Sage is a herb belonging to the mint family, and also one of the most popular spices in the world. The word sage is derived from the Latin word “salia” which means to save. Fittingly, it was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to save people who were bitten by snakes and to strengthen both the mind and body. It was added by the Chinese in their tea as well.
Today, sage is commonly grown in countries such as Albania, the United States, Serbia, Bosnia and Montenegro. With its pine-like aroma and flavour and undertones of citrus, sage is used in a wide variety of dishes today. Many people prefer it fresh for cooking. This is because when dried, sage often has a musty and bitter flavour. The fresh leaves are often added to fatty foods like goose, pork and duck since sage has powerful “grease-cutting” properties and can balance the oiliness of such dishes with its unique taste.
It is to be noted that for best results, sage should be used sparingly, and in dishes that need prolonged cooking time. This is because the flavour and aroma of sage are not lost even when exposed to heat for a long time.