If you love to cook, then you are definitely familiar with rosemary, an evergreen aromatic herb. I am willing to bet that there is a bottle of dried rosemary in your cupboard in your kitchen or a fresh sprig of rosemary in your refrigerator. If you love food, I am sure that you have had a lot of dishes flavored with rosemary because this is tasty and flavorful, used all around the world for different kinds of dishes.
Species: S. rosmarinus
Binomial Name: Salvia rosmarinus
Fresh Rosemary Trivia
- Rosemary is from the botanical family Lamiaceae along with two other herbs popular in cooking: sage and mint.
- Rosemary is from the Latin ros marinus which means “dew of the sea”.
- Rosemary is also called anthos, from the Greek ἄνθος which means “flower”.
- Do you have memory problems? Try rosemary. According to ancient healing practices, rosemary can help people with memory problems.
Fresh Rosemary Buying Guide
When buying fresh rosemary, these are the things to look out for:
- Make sure the leaves are firmly attached to the stem.
- Choose rosemary with a nice green color. Make sure there are no black or brown spots.
Besides fresh rosemary, you can also buy dried or crushed rosemary, rosemary seeds, and potted rosemary if you want to grow this fragrant evergreen herb.
Fresh Rosemary Production & Farming in Texas
Rosemary is a bush-type herb with wood-like stems. This perennial evergreen has white, pink, purple, or blue flowers. It is common to find rosemary grown as an ornamental shrub because it looks great and because it is hardy too, able to withstand harsh conditions.
Cultivating and growing rosemary can be tricky for inexperienced farmers and growers because it is difficult to start the seed of rosemary owing to its low germination rate and relatively slow growth. The reward for persistence and hard work comes after because once the rosemary is stable and established, it can live for up to 30 years with a good harvest yield for four to seven years. Harvest rosemary once or twice a year.
Rosemary grows best in loam soil with neutral to alkaline conditions (within the range of 7 to 7.8 pH) and with good drainage as well as exposure to sunlight and an annual rainfall average of 500 mm. Rosemary thrives best when planted in a place within the altitude range from 1500 to 3000 meters above sea level.
Rosemary grows in US Hardiness Zones 7 to 10. This means it can grow in Texas, a state where the hardiness zones range from 6 to 9B.
Rosemary has a reputation for being resilient against pests, and because of that, rosemary is the main ingredient for pesticides. However, it is still prone to pest attacks, from aphids, whiteflies, beetles, and mealybugs, necessitating the use of pesticides, especially for commercial, large-scale rosemary plantations.
- Aphids – Kill aphids using neem oil, insecticidal soap, or horticultural oil. You can also use the pesticide malathion, which is the most commonly used organophosphate insecticide in the United States, or rotenone, a selective, non-specific insecticide typically used in home gardens for insect control.
- Beetles – The use of man-made pesticide carbaryl or Beauveria bassiana is the solution to rid of beetles. Other options include pyrethroid insecticides like cyfluthrin and Lambda cyhalothrin, pesticide malathion, pyrethrin spray, permethrin insecticide, and spinosad.
- Mealybugs – You can use 70% isopropyl alcohol or apple cider vinegar to kill mealybugs. Bug sprays are also effective against this pest.
- Whiteflies – Malathion or Pyrethrins are effective against whiteflies.
Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean and Asia. Mediterranean countries, Northern Africa (in the foothills of Maluti Mountains in the Eastern Free State as well as in Gauteng, Limpopo, North West Mpumalanga, and the Eastern and Western Cape provinces), England, Mexico, and the US are the leading producers of rosemary.
You’ll find fresh rosemary sold in groceries and supermarkets in plastic packaging.
- Some come in round or rectangular waterproof transparent clamshell boxes with a lid made of PET material that can be used both for storage or display.
- Companies that seek to be environment-friendly opt for packaging made from recycled materials like recycled PET and post-consumer recycled PET.
- There is also packaging made from plant-based plastics (PLA).
It is common to see rosemary wrapped in plastic or paper like a bouquet. Sometimes, these are bundled and tied with a string or rubber band, sold in small quantities. You can find these on a pile on a tray along with other herbs and spice products for sale. Rosemary plants are also sold in farmers’ markets and in stores and supermarkets that sell potted plants.
Enjoying Fresh Rosemary
If you eat food with rosemary, you will notice its piney, resinous, astringent, peppery, lemony, and woodsy flavor. You’ll also notice that the flavor profile shares similarities with lavender, sage, and mint.
Many delicious dishes are flavored with rosemary. If you are eating in a restaurant or planning on cooking using rosemary, consider these dishes – roasted chicken, chicken with potatoes, baked artichokes, lemon salmon or glazed salmon, vegetarian bread, penne with lemon and goat cheese, chicken, bacon, and avocado salad, lentil soup, or mushroom cream sauce.
If you are storing rosemary to sell them, make sure the leaves are clean before storing them in crates or boxes. Harvest rosemary in the morning and have it delivered to the market in the afternoon. If not, store rosemary in a room with a 5 °C temperature before delivery.
When storing rosemary after purchasing it from the market, make sure any unused rosemary you want to keep for use later or in the following days is put in a vase with water and a pinch of salt. You can also put these in the refrigerator. Put it in a plastic food storage bag with a damp paper towel. It will keep for a week in the refrigerator.
Fresh rosemary is used to flavor soups, casseroles, salads, and stews. Fresh rosemary is great with meat like chicken, pork, and fish.
You can use a sprig or you can also use shredded fresh rosemary. Rosemary pairs well with many different flavors, from chestnut to curry, paprika, cumin, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, spinach, peas, and so much more! Use rosemary as a herb brush so that you can taste the flavor of rosemary on steak, grilled meat, or fried meat.
Rosemary is a low-calorie, low-fat food, which is an excellent source of vitamin A (beta-carotene), B-6, and C, as well as calcium, folate, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and iron.
The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds found in rosemary help the body improve its immune system and blood circulation. Rosemary also helps in improving our memory, alertness, focus; our appetite; and skin. Consuming rosemary benefits those who are struggling with digestive and intestinal problems.