Salbei

Salvia officinalis L.

This shrubby herb grows up to 70 centimetres high and bears thick, lanceolate, greyish green leaves with pronounced venation. The stems and leaves are also hairy and thus have a silvery appearance. When the plant is in bloom, the tips of the stems display whorled, lilac-coloured labiate flowers. Some 900 different varieties of sage exist worldwide, with Germany being a dominant producer of garden sage. Sage leaves are used to season foods and for medicinal purposes.

Countries of origin

Southern and Central Europe, Asia, America
The sage plant is indigenous to the Mediterranean and has been in use for thousands of years. The Greeks and Romans believed sage prolonged life and praised its healing power.

Flavour and aroma

Sage has a pungent, bitter flavour, somewhat similar to camphor, and a powerful, aromatic fragrance. Eel, meat and poultry dishes, particularly in Italian cuisine; liver, mutton, salad, herb butter and fillings Sage has an intense taste. Used in moderation, however, it is the ideal spice for meat, fish and vegetable dishes. Its aroma develops best when sautéed in butter or oil. Primarily an Italian herb, sage goes particularly well not only with veal dishes, such as saltimbocca, but also with lamb and pork roasts, grilled kabobs or spicy vegetable dishes. Sage also pairs very well with basic seasonings, such as garlic or onion.


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