Native to the Mediterranean, where warmer temperatures prevail, Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) was introduced to Britain by the Romans. Boughs of Rosemary have had many uses in the past. They were carried at weddings, used to freshen rooms, and burned as incense. They are also used as a pungent flavoring in cooking. The leaves, fresh or dried, can be used with chicken, meats (especially lamb), stews, breads, pizzas, and vegetables. Dried leaves can also be added to the coals of barbecues, near the end of cooking, to impact Rosemarys characteristic flavor to meats.
In addition to its varied culinary uses, Rosemary also has a history as a health giving herb. In 1525, Banckes Herbal, the first book devoted exclusively to herbs and their uses, was printed in England and included Rosemary. Early Arabian physicians are credited as the first to recommend this fragrant herb as a tea. And today, it is still enjoyed, often before retiring.
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