View All Spice Definitions

Sage

Information for Sage

Sage Botanically known as salvia officinalis, sage is part of the Lamiaceae family and is cultivated for both medicinal and culinary purposes. Native to the coastal areas of the north Mediterranean, sage is an evergreen perennial shrub characterized by grayish-green leaves, woody stems and blue to purple blooms. It's wide oval leaves have a pebbled top and opaque veined bottom. As these leaves mature they go from green to a silvery grey.

Sage has a strong flavor and smells like both thyme and rosemary. Its aroma can be described as balsamic and fresh with a head clearing effect. In terms of flavor it has a savory taste that can be explained as herbaceous, bitter and peppery with hints of mint in it. Fresh sage leaves are a little less bitter than dried ones, but are just as strong and do not lose taste with exposure to heat. Both fresh and dried leaves should be used in controlled amounts when cooking due to the strong flavor.

This spice pairs particularly well with poultry, meat and dishes that are rich in fat. It also goes well with carbohydrates and is often used to flavor stuffing for various foods. When used as a vegetable seasoning it is often used alongside onions. Aside from these, sage also mixes well with roasted and stewed foods.



Photo Credit: feministjulie