H: Herbs

In my opinion...nothing will change your cooking
more than fresh herbs.

The use of herbs and spices date back prior to recorded history. Many early records reveal a mixture of medicinal and magical uses for herbs. But herbs were also used to mask unpleasant household odors and to enhance the taste of dull foods. The use of culinary herbs is a feature in one of the first recorded cookbooks from the first century epicure, Apicius. In England (1699), John Evelyn wrote Acetaria: A Discourse of Sallets which went into great detail of 73 salad herbs and their uses.

Today there has been a great surge of renewed awareness in herbs. A revival of the culinary arts and various ethnic cuisine has prompted new interest. Health conscious cooks have found that herbs contain no calories or fat - a fact of great importance to those on weight loss diets. Doctors even recommend the use of herbs and spices in salt-restricted diets to enhance flavor without adding sodium content. Adventurous cooks have found that raising their own herbs can be quite fulfilling as a hobby with the end results in cooking as just an added bonus.

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