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วันอังคารที่ 2 กุมภาพันธ์ พ.ศ. 2553

Cooking with Herbs

Imagine going through life’s palatal journey without spices and herbs to surprise and amaze the taste buds. Herbs have long been part of cultures and civilizations, stretching long histories and influences in many profound ways. Since time immemorial, societies have made a complex process out of harvesting, blending, and consuming herbs.

Today, there is a long list and variety of culinary herbs applied in cuisines around the world. These are mainly used as substitutes for salt and other seasonings to enhance the flavor of food while keeping it as healthy as possible.

Cooking schools are doing brisk business in offering short courses on the low-fat cooking method which requires more seasoning from herbs to keep food flavorful and fresh. Herbs satisfy this need a hundred percent without adding the dreaded calories. Some people are shelling out hundreds of dollars, even taking out payday advances, just to pay the fees of these special cooking classes. But before signing up for these popular courses, the culinary beginner should first know the basics of these herbs that are commonly used in cooking.

First on the popularity list is basil. This herb is best used fresh on tomato sauces, beef or fish dishes, creamy sauces, and of course, pesto. It is also good to put some of it on fresh and cooked vegetables. But not many people know that basil was long ago considered a sacred herb in ancient Italy and France. Another popular herb is the lowly mint, or scientifically known as mentha. There are over 20 varieties of mint, including the widely recognized peppermint. In ancient times, mint was cultivated to aid digestion and it is believed the reason why high-end restaurants today serve after-dinner mints. This herb is also used as garnishing, either fresh or dried, and flavorings for drinks, soups, sauces, salads, and fruit desserts.

For dishes with Greek and Mexican origins, oregano is a present ingredient. The Mediterranean oregano was an unknown herb until after World War II, when soldiers who fought in Europe brought the herb to their homelands. Today, oregano is used on pizzas, lamb dishes, and recipes with fish and eggs. Dill is also a versatile herb added fresh when making pickles, sauces, salads, and fish and potatoes.

Learning to cook, especially healthy food and dishes, is a good investment and worth the instant payday loan of would-be chefs. Using herbs in cooking is a double benefit since more than the added flavors, these also increase good health and well-being.