The herbs they do not feed, but they make us eat better. The secret of the aromatic seasonings is to exert an exciting action on the nerves, before and during the ingestion of food, with positive effects on smell, taste and digestion. This way the food is digested and assimilated more easily, favoring one good nutrition.
This compensates for the poor nutritional power of the herbs, apart from the specific vitamin content (in any case irrelevant compared to the quantity that is taken). The aromatic substances that we use to flavor foods are obtained from plants or parts of them and come in many species with a great variety of flavors ranging from sweet, to acrid, to spicy. Here are the most used aromatic herbs in our kitchen and a brief description of their characteristics.
Laurel. Both the leaves and the fruits are useful. The latter contain an aromatic oil that has antiseptic and stimulating properties. The leaves are also used as a condiment in food and are especially used to eliminate the smell of wild poultry and game with their tasty aromatic flavor. The infusion of leaves (very light), taken by mouth, strengthens the stomach and excites the secretion of sweat.
Basil. It is used to perfume soups and summer salads, making them more appetizing. Its best known use is in pesto, the extraordinary green sauce that characterizes Ligurian cuisine to accompany, in tradition, trenette or trofie; without forgetting the famous Genoese minestrone.
Origan. Widely used in Neapolitan cuisine, oregano inflorescences are found almost everywhere today; their diffusion in the kitchen has gone hand in hand with that of pizza, to which oregano gives the unmistakable aroma. Oregano is also widely used for the preparation of sauces, pasta sauces, salads, vegetables, fish and stewed meats.
Parsley. It is certainly the most widely consumed aromatic herb in the kitchen and its flavor is combined with that of almost all dishes (being 'like parsley' is a saying used to mean 'going well with everything'); thus it becomes part of broths, sauces, soups, side dishes, meatballs, meat and fish dishes.
Rosemary. The tantalizing scent of rosemary cannot be missing in the bunch of aromas with which broths are flavored, in certain rustic sauces in which tasty meats are cooked, in roasts of all kinds, in some sautées and even in some homemade desserts. The penetrating scent is due to an essential oil, contained in the tips of the leaves, which has the power to stimulate digestion.
Sage. Like rosemary to which it is often combined, sage reigns supreme in the kitchen. Its leaves are added to broths, to which they give a particular aroma and to numerous meat-based preparations: from roasts to skewers, from pork livers to saltimbocca . A few sage leaves are enough to enrich the flavor of food.
Celery. In Italian cuisine, both the stalks and the leaves of celery are used a lot, appreciated for the intense and pleasant aroma which corresponds to a very appetizing taste. Indispensable in broth and vegetable soups, celery gives flavor to sautées and numerous sauces.