AgroStar is one of the major exporters of over 20 varieties of fresh and organic herbs from Israel to premium markets in the East Coast of the USA and in Europe. These are the major varieties in AgroStarís export basket:
Basil is also called "sweet basil" and is native to India but it is in the Mediterranean cuisines that it has reached its current high popularity. Itís a member of the mint family and has that same sort of highly aromatic quality. Here are eight different uses for basil and they should suggest other ways and places you can use them to suit the dish and your tastes.
Bay leaves are also called laurel leaves and were the wreaths given by ancient Greeks to olympic winners, poets and heroes to wear on their heads. The bay laurel plant (Lauris nobilis) is an evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean region and has found its way into all the cuisines of the area.
Chervil is native to northern Europe and has been called "French parsley." Itís one of the herbs usually included in the French "fines herbes" along with basil, chives, parsley, sage, savory and tarragon. Chervil is a member of the carrot family and looks somewhat like parsley. The taste has been described as a delicate combination of celery and licorice, but will vary with foods itís added to.
Chives are native to northern Europe and Asia and are members of the onion family. They have an oniony flavor, but itís mild and more delicate than the bulbs usually used in cooking. They have hollow, flat green leaves and produce purple flowers on a tall spike which are also edible.
Cilantro is the Spanish name for the young and tender leaves - which are also called coriander. Both the leaves and seeds are used as flavoring agents. Cilantro is one of the most ancient herbs known. Itís also called "Chinese parsley" and figures prominently in Mexican cuisine. The fresh herb is very fragile and should be added in the last few minutes of cooking time.
Dill is named from an old Norse word "dilla" which means "to lull" and refers to dill water made from its seeds and still given to babies as a mild sedative. Itís native to southern Europe but is found all over the world now. It has a long history going back before the ancient Egyptians who used it medicinally.
Marjoram and oregano are very close cousins and both members of the mint family. The flavors of the two herbs are similar, but marjoram has a more delicate taste and aroma. Native to both Asia and the Mediterranean, marjoram is popular in all the cuisines of the area. Itís also used in perfume making and is one of the ancient herbs. Fine-textured sausages like liverwurst and real, Italian-style bologna use marjoram.
Mint is probably the most ancient of the herbs. It was used by the ancient Assyrians in rituals for the fire-god. Spearmint and a vinegar-based mint sauce were in common use by the ancient Romans. Mint was named by Greeks after a mythical character called Minthe. One of the few herbs used in sweets.
Oregano is a member of the mint family and related to basil and marjoram. Native to southern Europe, it has spread all around the Mediterranean and become important to all the cuisines of the region. Intensely flavored but still not overwhelming to other herbs.
Rosemary has leaves that look like pine needles and have a lightly resiny taste. Itís a member of the mint family but is an evergreen, perennial shrub that originated near the Mediterranean Sea and still grows wild all around it to this day. Its name means "dew of the sea" in Latin. In times past, rosemary was used to flavor wine and the blue flowers were candied and eaten as a confection.
Sage is one of the dominant flavors in sausage-making and poultry stuffings. Like so many other herbs, native to the Mediterranean region and very widely used all around the area. Used in the middle ages as a medicinal herb. It is one of the more aromatic of the popular herbs and sets off the flavors of other strongly flavored foods well.
Savory is also called summer savory and has been used since before Hippocrates spoke of its medicinal uses. Related to mint, and most widely used in Mediterranean countries. Is highly aromatic and has a lightly piquant, almost peppery flavor. Savory works wonderfully with other herbs.
Sorrel is very popular in French cooking. Sorrel has a lightly tart flavor from a combination of acids found in other tart foods including spinach, green apples and citrus fruit. Native to Europe, sorrel is used both as a vegetable and as an aromatic herb.
Tarragon comes from the French "estragon" and the Spanish "tarragon" both of which come from the Greek word for "little dragon" in reference to tarragonís snaky-looking roots. Tarragon is native to Asia and is a perennial with very highly aromatic leaves. Itís the major flavoring agent in the classic Bearnaise sauce.
Thyme has an ancient history. Assyrians used it medicinally. The ancient Greeks and Romans used it to flavor cheese and as a fumigant. Itís a perennial plant in the mint family and is still used to flavor a wide range of foods from cheese to liqueurs.