a warm pungent taste
  • BasilA sweet peppery flavor profile
  • SageA very savory, earthy, and warm flavor profile

European/English

European cuisine is so diverse there is a little something for everyone. With its enormous array of meals, ingredients, and flavors there is room for the use of a wide array of herbs.  Although the following list of herbs are not extensive to European cuisine, they are the herbs we most commonly see in our own households or readily available. The European cuisine is a brilliant way to integrate thyme, dill, sage, parsley, and tarragon.

  • ThymeA warm, peppery, herbal flavor profile
  • DillTangy citrus-like taste with grassy undertones
  • SageA very savory, earthy, and warm flavor profile
  • ParsleySubtle flavor which is mildly bitter with touches of peppery and earthy flavors
  • TarragonSlight sweet and slightly bitter with flavors of licorice and/or anise

Latin American 

A cuisine that always knows how to make use of the finest herbs and spices for their dishes. From corn, beans, rice, vegetables, and meats making up some of the core ingredients in Latin American culture, you can only imagine the tastefulness that is created with the use of herbs. Some common herbs in our households that are commonly used in Latin American cuisine are oregano and cilantro.

  • Oregano – Peppery and a warm pungent taste
  • Cilantro  – A controversial herb that for some tastes like soap (there is a scientific reason for this one) and for others has a citrusy flavor profile

Asian

From salty to sweet, vegetables to meat, and so much more, Asian cuisine is always captivating by its fragrances and colors. With a lot of focus on the foods texture, color, flavor and aroma, there is no shortage of great use of herbs in Asian cuisine. Common household, or found, herbs used in Asian cuisine would be lemongrass, basil, and cilantro.

  • LemongrassCitrus and lemon flavors with a hint of lemon mint
  • BasilA sweet peppery flavor profile
  • Cilantro  – A controversial herb that for some tastes like soap (there is a scientific reason for this one) and for others has a citrusy flavor profile

 

There are far more herbs used in cooking and far more cuisines in the world, but we hope this gave you a little starting point to cooking with herbs.

 

Happy Cooking!

 

*Not pictured is Lemongrass & Tarragon*