Kaffir Lime Leaves

Kaffir Lime Leaves: A Controversial Name For A Flavorful Herb

Kaffir lime leaves are often marketed as “Makrut lime leaves” in order to avoid the racist connotations of the word “Kaffir.” The lime tree that produces the leaves has its origins in Southern Asia. The origins of the name are somewhat more complex. A British reference text written in 1888 …

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Lemon Basil

Lemon Basil: The Herb With Citrus Flavors

Lemon basil is cultivated mostly in southern Asian and Northern Africa. It is a hybrid of sweet basil and African basil and is a relative of mint. The history of basil goes all the way back to Ancient Greece where it was a symbol of mourning. It was also an …

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Curry Leaves

Curry Leaves: A Truly Indian Spice

Curry leaves are from the subtropical sweet neem (Murraya koenigii) tree. The sweet neem tree is native to the foothills of the Himalayas. The Tamil name for curry leaves literally translates to “leaf used to make curry.” The usage of curry leaves in Indian and Sri Lankan cooking stretches all …

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Chicory: From Salads To Coffee

The chicory herb is yet another plant that has been in use since ancient times. It was used in ancient Egypt and has been mentioned in texts dating back to 4,000 BC. In that era, this relative of the endive was grown for its seeds. The ancient Egyptians used the …

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Chives: An Ancient Herb With A Delicate Flavor

Chives are in the onion family and have been used in Europe and Asia for millennia. Historians disagree about the region of origin. Chives may have come from Siberia, Greece or China. The herb was not actively cultivated in Europe until the middle ages. In medieval Europe, it was used …

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Mint: A Healing Burst of Cool Flavor

There are hundreds of species of mint, with the most common varieties being spearmint and peppermint. The consensus among most historians is that the term “mint” in historical texts is usually referring to peppermint. The use of mint dates all the way back to ancient Egypt. Archaeologists have found dried …

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Dill: Not Just For Pickles

Dill is sometimes called “dill weed” and is in the same family as carrot and parsley. It has long been a popular herb in both Europe and the US. Its origins are believed to lie in the Mediterranean region, though the name dill is actually from an Old Norse word …

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Marjoram: Oregano’s Forgotten Cousin

Marjoram is indigenous to northern Africa and is a relative of oregano. The cultivation of this herb is believed to have originated in the Mediterranean region, namely Cyprus and Turkey. Both marjoram and oregano are of the Origanum genus and in parts of Europe, what we refer to as oregano …

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