Savory (Satureia hortensis) is a genus of aromatic flowering plants of the Lamiaceae family, which can be found especially on the edges of Mediterranean paths.

Savory is sometimes called Pèbre d'ase (which means in Provençal "pepper d'ass" because of its virtues) or pepper (in Valais, French-speaking Switzerland).

It is also known as sadrée or herb of Saint Julian.

Savory is one of the most pungent herbs, with a hot, peppery flavor similar to thyme or marjoram.

There are two main species of savory: “Satureia hortensis” or summer savory and “Satureia Montana” sometimes called winter savory.

These are plants of Mediterranean climate, originating from an area including Mediterranean Europe (France, Spain, Italy, Balkans), the Maghreb, part of Central Europe (Ukraine), Asia Minor and the Near East.

These two species are used as aromatic plants (especially for grilled meats), condiments and medicinal plants.

Once “Satureia hortensis” was considered a magic aphrodisiac plant.

According to Dioscorides, "Savory moves lust".

The name “savory is inspired from the god Satyr (the god with goat legs), always ready to a gallantry. It is one of the plants whose cultivation is recommended in the royal domains by Charlemagne in the chapter house De Villis (late 8th or early 9th century).

The leaves have been used as a condiment since antiquity, both for grilling, sauces and vegetables and as a digestion aid to avoid bloating and gas. It is one of the herbs used in the composition of “Herbs de Provence”.

© 2018 Wessel Woortman

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