[Sca-cooks] good herbs

V A phoenissa at gmail.com
Sat Sep 22 13:59:10 PDT 2007

It all depends on the source of the recipe.  The "good herbs" readily
available to a cook in, say, 15th c. London, would probably be different
from those available to his counterpart in Rome.  It also depends on the
season, the temperament of the cook, and the preferences of the master for
whom he is cooking. :-)

Some herbs that appear frequently in Western European cookery books of our
period: Parsley, thyme, marjoram, sage, rosemary, oregano, basil (the latter
two don't seem to have been nearly as common as they are today).  In
Andalusia and the Near East cilantro/fresh coriander was also in frequent
use, and dill is occasionally called for in extant recipes.  Furthermore,
"herb" and its variants don't refer strictly to aromatics, but also to the
leafy greens that we treat as vegetables -- spinach, arugula, various
chicories and endives, and the like.  "Herbs" can also be unfamiliar (to
some modern palates, at least) parts of familiar plants we eat, like the
leafy green fronds of the fennel (as distinct from the bulb), celery leaves,
or grapevine tendrils.

If you tell us which recipe translation is calling for "good herbs," someone
on this list should be able to give you a more specific answer. :-)


On 9/22/07, otsisto <otsisto at socket.net> wrote:
> When a translation says "good herbs" what is the standard generic list of
> herbs added?
> Is butter the best substitute for suet?
> Has anyone made lasagna pasta, if so, how do you make it.
> Thank you,
> De
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