aromatiche herbs in Italian cuisine

The herbs are a staple element in the Italian cookery. Thanks to the Roman, who used the herbs coming from Far East to season dishes, they soon were spread throughout the Roman Empire.

In the year 812, Charlmagne, the first emperor of the Sacred Roman Empire, issued a decree in which he ordered to grow 74 herbs contained in a list and believed to be healthy.

During the Middle Age, herbs have been grown by monks, who started collecting plants in herbaria, describing their properties.

In 1545 Cosimo I de’ Medici created the first Botanical Garden in Florence, known as ‘Giardino dei Semplici’.

The most common herbs used in the Italian cookery are basil, rosemary, oregano, parsley, sage, myrtle, chives… added separately or in bouquet garni.

Basil

It’s one of the most loved herbs by Italian. Originating from India, it was spread in Greece and Italy under Alexander the Great leadership (350 b.C.). Fresh leaves shall be added to recipes at the end of cooking, to maintain their taste and perfume.

Oregano

Oregano is another essential ingredients of the Italian cookery, especially in Southern Italy. It’s native to Mediterranean area and it’s rich in healthy properties.

Parsley

Parsley is widely used in the Italian recipes, in first courses like pasta and soups and side dishes etc. Generally speaking, it shall not be cooked, but added at the end before serving.

It’s use is so spread in Italy that to define a person turning up everywhere, we say he’s like parsley.

Rosemary

Another essential ingredient in our cookery, it was well known in ancient times for its aromatic and healthy features. Native to Europe, Asia and Africa, it grows spontaneously in all the Mediterranean region.