Did you know that rosemary was a symbol of fidelity for the ancient Greeks? This herb was used in
wedding ceremonies in ancient times, and later monks believed the spindly plant helped cure stomach
maladies. During World War II, branches of rosemary were burned to repel germs from sick and
Today, herbs have many uses. Eastern cultures are particularly open to using them for treating
everyday maladies. Westerners tend to the use the plants for complementing
the flavors of foods, from pasta to rack of lamb.
The Herb Society of America is a great jumping off point for information
and tips about herbs. The group researches the history of herbs in horticulture, science, literature,
history, the arts and economics.
Chefs around the world are fascinated with the power of herbs to flavor their most prized dishes.
Check out these culinary herb guides for tips and recipes that use herbs:
A great place for an introduction to basic herbs and spices, this site from Epicurious.com offers
tips for growing, storing, drying and cooking with herbs. You'll also find articles about herbs from
magazines like Gourmet and Bon Appetit.
The famous chefs of the Wisconsin Dell's Cheese Factory Restaurant use the Herb of the Month to showcase
the versatility of one particular plant and its ability to spice up any vegetarian dish. From basil to
chives to mint, the site offers folktales about the chosen herb and offers several recipes and growing
instructions for the home gardener. Be sure to check out chapters from the restaurant's cookbook, too.
There are several classic herb combinations used in cooking that you can buy already made or create
yourself. Try these savory suggestions!
Fines Herbs is a traditional French mixture of 4 fresh or dried herbs including parsley, chervil,
chives and tarragon. Great for fresh salads or in egg dishes, this combo also works with sautéed
Herbs de Provence is a regional mixture of sun-loving herbs from the Mediterranean. Thyme, oregano,
rosemary and savory combine to form an aromatic addition to pizza, stews, grilled foods and baked
Is your spice rack missing chervil? Then try using tarragon or parsley. Do you hate the taste of
cilantro? Then use the helpful
Herb Substitution Chart from About.com
for alternatives to the most popular herbs and spices used in recipes.
If you would like to grow the herbs you'll be using in this summer's main dishes, find
growing tips from an herbalist group in South Africa. You'll
find general information about growing herbs in topiaries and containers, as well as choosing a
site for herb gardens and designing them. You'll also learn how to maintain herbs in warmer
winter months, too.
Once you've harvested your first herbs of the season, you'll need to know how to properly dry
and store them. This P. Allen Smith site
offers easy directions that will help any kitchen gardener dry herbs in their own home. Great recipes
for mint sorbet and warm spinach and basil salad are a plus!
Just looking for the perfect herbs? Check out
The National Herb Garden in
Washington, D.C. It's part of the U.S. National Arboretum and is the largest herb garden in the
world. Covering 2.5 acres, it is divided into themed herb beds and special purpose herbs. Over
800 types of herbs grow in the garden each year.