If you are using Rosemary for the first time, a question should come to your mind like “what does rosemary taste or look like” which would make you want to find out what it tastes like.
Rosemary, thyme and other herbs are fully natural, and it has become popular over the years. However, what brought Rosemary and these other natural herbs to the spotlight is that people are growing more interested in health and fitness. Rosemary is good for cooking for health-conscious people. Rosemary carries multiple health benefits.
What is Rosemary?
Rosemary is a perennial herb that comes from the mint family called “Lamiaceae.”It has a distinct fragrance, with needle-like leaves or like an evergreen, and has white, purple, blue, or pink flowers. Rosemary also goes by the other Greek name of “Anthos” and has a distinct woody root. It is native to the Mediterranean region.
The leaves of the rosemary plant are usually used for seasoning. These leaves can be used in seasoning stew, soups, chicken spice, fish spice, and more. It also goes well with grains, onions, peas, potatoes, spinach, and more.
Rosemary isn’t just a spice, but its oil makes up for beverages. The oil of Rosemary is also fragrant in both soaps and perfumes.
Rosemary can also be used as a medicinal herb; Rosemary can strengthen the brain and memory. The herb of Rosemary contains substances that are useful for improving digestion and increasing circulation.
How to Use Rosemary
What does Rosemary Taste Like?
Rosemary has a thyme and sage-like taste, peppery flavor with a bitter aftertaste. It goes by other names such as Compass weed, Compass plant, Polar Plant, and more. It has a pine-like fragrance that carries a mild savory flavor.
The aroma is tea-like, with a fragrance similar to that of charred wood. Fresh Rosemary retains its scent strongly and adds an incredible fragrance to food. You can either add it at the beginning or end of cooking. It is practically the single most powerful stand-alone herb you can keep in your kitchen.
The strong aromas and complexities of rosemary flavors come together in a way that it’s difficult to find in any other single herb or spice. Both the aromas and flavors of Rosemary are distinct which combine so well. The aroma and flavor within the herb perfectly complement others. If rosemary leaves are roasted with meats or vegetables, an incredible mustard-like aroma is given.
However, different varieties of Rosemary will cause changes in the flavor you perceive. Traditional Rosemary contains more pine and floral notes and is sweeter. The Tuscan blue variety rosemary has a lemon-pine aroma.
Thus, Rosemary Sissinghurst Blue has a pronounced smoky flavor, while rosemary Spice Island has hints of nutmeg and cloves.
When cooking or handling fresh or dried leaves of Rosemary, it releases aromas including pine, menthol, and pepper. Rosemary has a strong piney flavor that can easily overpower any dish. So, it is always important to use it in excess in any dish.
Also, dried Rosemary keeps its flavor well, but it needs to be added to food early. It gives a moldy taste if it’s not added to the food early. However, Rosemary is best when fresh. There’s no flavor quite like Rosemary.
Rosemary Leaves: Benefits and Uses
How to Prepare Rosemary
Rinse the Rosemary under cold water and pat dry to remove any dirt. Rosemary can be used as a whole sprig or minced if the needle is removed. The needles can easily be removed with scissors or pulled in the opposite direction from which they grow. The needles are easy to gather in a mince. You can use the whole spring, but it’s best to use the needles individually. Dicing the needles allows easier consumption, so it’s best to dice the needles.
After dicing the fresh Rosemary, you can use it to make fresh rosemary pasta, rosemary crackers, rosemary bread, etc. Rosemary also goes well with a cheesy dish; the spice needs to be sprinkled on the dish. You can also roast vegetables with Rosemary, but it has to be used in a small quantity.
What is the Health benefit of Rosemary?
Aside from giving food a better taste, Rosemary also has many health benefits. It contains vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. All these help promote good health.
Rosemary is a source of rich antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. These antioxidants help to neutralize harmful particles in the body. These compounds also help to boost the immune system and improve blood circulation.
One of Rosemary’s well-known benefits is memory improvement. Modern science has proven that this herb helps increase both concentration and memory. Taking rosemary herb in its oil form is the best way to give your brain a boost. Thus, making it as a tea helps with mental clarity. Its piney aroma helps fight mental fatigue.
Rosemary is a natural muscle relaxant and analgesic agent. Rosemary helps reduce muscle pain and digestion. It stimulates the central nervous system and circulation, which increases digestive health. Due to its pain-relieving agents, it is mostly used by people who have arthritis.
Rosemary tea is also recommended for people suffering from mild depression for it reduces stress and anxiety. Rosemary herb helps relieve ailments like colds, hypertension, menstrual cramps, sprains, arthritis, etc. It is also used in cosmetics and skincare products for it helps soften and tone the skin.
Best Health Benefits of Rosemary Herb and How to Use It
Uses of Rosemary
The uses of Rosemary vary; it is usually used as a staple in traditional Italian cuisine.
- Fresh or dried leaves of Rosemary provide incredible flavoring for tomato sauces
- Rosemary and olive oil can be used as a dipping sauce for fresh bread
- Lemon and Rosemary can be used to liven up mild fishes
- Potatoes and Rosemary combined to make a beautiful pair
- Melted butter & Rosemary mixed can be used to steam red potatoes or stir-fry.
- Rosemary leaves can be used to make a delicious and distinct herbal tea
- Gardeners and landscapers also use Rosemary as a decorative, ornamental addition to gardens.
- Rosemary is attractive and drought-tolerant which can be easily grown in almost any climate.
- The fresh taste and amazing aroma of Rosemary infuse any dish with its entire range of flavors.
Rosemary is used for cooking, as an ornamental garden plant, or medicinally. Rosemary is an absolute herb with uses that can benefit anyone.
How to Preserve and Store Rosemary
Preserving and storing herbs is an essential way of retaining their flavor and usefulness. Herbs like Rosemary are best kept in a cool, dark place.
You can store the excess you have in a tightly sealed container to prevent moisture from entering it, thereby causing mold.
You can also dry the rosemary herb. Dried herbs can be kept for longer than fresh but don’t last forever.
The leaves need to be suspended in water before being stored in the freezer; if stored in a refrigerator. However, it is best to clean out the unused herbs twice per year to ensure they are best.
3 Ways to Preserve Fresh Herbs For Cooking
All in all, Rosemary is a spice you need to have in your kitchen. It has various health benefits. However, be careful not always to use it in excess, for too much of this substance might be counterproductive.
You can add it to any dish of your choice but in moderate quantity. Other aromatic spices like sage, basil, or thyme also have various health benefits.