shopping Savory - one variety
Savory, c/s image
[ 273 ]Satureja hortensis

Savory Cut & Sifted

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Satureja hortensis
plant overview
sweet summer pot-herb

Summer savory is an annual member of the mint family that is native to the Mediterranean region. The leaf of this bushy, almost shrub-like herb has similar spicy flavor characteristics as perennial winter savory but is a bit milder and slightly sweeter. In fact, the flavor profile of summer savory herb has been compared to that of thyme. What is savory herb? Savory herb is a culinary companion to most vegetables and, in particular, to all kinds of beans. The herb is also used to season soups, stews, savory pies, eggs, stuffing and bread puddings, beef, poultry, fish, and game meats. Savory herb uses range from an excellent infused honey or vinegar, or combined with other herbs as a tableside seasoning and salt alternative.

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A Bit of Botany

a little botanical information on savory

Satureja hortensis, or Summer savory, is an herb of the Lamiaceae family.

Summer savory is a hardy, pubescent annual. Its erect slender stems grow to about a foot high. The plant flowers in July, producing small, pale lilac tubular flowers on short pedicels, with the common peduncle sometimes being three-flowered. Summer savory's bronze-green leaves, which are about 1/2 inch long, are entire, oblong-linear, acute, shortly narrowed at the base into petioles, and often fascicled. The short hairs on the stem are bent downwards.

common names & nomenclature
The English name savory has been influenced by (but was not derived from) the adjective savoury spicy: Middle English savery, from Latin sapor flavour via Old French sarree.

Also known as:
savory, summer savory

Savory, the sweet summer pot-herb

Where in the World

habitat and range for savory

Savory is native to the Mediterranean region but has been used across Europe, North America, and South America.

Cultivation & Harvesting

considerations on growing and harvesting savory

Summer savory grows in sunny cultivated gardens, alos can be found on dry, gravelly, or stony slopes.

Summer savory prefers a rich, light soil with plenty of moisture.

In April sow savory seed directly in the garden and only just cover. Seeds will germinate in about 2 weeks. Do not transplant savory as it strongly resents root disturbance. In areas with mild winters an autumn sowing will provide an earlier supply of leaves.

The leaves are harvested just before the plant comes into flower and may be dried for later use.

Store dried savory leaves in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

The Rest of the Story

additional information

Summer savory is a low growing annual. Winter savory is an equally diminutive perennial. Purists insist the summer herb has a sweeter, more delicate aroma; however today most cooks use them interchangeably. But this was not always the case—especially in the bedroom.

For reasons lost to history, the ancient Romans linked summer savory to the mythological satyrs—the lustful, half man, half goat creatures who threw debauched orgies in honor of Dionysus, god of wine. As a result, the Roman naturalist Pliny called summer savory an aphrodisiac and the winter herb a sex depressant. Not surprisingly, summer savory was more popular.

The Romans introduced summer savory throughout Europe, where it quickly became a popular spice. Germanic tribes loved its flavor in beans and called it bean herb. The Germanic Saxons who settled in Britain though savory made every food taste, well, savory, which is how it got its English name.

Annual summer savory reaches 18 inches. It has hairy, purplish stems, narrow, lance-shaped leaves, and small white or pink flowers, which bloom from midsummer through the first frost. Winter savory is a compact, woody, perennial bush that grows to 12 inches. Its leaves are similar to those of its summer cousin, only darker green, and its flowers, which bloom from mid to late summer, are white or lavender.

Both are easy to grow from seeds or cuttings, and both grow well in containers. Summer savory grows in most moist, well-drained soils.

Formulas & recipes
Summer savory herb is a seasonal herb that has a winter counterpart and is predictably called winter savory. The herb is used in many European cuisines including German and Hungarian. It is also an ingredient in the French spice blend, herbes de Provence. Savory herb recipes are endless, as the spice is enjoyed in soups, stews, vegetables, meats, beans, and more. The spice mixture below can be used in any recipe that needs seasoning, including a savory herb turkey recipe.

Crockpot savory herb chicken seasoning mix recipe

To season any crockpot chicken, combine the following and carefully rub onto raw chicken before adding to the crockpot.
-2 tablespoons savory herb
-1 tablespoon onion powder
-1 tablespoon garlic powder
-1 tablespoon thyme
-1 tablespoon rosemary
-½ tablespoon black pepper

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised:  Before making any changes to your diet you should always consult with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or have existing conditions.

All reviews solely reflect the views and opinions expressed by the reviewer and not that of Monterey Bay Herb Co. We do not verify or endorse any claims made by any reviewer. None of these statements have been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.