Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Herbs in food in medieval times

The herbs used in preparing food have changed somewhat over the years, but some are essential to flavorful cooking. Here are a few that have been used for ages and in various cuisines.

BASIL is one of the most relished of herbs and one that has an important place in herbal lore and legend, spanning many ages and cultures.

CINNAMON is derived from the dried inner bark of the cassia tree, a small evergreen. One of the earliest spices recorded, cinnamon is also one of the most familiar and commonly used.

CORIANDER is a fringy annual. The seeds were used in medieval times for cooking and to deter fevers.

GARLIC is well known and almost universally loved by good cooks across many cultures.

MARJORAM is a tender perennial used  in medieval times in cooking, in spiced wine (hypocras), in brewing beer, and in medicines to 'comfort' the stomach.

ROSEMARY is the slender leaves of a small evergreen shrub and has a well-known legacy in folklore as the herb of remembrance. 


  1. I love to use many different kinds of herbs in cooking, and learn about different ways they are used around the world, so this was interesting too. :)

    1. Thanks for commenting, Peter. I'll admit I don't use as many herbs as I should, but I'm interested in the history of herb usage.