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Native to the Mediterranean, where warmer
temperatures prevail, Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) was introduced to Britain by the
Romans. Boughs of Rosemary have had many uses in the past. They were carried at weddings,
used to freshen rooms, and burned as incense.
They are also used as a pungent flavoring in cooking. The leaves,
fresh or dried, can be used with chicken , meats (especially lanb), stews, breads, pizzas,
and vegetables. Dried leaves can also be added to the coals of barbecues, near the end of
cooking, to impact Rosemary's characteristic flavor to meats. In addition to its varied
culinary uses, Rosemary also has a history as a health giving herb.
In 1525, Bancke's Herbal, the first book devoted exclusively to herbs
and their uses, was printed in England and included Rosemary. Early Arabian physicians are
credited as the first to recommend this fragrant herb as a tea. And today, it is still
enjoyed, often before retiring.