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One for remembrance

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A lively green Rosemary leaves works its way into a variety of cuisines
A lively green Rosemary leaves works its way into a variety of cuisines

P.ANIMA

Rosemary is a spice that’s part of lore

If you have to pick a spice with a romantic ring to it, it has to be rosemary. This spice with a sublime name and a formidable taste is part of the legend. Rosemary is a vintage Mediterranean spice and is linked to lore there. It is a herb often associated with remembrance and friendship. Even in her spurts of insanity, Ophelia in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” gives rosemary its due. “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember,” she says.

Rosemary tales

Simon and Garfunkel christened their 1960’s hit-album, “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.” It is said that in some cultures a sprig of rosemary is left in the hands of the dead before lowering the coffin to the grave.

Its legendary attributes aside, it is the leaves of rosemary that are used as a spice. The vibrant green leaves are long, thin and pointed. They are often dried and sometimes used as fresh leaves in different cuisines. Dried rosemary lasts well in an air-tight container.

The leaves bear a very faint resemblance to oleander leaves, which are slightly larger and less-pointed.

Rosemary has a pungent and a woody taste. It is grown extensively in Europe and America. It is believed that rosemary grows the best when it’s close to the sea.

Soups, meat, biscuits, dessert – rosemary can work its way into everything. Lamb and rosemary are considered quite a winning combination. Rosemary is a spice that works well as a marinade. Chicken and other meat cooked in rosemary sauce have a dedicated following. Among vegetables, the spice shares a good working relationship with potatoes. Breads too can have their share of the spice.

Rosemary is meant to invigorate the skin and is considered a cleansing agent. It is used in a range of cosmetic products too. The spice is also considered rich in medicinal properties.

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