In ancient Greece, Hippocrates - the father of medicine - used herbs from the Greek countryside as the base of medical science. The herbs were considered as magic, and we can't help but agree that Greek herbs will certainly add a magic touch to your plate (and health).
Greece's excellent quality of herbs is mainly due to the country's long periods of sunshine (it's not just the herbs that love this) and widely varying landscape. Greece's landscape is so rich, that over 7,500 species of herbs grow in Greece, and over 1,000 of them cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
The fragrance of these herbs permeates through every island, so abundant that you can find herbs all over the country. Images of Greek grandmothers picking oregano and tea from the mountains, and windowsills filled with thyme and mint come to mind - how wonderful that this is not cliche, but reality!
Unsurprisingly, herbs are an essential part of Greek cuisine not only for their rich flavour, but also for health benefits. Many herbs grown in Greek soil contain up to 30 times more essential oils than herbs grown elsewhere.
Greek herbs provide a world of culinary inspiration, here are some of the herbs that mean the most to us.
Oregano is indeed a super-herb! High in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory qualities, this is the staple in Greek and Mediterranean cooking. Oregano translates to "mountain joy" and was a symbol of happiness in Ancient Greece. Endless uses and recipes come to mind when it comes to Oregano!
Thyme is native to the Mediterranean, and in ancient times it was burnt as a religious incense, said to give courage. Thyme teams up beautifully with white meat and fish.
Bay Leaves, or Bay Laurel, date as far back as Homer's Odyssey, where he mentions the leaves being used by Ulysses as a medicine. These leaves are used in Greek soups, stews and sauces.
All Greeks remember sipping on Mountain Tea or Tsai Tou Vounou when they were sick as little kids (and perhaps still now as big kids). This soothing tonic tea is picked from the Greek mountains and has healing properties.
At Homer St, we pride ourselves on stocking the best of the bunch! Our range of Greek herbs can be found here.