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Italian Seasoning

Italian Seasoning

Italian seasoning is a mix of several  herbs, such as rosemary, oregano, basil, thyme, and marjoram. In a supermarket one can buy such mix of dried herbs but Italian cuisine in known for use of fresh herbs. Fresh herbs have more oils spreading aroma and the dish made with fresh herbs tastes better.

Rosemary leaves can be used fresh or dried, have a resinous aroma with a bitter aftertaste. Italian cuisine makes extensive use of rosemary plant due to its intense flavor, to enhance many dishes and give them a unique taste.
Rosemary keeps the flavor even when cooked, which is why a sprig of rosemary is often added when baking meats and vegetables in the oven, and to flavor bread and buns. Rosemary can be used with different types of meat: chicken, pork and lamb, it is also perfect on potatoes, vegetables and cheeses. It adds a Mediterranean touch to many blends of herbs.

Oregano is an aromatic plant, very well known in the Mediterranean countries, and used to flavor many dishes: salads, sauces, pizzas, meat, fish and vegetables. Oregano just like rosemary and not like some other herbs, retains its flavor when dried. In fact, is even stronger and more concentrated due to the plant cells releasing the essential oils. It is often confused with marjoram  as both plants look similar but the taste and the aroma is very different due to the essential oils specific to oregano.

Basil, known throughout the world, is a plant native to tropical Asia through the Middle East that has spread to Europe, especially in Italy and in the south of France and from these countries throughout Europe. The essential oils are responsible for the basil's aroma. Fresh basil leaves are normally used in cooking. When dried, they use their flavor.

Thyme is a popular Mediterranean herb, used in Southern Italy in sauces, soups and stews, also great complement for roasted potatoes. Thyme makes good combination with rosemary and sage when used with grilled meats.

Marjoram is a native plant of north-eastern Europe and central Asia. It is grown as an annual in Europe as it has no tolerance for low temperatures.
Marjoram has a flavor very similar to oregano but much sweeter and is used in cooking to flavor meat, fish, vegetables and soups. The aromatic properties of marjoram come from its essential oils. This plant loses its flavor when dried, it is good to use fresh and add it to the end of cooking a dish.

           Resemary fresh herb                                     Oregano fresh herb          Basil fresh herb                                                    Thyme fresh herb                                      Marjoram fresh herb
 Rosemary  Oregano  Basil  Thyme  Marjoram