Sage (Salvia officinalis), is a member of the mint family (Lamiaceae). Like most plants, there are many varieties grown, but the most common used in the kitchen is common or garden sage. Sage is used in soups and stuffings, and is a strongly flavored herb that goes well with meat, particularly pork and poultry. It is referred to as a “poultry herb” and used ubiquitously during the holidays along with rosemary and thyme. Sage is used in the flavoring of sausages (hence the name), and provides that classic breakfast sausage flavor.
Sage is aromatic with notes of resinous pine, eucalyptus, menthol, and camphor, and like rosemary, it is wise to exercise caution–too heavy of a hand and it will overpower the dish as it can be bitter.
The leaves are a light grayish green, with a slight peach-fuzz of tiny hairs, called trichomes. The stems are delicate and not woody, and can be used entirely when chopped.
The recommended optimum storage temperature is 32° – 40°F. Storing fresh bay leaves is different than storing dried, which are shelf-stable. With fresh, you want to keep them covered, and they are susceptible to curling and wilting when allowed to dehydrate. With the exception of oregano and basil, we recommend you store all herbs in the coldest part of your cooler. The temperature fluctuates from the front to the back of the cooler due to the location of the cooling unit and frequency of the door being opened. Download our PDF for more cooler storage hints.
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