Posted in Spices and Herbs Tell-a-Friend
Fresh Sage 

Sage has a peppery taste and is often used for flavouring rich and fatty foods, especially as a marinade. In German cuisine, it is often used to flavour sausages and in Italian cuisine, to make ‘Burre e salvia’ where sage is sautéed in olive oil and butter until crisp, then served with pasta. Sage (Salvia officinalis) has soft, pebbly, narrow, oblong, gray-green leaves with a slightly bitter, resinous aroma.

Sage, which originated in the Mediterranean and Asia Minor, gets its name from the Latin salvia, meaning “to heal,” referring to the medicinal value of the plant. Today, this ancient seasoning is most important in the Mediterranean, especially Italy. Sage tea was popular in sixteenth-century England and sage ale was also brewed. The pungency of sage works well to cut the fattiness of meat, so it complements goose, duck, and pork. In Italy, sage is often paired with rosemary in seasoning game, poultry, pork, and veal roasts. Crispy fried sage leaves are a typical garnish for fritto misto, an Italian dish of mixed deep-fried foods. Sage has a particular affinity to poultry; in the United States, it shows up in poultry seasoning and stuffing. Fresh pork breakfast sausages are seasoned with sage and marjoram. Sage works well with starches such as potatoes, dried beans, and split peas. Dried sage, which maintains much of the character of fresh sage, is usually found as grayish green leaves with a wooly, springy texture.

The leaves and seeds of chia sage or Mexican sage (S. columbariae) have been important in the diet of desert-dwelling Native Americans for their mucilaginous qualities. Greek sage (S. triloba) is quite potent and sought after in Greece and Lebanon. Central American sage varieties have sweet, fruity fragrance and include pineapple sage (S. rutilans), peach sage (S. greggii), and fruit sage (S. dorisiana). Some of these are used for teas; others are grown for their large, brightly coloured flowers. Also native to Central America is the only hallucinogenic species in the huge Lamiaceae (mint) family, sacred sage (S. divinorum), which was cultivated by Central American Indians for use in religious ceremonies. Variegated and purple sage are also available.

Dried Sage 
Other Names
Adaçayi (Turkish); alisfakia or faskomilo (Greek); chá-da-europa or salva-mansa (Portuguese); ching chieh (Chinese); franse thee or salie (Dutch); marameeah (Arabic); marva (Hebrew); salbei (German); salbi (Georgian); salvia (Italian, Spanish); salviya (Bulgarian); sathi (Punjabi); sauge or thé de la Grèce (French); sàuvi (Provençal French); sezi (Japanese); shalfej (Russian); yeghesbag (Armenian); zsálya (Hungarian). Sacred sage: Diviner’s sage; sage of the seers.
Fresh sage may be found year-round. Blossoming sage can be found in farmers’ markets in late summer.
Culinary Uses
  • Make paglia e fieno (straw and hay) by tossing half spinach and half egg fettuccine with cream simmered with sage, nutmeg, matchstick-cut prosciutto, and green peas, and topping with grated Parmesan cheese.

  • Add sage to browned butter and toss with potato gnocchi, cheese ravioli, or pumpkin ravioli.

Food Affinities
  • boar

  • butternut

  • chicken

  • duck

  • lima beans

  • olive oil

  • onion

  • nutmeg

  • partridge

  • pork

  • potato

  • prosciutto

  • pumpkin

  • sausage

  • turkey

  • veal

  • white beans

Category: Spices and Herbs

Sub Category: Herb

Total Views: 1871

Word Count: 813

Comment on Twitter

More Articles in "Spices and Herbs"

Nutmeg and Mace
Posted 19.04.2011 in Spices and Herbs
Nutmeg and Mace
Nutmeg is the large, light grayish brown, speckled, wood-hard kernel that grows inside the apricot-like fruit of a tropical tree (Myristica fragrans)…
View Details »
Posted 03.10.2009 in Spices and Herbs
Eksotiese speserye van regoor die wêreld is deesdae tot ons beskikking – tog beteken die beskikbaarheid daarvan maar min as jy nie weet hoe om dit te…
View Details »
Posted 03.11.2009 in Spices and Herbs
Allspice takes its name from its aroma, which smells like a combination of spices, especially cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg, hence the name…
View Details »
Szechuan Peppercorns
Posted 19.04.2011 in Spices and Herbs
Szechuan Peppercorns
Szechuan peppercorns are the dried husks that surround the seeds of the Chinese prickly ash tree (Zanthoxylum simulans). Usually reddish brown, the fruits…
View Details »
Posted 12.04.2011 in Spices and Herbs
Asafetida (Hing) is an essential ingredient in Indian vegetarian cooking. Asafetida is the strong-smelling, even stinking, dried brownish resin extracted…
View Details »

All Articles in "Spices and Herbs"