by Rivonia Henry
There are two types of Sage that are popular right now. The aromatic herb that is prized for its earthy flavor and the white herb that is prized for burning to cleanse the atmosphere This week’s article will focus on the culinary Sage. It is used in savory recipes and is a common ingredient in holiday stuffing. The Sage sold at Alkaline Electrics is lightly dried to allow for maximum versatility.
Sage - A background A part of the mint family, Sage is an evergreen herb. The stems are woody and the leaves a beautiful dusty gray-green with an oval shape. Sage has a slightly fuzzy appearance and cotton like texture die to the fine velveteen hair-like projections on its leaves. This makes it unpleasant to eat without cooking first unless cotton mouth is your thing.
There are many varieties of Sage, but the species used for culinary purposes is known as common sage, garden sage, kitchen sage, or Salvia officinalis. Sage has a unique flavor that brings warmth and complexity to dishes. It works well when combined with other herbs and complements a variety of foods and even as an infused tea. Meat and seafood to lemon and butter. Both the leaves, fresh and dried, as well as rubbed and powdered versions are used in recipes.
Sage has a very long history and has been used since ancient times for several purposes, from warding off evil to boosting female fertility. It originated in the Mediterranean and was noted as being one of the most important herbs of that time period. Sage was utilized by the Romans to assist in digestion and was also used to treat ulcers, wounds, and sore throats. The French turned sage into a tea, and once the Chinese tried it, they sought out the herb and traded large amounts of Chinese tea for just a fraction of the sage. In the early 800s AD, sage was considered an important crop because of its medicinal properties as well as lucrative trade business.
Fresh vs. Dried Sage is an herb that retains much of its flavor once it is dried. However, it will not have the same brightness that is found in fresh sage. Drying concentrates the flavor and can give the herb a slightly bitter taste. Therefore, when cooking, less dried herb is added to the recipe than fresh. What Does It Taste Like? Sage is a pungent herb that adds a feeling of warmth to dishes. It has an earthy taste, combining the scents and flavors of citrus and pine. The fresh version is more vibrant and less bitter than dried.
Cooking With Sage
Whether you use fresh or dried sage will determine when the herb should be added to the recipe. Although fresh sage can be incorporated at the beginning, as it is strong enough to retain its flavor throughout the cooking process, it is best to add the herb toward the end to capitalize on its unique taste. Dried sage should be added at the start, so the flavor has time to mellow. Keep in mind that a little goes a long way—if you have never used sage before, add just a bit at first, sprinkling in more to taste.
Sage is often paired with other herbs such as thyme, and rosemary and harmonizes well with onion, oregano, parsley, and bay leaf.
Health Benefits of Sage
This herb not only has a distinctive taste but also several nutritional benefits. Sage is high in vitamin K and is a good source of vitamin A, fiber, calcium, iron, folate, magnesium, and manganese. It also boasts high doses of B vitamins, vitamins C and E, and copper and thiamin. Sage is also loaded with antioxidants that have been shown to improve brain function and memory.
Grab your Sage now!