£1.30 – £8.50
Dried Organic Sage
Product of: Turkey
Nett Weight: 25g / 100g / 250g / 500g
Sage is of variable species and there are a large number of different varieties. Different varieties differ enormously in their flavour. Most of these herbs are regarded as decorative rather than culinary in nature. The Romans used the herb for medicinal purposes and there is little evidence that sage was used in their kitchens. The Chinese also used it to promote good health and to treat various illnesses. It is not quite clear when the herb’s use entered European cooking although it was certainly well known all over Europe by the 16th century.
The name Sage is derived from the Latin word salvage meaning to heal or save, which is sometimes translated as “good health.” Common sage was at one time the official sage of many apothecary shops. Additionally, Clary Sage was once considered useful for removing objects from the eye and hence its name means to clarify. If soaked in water, the seeds become mucilaginous and were used to treat inflamed eyes.
For cooking purposes the narrow leaf sage; that bears blue flowers, or the broadleaf sage, of which there are non-flowering varieties are best used for culinary purposes. It has a very assertive flavour. Use the fresh or dried leaves with lamb, veal, stuffing, game, duck, richly flavoured fish, sausage, cheese, meat stuffing, and roast goose. Pork and roast goose were not considered well cooked unless sage had been used in preparing them. Sage is easily recognised as the predominant flavour in poultry seasoning; think of your Thanksgiving turkey. Sage is a herb with a warm, slightly bitter taste. Authentic Swiss cheese is seasoned with sage. You can use sage with cheese spreads, add it to fish chowders, or use it with vegetables, especially lima beans, onions, tomatoes, and eggplant.
In British cooking, sage is best known as the primary seasoning and flavouring ingredient in poultry stuffing and sausages. The herb’s leaves are soft and pliable, which makes them easy to talk under the skin of poultry before roasting. Its use in French cooking is used occasionally especially with pork, but rarely as a dominant flavour. Italy, on the other hand, has a great love of sage; It is an important flavour component of condiments. Use sparingly, as it has a very strong sometimes bitter, flavour, making it a vital ingredient in the manufacture of liquors and bitters. Of the many varieties of sage only one, common garden sage, is used extensively for cooking. In German cooking, the herb is used as a flavouring agent with eels. Its use extends down into Belgium where butchers hand out bundles of sage with rosemary and bay as a gift. It is used with liver and veal as in saltimbocca (thin slices of veal and ham rolled up with a Sage leaf, cooking butter and finished with Marcella) and also in many other dishes. Sages are also used fairly commonly in the Mediterranean for wrapping small birds such as thrushes, before roasting, and meat for roasting is sometimes stuck with sprigs of sage or larded with the leaves. It is also threaded with meat onto kebab skewers and sometimes turns up in the excruciatingly powerful herbs salads eat by villagers in the Middle East. Some people, indeed, advocate sage shoots and salads as well as the flavouring broad beans and peas in the same way that Savory is used in France. Personally, I like the flavour of sage in strongly aromatic meat dishes, but it is not suitable and goes better with healthy outdoor appetites than in a more sophisticated gourmet dish. This herb is a member of the mint family. That makes it one of the most diverse groups of aromatic plants containing over 900 species. It is known for its variety of fragrances and flavours along with its beautiful flowers, which are produced in the summer months.
Sage is one of a few herbs to remain after the decline of herbs in English cooking. It is still used in onion stuffings for goose recipe, with pork as well as stronger flavoured sausages. But it has become almost limited to Sage and onion stuffing for a goose, with pork and in stronger flavoured sausages. Sage is native to Dalmatia via Yugoslavia, which supplies much of the world sage. Sage is also now widely cultivated in California and other Western states. The dried sage leaves are available whole, as a rub that is crushed, or ground.
“How long do dried herbs last?”
Depends on both the type of herb and the conditions under which they are stored. Correctly dried and stored herbs, do not actually spoil. But over time, they will lose their potency, aroma and flavour.
As a general rule, whole dried herbs (not been ground) will last much longer than ground and can last for 1 to 3 years. It is also never a bad idea to freeze any spare herbs, try to remove as much air as possible and make sure it is kept sealed in the freezer to avoid moisture.
Here are some tips for maximising the shelf life of your herbs:
• Store in an airtight container.
• Store in a cool, dark cupboard.
• Store away from direct heat or sunlight.
• Keep lid tightly closed when not in use.