Herbs are plants consisting of leaves, seeds, and flowers, possessing aromatic traits. These herbs are used as garnishing of foods or to add aroma. In some cases, it also adds to the medicinal or nourishing values like boosting immunity. Many herbal medicines are being used to fight against the COVID-19 virus. Few commonly used herbs are cilantro, oregano, parsley, basil, rosemary, chives, dill, and so on.
There are two types of herbs:-
Dry herbs are formed when natural herbs are dehydrated. This leads to alterations in fragrance, taste, and color. The characteristics are as follows:-
- These herbs are mostly found in powdered form.
- They should be kept in open, light, and a place free from dampness.
- Too much exposure to light can lead to loss of smell or even taste.
- The date should be checked while preserving to check whether it’s of any use during cooking.
- Has a richer, spicier flavor.
There are rules to use these herbs in cooking:
- Due to the richer flavor, less amount of herbs, for instance, a ratio of 1:3 (1gram of dried herbs is equal to 3 grams of fresh herbs) should be added. This is enough to enhance the taste of the food.
- Dehydration results in less oil. More oil can be rubbed off with hands.
- It should be added during the cooking to let it unfold its flavor.
Few herbs taste better when they are dry. For example, dry bay leaves, oregano taste better, but dried Basil does not taste better if added to Pasta.
- Despite several advantages, these herbs do not have a long life. They can be hardly used for a year. Their taste gets faded after a certain time.
- The vitamin content will be different from the other category of herbs.
- These herbs are used in pizza, pasta, boiled eggs, or boiled potatoes, and so on.
- These herbs are also used in several dips.
- These herbs are expensive.
Fresh herbs are natural, containing the original flavor as well as the color.
Herbs like basil leaves are considered fresh herbs.
- These herbs are of bright color and structure. The taste is mild.
- Herbs like Rosemary or Thyme should be covered in a wet paper towel. They should be covered in plastic bags which are resealable and should be stored in a refrigerator.
- Delicate herbs like Basil should be kept in a glass filled with one inch of water. They should be covered in plastic bags and should be placed at room temperature.
- Delicate herbs are light, therefore they should be eaten with salads or just stirred in the food.
- They provide original flavor. Therefore, more amount compared to the former category of herbs should be added to the food.
- There are no such prescribed rules to use these herbs in food.
- Due to their freshness, oil is preserved in them. Due to this characteristic, they should be added after cooking while service or the taste will be ruined.
- Some herbs like Parsley shouldn’t be dehydrated. Even if mint is dehydrated, it doesn’t taste good. This is because some herbs are volatile and they will fail to provide the right taste if heated too much.
- The herbs of this sort live for more time compared to the other because their original properties are intact.
- Though fresh, yet many herbs when dried like Basil, contains more nutritional values.
- These herbs are less expensive than the former type.
Hence, to conclude, both of these herbs are beneficial. It cannot be outrightly claimed that one is better than the other. There are some myths regarding herbs that should be discarded. For example, it is believed that the fresh ones are more nutritious than the dried ones. This is a wrong conception. If added and used properly, both these herbs can provide nutritious value. Moreover, all kinds of herbs cannot be grown in the garden or always found in the market. Therefore, proper procedure of storage is essential. The taste of the food or odor also depends upon the number of herbs we use in our food. The usage of these herbs should be proper. If used in the wrong way and in the wrong foods, it will not yield the result as expected.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are Herbs & What are different types of Herbs?
A. Herbs are plants consisting of leaves, seeds, and flowers, possessing aromatic traits. These herbs are used as garnishing of foods or to add aroma. In some cases, it also adds to the medicinal or nourishing values.
There are two types of herbs:- 1. Dry Herbs 2. Fresh Herbs
Q. What are Dry Herbs?
A. Dry herbs are formed when natural herbs are dehydrated. This leads to alterations in fragrance, taste, and color.
Q. What are Fresh Herbs?
A. Fresh herbs are natural, containing the original flavor as well as the color. Herbs like basil leaves are considered fresh herbs.