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All About Herbs: What Chefs Learn at Culinary School

With fall and winter approaching, chefs of all types will be heading to the kitchen to prepare those holiday classics. If you could nominate a "Supporting Ingredient" for any holiday spread, herbs would definitely take center stage. The key is to use them well.

Fresh Herbs: Hints from the Chefs

The wonderful fragrance of fresh herbs from the garden or the market stimulates the senses. Within the culinary arts world, fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro, and basil are often preferred over their dried counterparts for their flavor, and should be added at the end of cooking. Other creative uses of herbs include breads and the water used in steaming or boiling vegetables. Fresh herbs should be refrigerated with their stems in water, or in a ventilated bag if in leaf form. Wash just before using.

Chef's Tips for Dried Herbs

Dried herbs are just as crucial in the culinary arts, even if often overlooked. More varieties of dried herbs, including oregano, bay leaves, and sage, are available in the grocery stores throughout the year. Dried herbs are be added at the beginning of cooking, and can be crushed to improve flavor. Keep your dried herbs in a sealed container, but replace them annually.

Learn More About Herbs at Culinary School

Chefs learn to identify and effectively use hundreds of herbs at culinary school. Courses in the culinary arts include international cuisines, which are known for their herbal aromas and flavors. Mastery of ingredients crucial skill for any professional chef, and herbs are no exception.

Sources

  • Freshherbs
  • Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison