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They say variety is the spice of life, and they also say good food means good times. If you want good food, you are going to have to find a way to spice it up!

There are many natural herbs that have been around for centuries; these are a great way to add some spice and variety to your cooking. Culinary herbs have been in use for centuries as a way to add flavor and color to the everyday meal.

Here we will take a look at some of the herbs that have made their way through the centuries and are available today as a tool in your cooking arsenal. Your garden is the perfect place to grow herbs of this sort. So take a few minutes to get an overview of each of these spices and see how you can add variety and spice to your good food and good times! We”ll offer tips on cooking with herbs as well as growing herbs at home!

Anise

Anise has been popular in parts of Asia, Europe and Africa for centuries. It has many uses as a culinary herb, whether you use its leaves or its seeds. The seeds are used most commonly in various condiments and sauces, as with many culinary herbs. An oil is distilled from the anise seeds and used in various ways.

Basil

Basil is one of the more widely known culinary herbs and has a history in royal feasts as early as the 16th century. The French have used basil the most throughout history, but it is widely used across the globe today. Like many culinary herbs, basil has a variety of uses.

Coriander

China and Europe seem to be the birthplace of this herb, but its natural origin is hard to determine because it has been around since the ancient times. It is the seed that is the most commonly used part of coriander.

Cumin

Cumin is a popular culinary herb that is most common in the spicier dishes of the Middle East, Asia and the Mediterranean. The seeds and the leaves can be used in recipes and are a great natural way to spice up your sauces or dishes. If you love smoky flavors, you”ll love cumin.

Dill

Most people think of pickles when they think of dill. While dill is used mainly as a way to flavor pickles, it is a very useful culinary herb. The leaves are used, as are the seeds, but it is the seeds that perform the best. You can add dill to many of your favorite vegetable dishes.

Fennel

Fennel as a culinary herb is somewhat separate from its wild-growing counterpart. It is the sweet fennel that you will find used as a culinary herb in mostly French and Italian recipes. You can easily incorporate fennel into your recipes.

Mint

Mint has been referenced in writings since biblical times and has been esteemed as a way of adding flavor, aroma and color to dishes all the way up to the present day. Used fresh or dried, mint makes its way into some of the best-known dishes the world over.

Parsley

One of the most widely known herbs, parsley is most notable in America because of its use as a garnish. However, it has been known as a way to enhance foods for over 2,000 years. In Europe, parsley is used most widely as a culinary herb to enhance a dish”s delicate flavors.

Sage

Sage is one of the most aromatic culinary herbs and is known to be used more in the dry regions, such as northern Africa and southern Europe. Sage can be fairly easily grown and can add spice and aroma to many of your already delicious recipes. Sage is delicious when roasted with chicken.

Resources

Kains, M.G. (1912). Culinary herbs: Their cultivation, harvesting, curing and uses. Retrieved April 3, 2008, from the Project Gutenberg Web site: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/21414/21414-h/21414-h.htm#Page_59.

Mississippi State University Staff. (n.d.) Cooking with herbs. Retrieved September 2, 2009, from the Mississippi State University Web site: http://msucares.com/lawn/herbs/herbal_cooking.html.

 Posted on : September 18, 2013