Rosemary

A flavor and a scent to remember

Rosemary grows on a small evergreen shrub and its leaves look like flat pine-tree needles. Its memorable flavor and unique health benefits makes it an indispensable herb for every kitchen. As an evergreen, rosemary is available throughout the year.

The wonderful smell of rosemary is often associated with good food and great times. But it could just as easily be associated with good health. Rosemary contains substances that are useful for stimulating the immune system, increasing circulation, and improving digestion. Rosemary also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may make it useful for reducing the severity of asthma attacks. In addition, rosemary has been shown to increase the blood flow to the head and brain, improving concentration.

Rosemary is a good source of the minerals iron and calcium, as well as dietary fiber. Fresh has 25% more manganese (which is somehow lost in the process of drying) and a 40% less calcium and iron, probably due to the higher water content.

It is not surprising that the taste and aroma of rosemary is unforgettable, and historically used for strengthening the memory. Rosemary has a unique pine-like fragrant flavor that is balanced by a rich pungency, a combination that evokes both the forest and the sea. In ancient Greece, students would place rosemary sprigs in their hair when studying for exams and mourners would also throw the fragrant herb into the grave of the deceased as a symbol of remembrance.

So, the next time you enhance the flavor of some special dish with rosemary, congratulate yourself for a wise as well as delicious choice.  Rosemary is a wonderful herb for seasoning chicken and lamb dishes and matches nicely with olive oil: purée fresh rosemary leaves with olive oil and use it as a dipping sauce for bread.

MLGFB tip: 

You can place the rosemary sprigs in ice cube trays covered with either water or stock that can be added when preparing soups or stews.

How to store:

  • Fresh rosemary: it should be stored in the refrigerator either in its original packaging or wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel.
  • Dried rosemary: it should be kept in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark and dry place where it will keep fresh for about six months.
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