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Special flavors are given to foods using leaves, seeds, and even the flowers of herbs. Every herb has a particular affinity for certain foods. These are some of the most common herbs and the foods they enhance.

Thyme is a great herb for sausages, stews, stuffing, cooked vegetables, and soups. This herb, much like rosemary, has a strong flavor and should be used sparingly when it is dried. Tarragon is used to flavor vinegars, fish, chicken, and eggs while savory, both in summer and winter; it is great when added to bean dishes, stuffing for poultry, and salads. Sage is a must in stuffing, meat loaf, and sausage. Rosemary tends to enhance the flavor of pork, lamb, chicken, peas, and potatoes. This herb was used by the Romans to improve the memory. Oregano is delightful in spaghetti sauces and pizza. It is also good in soups or on salads that are served with chicken. Parsley is a favorite with everything but especially enhances salads, soups, stews, potatoes, and cooked vegetables.

If you want to give a fresh taste to fruit cups and fruit drinks, add a bit of mint. Mint is also used in sauces and jellies to serve with lamb and makes a really refreshing cup of tea. Marjoram is used with tomatoes, green beans, cabbage, mushrooms, egg dishes, chicken, and in salads. This herb also works well as a subtle substitute for oregano. Dill is used for making pickles but can also perk up cold soups, salads, cooked vegetables, and fish. Chives, whether onion or garlic, make a superb garnish and are delicious in salads and cold soups. This herb can be used fresh, dried, or frozen, which adds to its popularity with most chefs. Basil gives any tomato dish a mouth watering flavor. It can be used in tomato sauces, egg dishes, salads, and even on pizza. Try to use this herb fresh when possible to get the full impact of the flavor. Basil's strong scent was valued by monks in India as an aid to meditation.