Sage leaves - salvia officinalis - from Italy. Buy here spices and herbs on line in our spice shop Orlandosidee® since 2005.
Sage: Origin and Cultivation
The sage shrub is a Mediterranean herb and has its origins in the Mediterranean Area. It was already used by the ancient Romans and the ancient Greeks for its healing properties. In several finds of folk medicine was written about it, especially about its healing qualities and his gastronomic uses from the period reported.
The Salvia family belongs to the genus Lamiaceae. It is a very large plant family with about 250 different genera and about 7000 species which are scattered in all corners of the planet. Sage has, like all Lamiaceae, a strong presence of flavorings, so it is used in the kitchen as a condiment, in perfumery as an extract, in liqueur as an aroma and in the pharmacy as a counter product.
The plants are over a meter high with the average plant height of about 50 cm. The plant is annual, but in some cases perennial and shrubby. The leaves of sage have a very intense aroma, with special spicy notes. The leaves can be used both fresh and dried. The leaf as a dried product, keeps its flavors really good for a long time.
Salvia officinalis is the most popular and widely used sage in kitchens and food industries.
Qualities and Appearance
The shape of the leaves gives your name to the different qualities. Salvia latifolia is the most common, it has long and broad leaves. Salvia lavandulifolia usually has the thinnest leaves, and the most intense aroma. The Salvia crispa has wavy leaves.
Sage is a typical aroma of Italian cuisine and belongs to the Mediterranean diet. In the vegan natural kitchen, so using aromatic plants, it should therefore be used sparingly, it contains the substance Tujones and also camphor, which are neurotoxic in high doses. Sage is best used in the kitchen to flavor meat dishes. Not everyone knows that sage also has a preservative effect.
Sage is very popular in the kitchen for its special and unique aroma. Together with basil, oregano and rosemary, it is included in many meat and vegetable recipes.
Generally sage is used to season pasta and legumes. The ideal culinary "death" of this aromatic herb is with the meat of sevaggina, but it also tastes once to flavor dairy products. In many recipes today we find the sage is mixed with butter and used in the preparation of fresh filled pasta.
Sage is the spice (flavor) for Saltimbocca alla Romana.
Sage refines steamed or fried fish, minced meat or pork roast.
Sage goes well with rosemary, savory, marjoram, basil, garlic, ginger and onion.