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Old 10-14-2012, 04:40 PM   #1
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Rebelling against fresh herbs

It's hard to find a recipe these days that doesn't specify all fresh herbs. Yes, I know they taste better. But do they taste that much better? For many herbs I would say no, they are not worth the $5.00 - $10.00 they can add to the cost of a meal. Oregano and thyme, for example; Herbes de Provence, Italian Seasoning are two more. Cilantro? No- use fresh or just don't use it. Dried Cilantro is useless. Sage? Don't know. Parsley, yes (it is not a strong taste in either dried or fresh form). Rosemary? dried is fine.

I wonder if there are any blindfold taste tests out there that compare fresh to dried with certain spices. There are some tricks with the dried spices, too, like blooming them in hot oil before the liquid is added.

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Old 10-14-2012, 04:50 PM   #2
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Grow your own. I have an herb garden on the deck and grow all the herbs I can use for about 7 months out of the year. My total cost is less than $10 a year for the annuals. Most of the perennials will over-winter in the house just fine.

I agree with you that some dried herbs taste just as good or better than their fresh counterparts, but for the most part, I definitely prefer the taste of fresh herbs.
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:54 PM   #3
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You have to pick your battles. Some are worthless dry and some are better. I prefer dry oregano by far over fresh.
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll
Grow your own. I have an herb garden on the deck and grow all the herbs I can use for about 7 months out of the year. My total cost is less than $10 a year for the annuals. Most of the perennials will over-winter in the house just fine.

I agree with you that some dried herbs taste just as good or better than their fresh counterparts, but for the most part, I definitely prefer the taste of fresh herbs.
+1

The prices for grocery store fresh herbs are outrageous. I have dug up my basil, parsley and cilantro and brought them in, and they're still passable months later. Not as pretty, but totally edible. I also dig up the rosemary.

Oregano, sage, rosemary and thyme are just fine dried. I do prefer fresh parsley.
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:58 PM   #5
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I grow many of my own herbs. I bring the pots in before the first frost. Basil germinates and grows well indoors year around. I also have an herb keeper (mine is this one, but there are a lot of others on the market--http://www.pamperedchef.com/ordering/prod_details.tpc?prodId=38352&words=herb%20keeper) . I use both fresh and dried herbs. I used to cut the ends off a bunch of cilantro and put it in water. I changed the water every day. It would last 2 weeks or so, ditto for Italian parsley.
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
You have to pick your battles. Some are worthless dry and some are better. I prefer dry oregano by far over fresh.
My Greek oregano is a perennial--I leave some in the ground and bring some in for the winter. I like dried oregano when making tomato sauce, add the fresh 5 minutes before finishing the sauce. I prefer fresh oregano on salads over dried. There are three cupboards above my stove. 1-1/2 of those are filled with herbs, spices. The other 1-1/2 is filled with grains, beans, and a few canned goods (artichokes, water chestnuts, etc.). Worse-case scenario--the plants dry out. But then, I have dried herbs ready to go.
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:05 PM   #7
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I use fresh herbs as often as I can, otherwise I order from Penzey's. Dried herbs for me are a convenience food.
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:43 PM   #8
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I use lots of dried herbs, but I grow chives, parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, mint, and sage.

I find that fresh rosemary is so much nicer than dried. I think of dried rosemary as "those horrible, little twigs that poke my gums".
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Old 10-14-2012, 08:47 PM   #9
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Herbs certainly don't add 5-10 bucks to a recipe here.

I grow basil, sage, parsley, mint, rosemary, cilantro and thyme in the garden. But I buy from the store too.

I don't care for fresh oregano.

I have a cabinet full of dry from Penzey's too.

Dry and fresh both have their place and are not always interchangeable.
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:11 PM   #10
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I have had the same rosemary plant for almost 5 years now. I bring it in for the winter. I love fresh rosemary. Hate the dried stuff...but that is probably just me. I also have a bay tree. I love using fresh bay.
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