The medieval cook had available a slightly wider selection of cooking herbs as the modern western (American or European) cook.
- Basil is native to India and Persia.
- It has been use in Europe since ancient times.
- Used in cooking since Roman times.
- Leaves and flowers used in salads, soups, and as a potherb.
- Also used as a medicinal herb.
- Collectable wild in many parts of the United States and Europe.
Sanguisorba minor, et al
- In use since ancient times.
- Leaves used in salads.
- Also used as a medicinal herb.
- Was commonly added to wine in the 1600's.
- Chervil is native to southern Russia.
- Romans had started using chervil as a seasoning by the 1st century.
- The Romans took it to France where it has been important for centuries.
- Gerard states (in the Herbal) the chervil was grown in the garden with
other pot herbs.
- Commonly used in midieval Emgland in soups and spring salads.
- Cilantro is the leaf of the young coriander plant.
- Probably one of the first herbs to be used by mankind, perhaps going back as far back as 5000 BC.
- It is mentioned in early Sanskrit writings dating from about 1500 BC.
- The Romans spread it throughout Europe.
- Cumin is native to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and Egypt.
- Cumin is one of the ancient spices, a used by the Romans and it is mentioned in the Old Testament.
- During medieval times, it was in common use in Europe and Britain.
- Dill is indigenous to the Mediterranean area and southern Russia.
- It has been used since ancient times.
- Fennel originated in the Mediterranean area.
Humulus lupulus, Humulus japonicus
- The earliest account of horseradish comes from 13th century western Europe, where Germans and Danes used it as medicinal.
- It not commonly used as a condiment until late in the 16th century and was not accepted in England until late in the 17th century.
- n 1657, Cole noted that the root was eaten as a condiment in Germany, but thought that the practice was not one a gourmet would adopt.
- In the New Testament, the mint is called heedıosmon.
- This compound means "the sweet smelling one" (heedıs "sweet, pleasant" and osmeé "smell").
- Since Greek and Roman times, oregano it has been used with meats, fish, vegetables, and as a flavoring for wine.
- Parsley is of European (probably West Mediterranean) origin.
- Two different varieties are grown:
- Root parsley (var. tuberosum) which has a tender, edible root, and
- Leaf parsley which is cultivated solely for its leaves.
- Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean area rosemary was used by medieval monks both in foods and medicine.
- Medicinally, it was used as a cure for stomach maladies and muscle spasms, headaches and depression.
- Native to the Mediterranean and Asia Minor, sage was a common seasoning and medicinal during the Middle Ages.
- Romans used savory as an herb and seasoning.
- They also used it as a medicine, a bee sting treatment, and an aphrodisiac.
- When the Romans brought it to England, it was used as a cooking ingredient rather than as an herbal remedy.
- The English name savory goes back to Latin satureia via Middle English savery and Old English sætherie.
- Sweet marjoram was well known to the Greeks and Romans.
- In the Middle Ages, it was said to be a stimulant, nerve tonic, and cure for asthma, coughs, indigestion, rheumatism, toothaches, and heart conditions.
- Sweet marjoram was also used in nosegays.
- Unlike many other herbs, tarragon was not used by ancient peoples.
- It was mentioned briefly in medieval writings as a pharmaceutical, but did not come into common use until the 16th century in England.
- Thyme is native to England and Southern Europe.
- Its use in cooking predates written records.
- According the legend, the straw bed of the Virgin Mary and the Christ child contained (or was composed of) thyme.
- In the Middle Ages, ladies would embroider a sprig of thyme into scarves they gave to their errant knights.
Fats and Oils