29 February 2012

Flavour of the Week - Sage

Sage is known in Latin as Salvia Officinallis and is a naturally going shrub found throughout mediterranean regions.

Highly famed, throughout many cultures for its extensive healing abilities, it is one of the few herbs which has been proven to actually act in this way by modern science. Within a monastery an "officina" was a storeroom where herbs and ointments would be kept and "salvia" refers to the Latin term "to save".

Medieval Europeans believed sage strengthened both their memory and promoted wisdom. It was also widely used during times of plague by thieves who would rub sage and rosemary infused water over themselves to protect against infection, before riffling and looting the dead in the streets.

In a recent double blind, randomised and placebo controlled study sage was found to be effective in the management of mild to moderate Alzheimers disease.

Sage has a slightly peppery sharp flavour that is traditionally used in cooking fatty meats. The herb often lends itself well to heavier, smokey meats, which would potentially translate into a good pairing with darker spirits.

Flavour: Sour, peppery, sharp, hint of camphor, herbacious.

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