Rosemary
   

 General Description

Rosemary is an herb in the mint family. It is a small evergreen shrub, Rosmarinus officinalis, whose 1-inch leaves resemble curved pine needles.


Geographical
Sources
Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean. Today it is widely produced in Spain.


Traditional
Ethnic
Uses
Rosemary is used primarily in Italy in lamb, pork, chicken, and rabbit dishes.


Taste and Aroma
Description
Rosemary has a tea-like aroma and a piney flavor.


History/Region of Origin Rosemary's name is rooted in legend. The story goes that during her flight from Egypt, the Virgin Mary draped her blue cloak on a Rosemary bush. She then laid a white flower on top of the cloak. That night, the flower turned blue and the bush was thereafter known as the "rose of Mary". Greeks, who wove Rosemary wreaths into their hair, believed Rosemary strengthened the brain and enhanced memory. It was also known as a symbol of fidelity. In the Middle Ages, Rosemary was used medicinally and as a condiment for salted meats. In Europe, wedding parties burned Rosemary as incense. Judges burned it to protect against illness brought in by prisoners.


Storage Tips Store in cool, dark, dry places.


A Few Ideas to
Get You Started
Rosemary's assertive flavor blends well with garlic to season lamb roasts, meat stews, and marinades. Rosemary also enlivens lighter fish dishes, tomato sauces, and vegetables. Melt butter with Rosemary to dress freshly steamed red potatoes and peas or a stir-fried mixture of zucchini and summer squash. Crush leaves by hand or with a mortar and pestle before using.


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