Rosemary is an evergreen shrub with needle-like leaves that is used medicinally or to impart big flavor into anything it is added to. It has a wide range of notes in its flavor profile and this makes it a very versatile aromatic herb to cook with.
When rosemary is crushed or cut it releases a powerful pine-like aroma. The scent of rosemary also resembles mint or an earthier version of lavender.
The complex flavor of rosemary is unique. It tastes and smells like pine which yields an astringent quality on the tongue while also lending bright citrus and mint to the mix. There are floral notes like lavender, a strong similarity to sage, and a slight pepperiness. Rosemary is woodsy, robust, and pungent.
Rosemary pairs beautifully with lamb, potatoes, focaccia bread, and even some cocktails and desserts like olive oil cake. There are many varieties of rosemary which further increases its versatility. All varieties of rosemary are edible.
Types of Rosemary and Their Flavor Variations
Tuscan Blue rosemary is a chef favorite and has a lemony, peppery flavor. This type of rosemary has blue flowers that bloom on the tips of its branches in the spring. It is considered the most fragrant rosemary.
This type of rosemary has woody branches that can be used as skewers. It has a lemony scent and a full flavor profile.
The pungent flavor of spice island rosemary has notes of clove and nutmeg (what does nutmeg tastes like?).
Mild ginger notes make this rosemary unique and its woody branches can be used as skewers as with the arp variety.
Does Fresh Rosemary Taste Better Than Dried Rosemary?
Fresh rosemary still contains its volatile oils therefore retaining the pungency and purest flavor. The distinctive flavor and aroma remain in dried rosemary making it a perfectly acceptable substitute for fresh rosemary. One teaspoon of dried rosemary for every tablespoon of fresh chopped rosemary is a good rule of thumb when using in its place.
Final Thoughts on Rosemary
Rosemary is not only a powerhouse of flavor but also a good source of calcium and vitamin B. Rosemary is also good for the circulatory and immune systems, promotes hair growth, eases pain, and improves mental focus. This delicious herb will not disappoint when added to your next culinary creation or herbal medicine cabinet.