GREEK HERBS AND SPICES
Greek Herbs And Spices
In ancient Greece where Hippocrates (460-370 before Christ), the father of medicine lived, the use and implement of herbs from the Greek countryside was the base of medical science. The herbs were considered as magic, and up to this date they are widely used throughout Greece as a supplement to standard medicine. Greece is famous for its unique herbs and spices so it is not surprising that Greek cuisine is all about herbs - their fragrance permeates every island. Herbs grow so profusely in Greece that you cannot avoid crushing them underfoot as you walk. They grow as a wild carpet of the forests, scrublands and mountains in most islands and many people pick what they need from these shrubby native plants and grow their own pots of vital herbs like basil, thyme, oregano and mint on windowsills, patios and terraces. The Greek cook does not have to shell out exorbitant amounts of money for a handful of pre-packaged supermarket herbs that are far from fresh!The excellent quality of Greek herbs and spices reflects the country’s long periods of sunshine and the different kinds of landscape. This special landscape makes Greek flora so rich, that from the 7500 different species of plants growing in Greece, 850 of them are only found there. Some of the best herbs grow there naturally - herbs like chamomile; Mountain Tea; tilio (infusion of lime leaves), sage, thyme, oregano and basil are chosen above others by some of the celebrity chefs across Europe. The number of herbs and spice-producing plants that grow naturally in Greece is quite unbelievable. Generations of Greek cooks have focused on many that have now become essentials of traditional Greek cooking. However, recent years have seen an increase in exported herbs and spices, some of which have become immediately popular, while others less so. Herbs and spices can be found fresh and dried, flaked and whole, as leaves and stems, as seeds, in pods, and other variations.