Saturday, 20 December 2008

Herbes de Provence - Memories of France

Herbes de Provence - Memories of FranceI've been the south of France many times, usually on cycling tours and once there and you cannot fail to be inspired with the French use of herbs. The most famous is named after the region of Provence, called Herbes de Provence, which is are a mixture of dried herbs from the region. Not many people know that it was only invented during the 1970s!

Herbe de Provence is usually a mixture of rosemary, marjoram, basil, bay leaf, thyme, and sometimes lavender flowers and other local based herbs. The amounts of each herb depends very much of the manufacturer, although generally thyme is the mainstay herb which gives the unique taste produced by the herb mixture.

Herbes de Provence is of course used for cooking and many non cooked foods in France. To flavour grilled foods, especially fish and meat dishes as well as many vegetable stews. The herbs are added before or during cooking or infused with cooking oil before being added into the cooked food.

They are usually sold in bags worldwide and part and parcel of all kitchen larder. The mixture doesn't keep fresh for long so it is wise to buy little and ofter, or dry freeze supplies to extend their keep.

If you wish to make you own mixture I have given a simple instructions for this:


* 3 Tablespoons dried marjoram
* 3 Tablespoons dried thyme
* 3 Tablespoons dried savory
* 1 teaspoon dried basil
* 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
* 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
* 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds


Simply mix all the herbs well and put into and air-tight lidded jar. Store in a cool, dark place and this will be good for up to 6 months.


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