A very old herb that has been cultivated for more than two thousand years, lemon balm is a native of northern Africa and southern Europe. Not only has it been used for culinary purposes, it is also known to have deeply therapeutic characteristics. As such, many cultures use it for medicinal purposes. In fact, in Arabian countries, it is commonly added in teas to treat depression and anxiety.
With its fresh scent and lemon-like citric flavour, lemon balm is used as a seasoning in many dishes, not to mention its popular use to make custom tea blends. It can used either fresh or it its dried form. Chopped lemon balm leaves are often used to add flavour to sweet and tangy dishes, while the fresh leaves are often used as garnish in fruit salads as well as green salads, sorbets, fruit drinks and herb butters. Lemon balm is also used to add flavour to custards, casseroles, soups, a wide variety of egg dishes and as stuffing in lamb, pork and poultry dishes. Most people like to mix lemon balm with pepper, rosemary, bay leaves, mint, thyme and allspice as it goes very well with these herbs and spices.
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