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Legal herb. Something about herbs and spices in France!

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Herbs and spices have a very important role in french people life.

Spices have antibacterial and antioxidant properties, which is why they were used to preserve food. So a large amount of used spices (and perfumes :)) has a historical background. Antioxidants protect cells from damage and play an important role in preventing chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases.

Our friends from Provence mentioned their Provençal herbs, so we will tell you about them in today’s post. And since we already understand why we have so many spices in a country flowing with wine and red meat, do they affect on their health in any way? Of course!:)

The main spices used in France do not include salt, so they are definitely healthier than what people use in China or Poland. The herbs add an intense flavor and the use of salt is unnecessary, and it also helps to reduce the amount of fat used – without sacrificing flavor.

some herbs:

Rosemary – It has a pine-spicy smell and has a bitter taste.

Basil – It has a refreshing taste. It improves digestion and facilitates the absorption of nutrients. With fatty and caloric meals, this is heaven!

Mint – You probably remember when your parents gave you it for stomachache :). It regulates the functioning of the digestive system.

Sage – It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. An interesting fact may be that it has an antiperspirant effect.

Lovage – Soothes abdominal pain, flatulence and stimulates appetite.

Coriander – Similar effect to lovage.

The French use spices for many sauces, dairy and meat – that is, what they eat most often. As you can see, knowing that their cuisine is very hard to digest, they know how to choose the right herbs to give the meals more taste and certain values ​​:).

Herbs in folk medicine:

  • People in France have used herbs such as mint, St. John’s wort and chamomile for centuries
  • During a visit at French home we can meet with herbal macerates (herbal infusions) based on strong alcohol. You can even prepare it at home! They are used as ingriedients in syrups, ointments and tonics.

Provence recipie for herbal macerate (also known as ,,herbal de Provence”) straight from our friend from Provance.*

Ingriedients :

  • Fresh or dried herbs (e.g lavender or mint). Choose your fav mix!
    about 150 grams for dried herbs
    about 300 grams for fresh herbs
  • High – quality strong alcohol (vodka, spirit) 1L
  • Orange/ lemon zest (optional, but very welcome in French)
  • 3/4 cup (250 ml – 1 cup) of sugar

Preparation :

  1. Choose clean glass❗️ bottle. Remember to steam it before using.
  2. Mash all the herbs in the bowl (to release the aroma)
  3. Mix the herbs with alcohol in the bottle.
  4. Place the macerate in a dark, cold place for 2 – 4 weeks. You can mix the infusion from time to time.
  5. After the maceration time you have to make the sugar syrup. Boil 3/4 cup of water with sugar.
  6. Add cold syrup to your macerate (totally your preferences).
  7. Leave for next few days, untill the flavors mix

*This is an alcoholic beverage
Alcohol may only be consumed by persons over 18 years of age🔞

While cooking the sugar syrup, the syrup reaches very high temperatures, be carefull!

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