Sage is also called garden sage or common sage. The botanical name is Salvia officinalis and it is from the plant family Lamiaceae. Lamiaceae is also known as the mint family, which in addition to sage includes basil, hyssop, lavender, marjoram, mint, oregano, rosemary, savory and thyme. Sage is available as leaves cut and sifted, rubbed or in ground form. This sage is the cut and sifted form.
Worldwide, sage may be best known for its use in sausage and cheese.
Sage herb originates from the northern Mediterranean region, but today is cultivated primarily in Europe (Albania, Italy, Turkey and Greece) and the United States (in California, Oregon and Washington). The most flavorful sage comes from the Dalmatian region of Croatia. It is considered the highest quality, best cleaned and processed product. Our sage leaves are cultivated in this region of Croatia.
The name "sage" comes from the Latin word Salvere which means “to save”. Ancient Greeks and Romans used sage to cure snake bites and to invigorate the mind and body. In the Middle Ages, sage was used to make tea which was said to treat a variety of ailments including colds, fevers, liver trouble and epilepsy. Today, sage is no longer used medicinally.
The use of whole dried sage is typically only found in spice blends (i.e. Italian Seasoning) and for other applications it is more common to use either rubbed sage or ground sage.
Rubbed sage is the leaves of the sage plant that have been vigorously rubbed between two hard objects. A gentle grinding and then a quick run through a coarse sieve gives rubbed sage its fluffy, scruffy, almost cotton-like appearance, which is unique among ground herbs. Using rubbed sage guarantees that the oil of the sage is easily introduced to your other ingredients.
Ground sage, on the other hand, is simply the leaves of the sage plant that are put through a grinder. The result is a very concentrated fine powder that can be sprinkled into dishes. Ground sage must be used more quickly than rubbed sage, as once ground the essentially oils quickly dissipate. For this reason, many chefs prefer rubbed sage.
Sage may be most popular in European and Mediterranean cuisines especially in England, Italy and Greece. In Britain, sage is considered an essential ingredient to have in your kitchen, along with parsley, rosemary and thyme. In Italy, it is used with liver and veal; in Greece with meat stews.
We do not consider Sage to be a subtle herb so we recommend that you use it sparingly, as it will easily overpower a dish. And because Sage doesn't break down quickly and lose flavor in the cooking process, like many herbs, you can add it earlier in the cooking process instead of waiting until the very end.
We like to use sage when cooking sausages, poultry, pork, beef, lamb, veal and fish. It is also used around the holidays when preparing turkey and stuffing.
Sage is good with balsamic vinegar, beans, biscuits, chowders, cream, cheese, cornbread, eggplant, lemons, pot roast, mushrooms, onions, soup and stew. It also complements red wine.
Sage pairs well with basil, bay leaves, black pepper, garlic, lavender, oregano, rosemary and thyme.
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No harmful chemicals have been applied to the land for at least three years.
Farmers and processors pass yearly inspections by an independent certifying agency.
Farmers and processors keep detailed records of operations.
Farmers maintain a written organic management plan.
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