Originally from the Mediterranean region, rosemary is an evergreen herb that is available fresh year-round. Known for its unique pine-like flavor, it’s used extensively in Italian, French and Spanish cuisines.
Rosemary grows on a shrub that belongs to the Labiatae family which also includes mint. It grows throughout temperate regions in Europe and America, and many home gardeners have a ready supply of rosemary in their backyards.
The ancient Greeks revered rosemary, believing that it strengthened the memory and it was sacred to friendship. Students would put rosemary sprigs in their hair when studying for exams, and when loved ones pass away, mourners would grow rosemary in the grave to memorialize the deceased. In ye olde England, rosemary was used as a symbol of fidelity for lovers and sprigs were entwined in the wreath worn by brides.
Fresh rosemary is a good source of iron, calcium and dietary fiber, and contains anti-inflammatory compounds. They are typically used as seasoning for roast meat but can also be enjoyed in omelettes, roasted vegetables, soups and sauces.