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BASILOcimum Basilicum: Common names are common basil, St. Joseph Wort, sweet basil.
Origin: Originally native to India and other tropical regions of NE Asian (Taiwan) and Southwest Asian (Thailand,Vietnam,Cambodia, and Laos. Has been cultivated in these regions for more than 5,000 years.
Appearance: A luscious deep green that can be found up to 6 inches in length.
Taste: Basil has a strong, pungent often sweet smell and can sometimes taste somewhat like anise.
DILLAnethum Graveolens: Commonly known as Dill.
Origin: A native of the Mediterranean region and south of Russia, it grows wild among the corn in Spain and Portugal and upon the coast of Italy.
Appearance: Related to Fennel, dill is also a fern-like herb with feathery leaves which stand on sheathing-foot stalks.
Taste: Dill has a tangy citrus and parsley flavor with a very robust, strong scent of anise.
CHIVESAllium Schoenoprasum: Commonly called chives.
Origin: Native to Europe, Asia and North America
Appearance: Bright green in color and can grow to be as long as 30-50 cm tall. The leaves are hollow, tubular and almost grass-like in shape.
Taste: Chives are a member of the onion family and are the mildest of their onion cousins. They have a light garlic and onion flavor.
MARJORAMOriganum Majorana: Commonly called marjoram, sweet marjoram or knotted marjoram. Marjoram is also called wild marjoram, as well as joy of the mountains and winter-sweet.
Origin: Marjoram is indigenous to the Mediterranean area.
Appearance: Can be mistaken for oregano (they are in the same family!) The leaves have a very soft and sultry texture that are olive green.
MINTMentha: Best known as mint; although there are hundreds of varieties of mint, M. spicata (spearmint) also known as garden or common mint is the most associated with using fresh or dried in cooking.
Origin: Most mints are native to Europe and Asia, although there are some which are indigenous to the Americas and Australia. Many think that the colonists introduced mint to the USA, however there is evidence that Native American Indians were using a form of mint well before their arrival.
OREGANOOriganum Vulgare: Commonly called oregano, but has been called wild marjoram.
Origin: It is native to warm- temperate western and southwestern Eurasia and the Mediterranean region.
Appearance: Oregano is a perennial growing to 20 inches, with pink flowers and spade-shaped, olive-green leaves. It prefers a hot, relatively dry climate, but will do well in other environments.
Taste: Oregano has an aromatic, warm and slightly bitter taste. It is a close relative to marjoram.
ROSEMARYRosmarinus Officinalis: Know commonly as Rosemary
Origin: Native to the Mediterranean area, rosemary now grows widely in other parts of the world. It thrives in a warm and sunny climate.
Appearance: Rosemary is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves.
Taste: It has a robust, pine scent and its flavor has hints of mint and lemon undertones.
SAGESalvia Officinalis: Known as sage or garden meadow.
Origin: Originally native to Southern Europe and the Mediterranean.
Appearance: Sage has greyish-green leaves and is a member of the mint family.
Taste: Sage has a pungent, intense and camphorous flavor with hints of mint, lemon and pine.
TARRAGONArtemisia Dracunculus: Commonly known as Tarragon, but also called Dragon's-wort.
Origin: It is native to a wide area of the Northern Hemisphere from easternmost Europe across central and eastern Asia to India, western North America, and south to northern Mexico.
Appearance: Long thin leaves. Color can range from olive to sage to bright green.
THYMEThymus Vulgaris: Known as thyme.
Origin: Thyme is an herb of Mediterranean origin and was brought to North America with the first colonialists as a food preservative and medicine.
Appearance: A "stemmy" herb with small round leaves that range from bright to olive green.
Taste: Thyme has sweet, minty bay flavors with a strong, robust scent.
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ARUGULAEruca Sativa: Commonly known as rocket, roquette, rucola or arugula. It comes in many varieties including wild, organic, baby arugula and conventional forms.
Origin: Has been grown in the Mediterranean area since Roman times.
Appearance: A leafy green vegetable which looks like a longer leaved and open lettuce.
CILANTROCoriandrum Sativum: Is a member of the carrot family and known as coriander leaves, fresh coriander, or Chinese parsley.
Origin: Native from Southern Europe and North Africa to southwestern Asia.
Appearance: Bright green and look a bit like flat Italian parsley.
Taste: Cilantro has citrus overtones and a pungent odor. Its flavor is used to "lift" other flavors as it enhances and promotes other distinct flavors.
ITALIAN PARSLEYPetroselinum Crispum - Commonly referred to as Italian Parsley.
Origin: native to the central Mediterranean region (southern Italy, Algeria and Tunisia).
Appearance: Italian parsley is a plain flat leafed parsley. It has darker green leaves than curly leafed parsley.
Taste: The flavor of Italian parsley is a bit stronger and better than curly parsley, as well as less bitter flavor. The reason being that there are more essential oils that make up the parsley taste.
OPAL BASILOcimum Basilicum:A cultivar of Sweet Basil referred to as Opal Basil.
Origin: Opal Basil is a basil cultivar developed at the University of Connecticut in the 1950s.
Appearance: With its distintive deep violet color, opal basil has crinkly and serrated leaves with similar colored veins and stems.
Taste: Opal basil is more savory than sweet compared to common basil. Flavors of clove and ginger are revealed when eaten raw.