Herbs… The Difference between Fresh and Dry

Many times I find myself looking into my cupboard through the the large variety of condiments and think “I wonder what this would taste like fresh, or what would it look like if it was still a plant.”

I’m not going to sit here, and type away why you should use one over the other, because, lets face it, it truly boils down to the practicality, convenience, and availability of the herbs. However, what I am going to explain is the difference.

Fresh herbs are about 80% water so drying them only intensifies the flavor. Dried herbs can be up to 3 times as strong as fresh herbs. Pay attention to how long you have had the dried herbs in your cupboard, however, because they begin to lose flavor with time.
The best way to maximize the flavor of dried herbs, is to, either place in your hands and rub them together so that the natural oils come out, grind them, or cook them. If you are doing this to spicy condiments like red pepper, make sure to wash your hands right away so that you avoid to accidently rubbing your eyes.

Make sure to pick and choose which herbs you want to use that have been dried and which you can use fresh. Delicate herbs like chives, basil, tarragon, and dill tend to be best fresh, because their flavors usually change or lose authenticity once dried. Herbs like rosemary, sage, oregano and thyme retain most of their flavor even when dried. To maximize their flavors try to use them in dishes that take a while to cook so they reach their potential in flavor.


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