The words “Bouquet Garni” come from French cooking. It refers to a “bouquet of leaves/herbs which can be used as garnish” for food. Traditionally, Bouquet Garni includes parsley, thyme and bay leaves. But chefs often choose to create other types of Bouquet Garni, which may include basil, peppercorns, rosemary, burnet, chervil, tarragon or savory.
The Bouquet Garni is used to improve the flavour profile of the meal. It is usually added at the end of the cooking as a garnish. These days, contemporary chefs also include vegetable stalks from celery, leeks & carrot, onion roots and orange peels in the Bouquet Garni.
The herbs in the Bouquet Garni are tied together using string or even a piece of bacon. They are sometimes wrapped in cheesecloth or unwanted leek stalk. The entire bouquet is placed in the water, stock or sauce to infuse it with a combination of flavours.
This cooking technique first appeared in French cuisine in the 1600s, as a way to replace the heavy use of spices in cooking. The Bouquet Garni is tied to a long piece of twine and is then dropped into the food at the beginning and is then removed at the end of the cooking.