Don’t Buy Dried Herbs Without Watching This…

Hey, salut it’s Alex. So I’m a big, big fan of using herbs while cooking. Once you start using them, there’s no turning back. Problem is it can be a bit tricky sometimes to get your hands on the fresh stuff. And that is where dry herbs come into play. Recently I got this in the mail and today we’re going to fill up the first six drawers First idea is to go and get those dried herbs at your regular big supermarket. Trust me, It is not always the most efficient solution. First, it’s usually quite expensive. Second, they don’t have so much choice. And the third they don’t have the best freshness. Unlike of course, ethnic grocery store. Oh oui Thyme, bay leaf, oregano, savory, sage, rosemary. These are the essential six dried herbs you should have in your pantry. Alex, Alex, Alex, it can’t possibly be right. Where is basil, where is parsley, where is mint? Parsley is missing. He knows nothing. There is no mistake here. I did everything on purpose. I don’t think that any of those watery, you know Fresh, tender, fragile herbs should be dried classically the oven way. If you ever had basil and dried basil the loss of flavour is tremendous. Coming up. To dry herbs you need to get the water out. And this is the science moment. No wait, there is more coming. Problem is that it also extracting lots of the flavour from it because it’s done by heating the leaf. So a very simple but super efficient way to get flavor from dry herbs is to pick up the one that have the less water content initially. That’s why I mainly choose herbs coming from Mediterranean regions. Because of hotter climates, they are used to the heat and the sun, and so their drying process doesn’t damage them that much. It’s tasting time. I mean smelling times. Thyme is always fresh, citrusy, a bit lemony, A bit pungent as well. Food pairing. Also a cool trick is to encrust those dried leaves within the crust of any savory pie. It’s a game changer. Bay leaf. To fully appreciate bay leaf, you have to crush it. It smells a bit cinnamony, menthol, cola, eucalyptus. For me, bay leaves always smell a bit like Christmas on their own. Food pairing. A cool trick is to drop the leaf when you’re boiling pasta or rice. Oregano. That is a strong smell probably a bit more pizza pungent, a bit more Pizza PIZZA PI- and of course we can use these strengths and just pair that beautiful oregano with powerful flavour. Food pairing. Good thing to do with dried oregano is just to drop a few pinches In a bottle of olive oil and to let it infuse along with a bit of chili. Best homemade pizza oil. Next, rosemary. Super powerful. It has that fresh, but also very woody aromas. We usually don’t eat the leaves you just infuse the dish with it. Food pairing. A bit like bay leaves as well, Rosemary is brilliant in dessert like apricot and rosemary jam. And now, sage. The smell is quite warm and round, The taste is a bit more pungent than pecan. A good thing to do with dried sage is just to infuse it in hot butter. Food pairing. To be honest, I only use sage in savory recipes But if you guys know any sweet recipe that would use sage Let me know in the comments. And the last dried herb of my selection is savory. Savory has this very pungent and super peppery taste. In fact in the past, it was used sometimes as a replacement for pepper. Food pairing. Green fava beans soup with bacon and savory. That’s a good one. I need to put everything here into airproof, waterproof, opaque containers. For that I’m going to be using the best solution ever which is Ziploc bags. 800 grams of product here. I guess I’m ready to set this up somewhere. The problem is Okay, that’s it. I hope you enjoyed this video, and if you did then Please give it a like thumbs up and share that over all your social media. You know how it works spread it like butter. Please do consider using dried herbs within your cooking. They are useful, inexpensive, and also they bring so much complexity. So of course my selection of herbs is very personal. So would you fancy a herb that is not sadly within this video? Then please share that in the comments down below. Last people, click subscribe because I make new videos every week, and it’s always always about the food. It’s not always about the recipe. You need to get smarter in the kitchen in order to cook better. Take care stay curious. Bye bye, salut.

100 thoughts on “Don’t Buy Dried Herbs Without Watching This…

  • One "sweet" use for sage that I like to do is to infuse it into blackberry puree and lemon juice either in a filling for a tart, or as the basis for a gin cocktail.

  • Hey brother if you really want to enjoy heaven of herb. Just visit India. It's just heaven for flavours and spices. The onion cutting video you did the person who's from india

  • Sage works with mild fruit, nothing too sweet or too sour. Try it when you have some 'boring' flavored apples or pears. But I prefer it fresh.
    For me, mint is both an excellent dried and fresh herb. Obviously it depends on the use.
    Marjoram is sort of like a milder oregano. So it has it's uses, especially if you don't want that potentially overpowering oregano flavor.

  • Beside those herbs, i use my home made lime powder, black pepper, cinnamon (stick and powder) and star anis manly for my Gin Tonic and some juices, is somwhat hard to use star anis because is strong. I also use my homemade 'colorau,' is a natural red food coloring made from urucum seeds but i think is almost impossible to find in Europe, but you can find easy here in brazil and some south american countries.

  • i tried a sage infused orange sorbe once. I messed up the freezing process, but the taste was great. I infused fresh leaves into a boiling syrup, removed the leaves before cooling and adding the orange juice
    Not sure it would work with dried herbs

  • You could put sage in green tea, so basically every desert that includes green tea could include sage. Or you could just make sweet ice tea

  • I grow my own herbs in my garden. Harvest them, rinse, then let them dry out in the sun over a couple days. put dry herb in a blender and done! has the best and richest flavor than anything I've ever found at any store… My favorite is my purple basil, i use in on rice, pasta, spaghetti, and tilapia.

  • cilantro is needed
    I think you guys call it coriander.
    Literally all mexican food and most all indian food needs it. A lot of Asian stuff needs it too.

  • La sauge, le thym, le laurier et le romarin produisent toute l'année et demandent peut de place et de soin pour prospérer.
    C'est dommage de les consommer séché.
    Sinon tes vidéos sont toujours un plaisir et un bon moyen de réviser son anglais ,)

  • I always have both ground and whole cumin, also fennel seeds… Perfect dry herbs for so many things

  • In terms of parsley i buy fresh like 2-3packs, chop em all up put them in a tupperware, salt them very generously, and put it in the fridge 1 day open, and then covered.
    It slightly dehydrates just enough so it wont spoil, but keeps the fresh aromas and most of the texture. I once managed to keep it for 2 months but then suddenly i got a massive craving for parsley-new potatoes and i ate the whole batch…

  • For you,  guys guys spending your vacances in Spain.
    There are very cheap here and, sure, you can find a corner in you lugaje.
    Thyme = Tomillo
    Bay  = Laurel
    Oregano = Oregano  😉
    Rosemary = Romero
    Sage = Salvia
    Savory = AjedreaTarragon = Estragón
    Saffron = Azafrán
    Clove = Clavo
    Papryca (spicy or sweet) = Pimentón (picante o dulce) (search "de la Vera" in the label, it is a designation of origin) ¡chapeau!

    Any other you can take and test with your favorite plates. Here and in all mediterranean countries.
    Bon apettit.

  • how can you not have potatoes on the rosemary page!!!! :p try sprinkling some very fine chopped rosemary on some baked potatoes, its lovely

  • You can also drink sage, as a tea, in winter, sweetened with honey and with just a drop of cognac. And it will make you feel better if you have sore throat.

  • I've started buying dried herbs from my local market, here in sunny Birmingham (UK), and I've found that they are much cheaper, and there's more variety. Since they contain essential oils which are actively good for our health, I use them every single day.

  • Salut Alex, two questions…No.1 where do you get your sets of draws for your herbs? No.2 why can I not buy Coriander in France? I live near Tulle in Correze and can't find fresh Coriander anywhere, I love Coriander it is my favourite herb for putting into curry😞I tried to grow it but it's quite difficult😢

  • Ahhh Alex….hope you read this even though it is a year on….instead of Ziploc bags….research Mylar bags instead….Ziploc bags are oxygen permeable which will oxidize your herbs eventually. Mylar bags are NOT oxygen porous and can store herbs nearly indefinitely

  • Thanks for the reminder about Savory, I grew it at the last home I lived but I had since forgotten about it 🙂 I will have to buy some seeds

  • Alex, what about freeze dried herbs? I've never bought it, but doesn't freeze drying herbs result in minimal flavor loss?

  • I agree with this so much! Dried parsley has zero flavour, always buy fresh! I would say there are also rules for dried spices- like how to store them and keeping some away from sunlight etc (ex: paprika + sunlight is not a good combination!). Things like preventing garlic powder (unfortunately- can be convenient lol) from caking, etc etc. There is also a lot of scamming in ground spices business (fillers being used to cut down on costs)- or issues like turmeric that have been sitting on shelves for months and lose all their aroma. A lot of these topics Ive covered on my blog. Cheers from another cooking lover in Jamaica 🙂

  • Oh also- have you ever tried a fresh herb called culantro aka chadon beni aka spirit weed? One of my faves- tastes like cilantro but a whole lot more intense and definitely needs to be consumed FRESH 🙂

  • I have got an addiction to Rosmary, when invited to any garden, if I notice a healthy shrub, I ask if I am allowed to eat some of it, fresh, just like that… One of a very long time friend even just now has a rosmary bush next to the entrance, non treated, well flourishing in the British weather at all time.. for me to enjoy..

  • A whole video about Basilic – Basil – please. How to avoid losing its amazing flavour, where the best are grown, and the different types would be most useful for us here in the UK:) When you can.

  • I think sage often is too powerful and weird, but I like to use it as tea. I love sage flowers, and I use them in syrups for cocktails. Three flowers and a squirt of lemon zest in ice water is amazing in the summer! I would love to taste sage syrup on some lemon dessert.

  • +Alex French Guy Cooking – I've often had delicious lemon and sage sorbets and ice creams here in Milan. Make an episode or an arc on iced desserts!

  • My late aunt, Jane, an excellent cook, would steam carrots, then dress them with butter, dill weed, salt , and black pepper. Dill brings out the nutty-flavor of parsnips. The preference and abundance of fresh herbs came after her time. Dried herbs were what we had and used. I still pour dried herbs into the palm of my hand then distribute on or into the food by rubbing my palms together, thereby opening the herb's aromatic bouquet. Yes, I both grow and use fresh herbs, too.

  • My local gelateria makes a cranberry and rosemary sorbet that is wonderful – tangy and earthy. I put a scoop into a dessert glass and pour a little faux champagne over it for a classy fin.

  • There is a way to dry herbs without heat. I cannot take credit for this. This came from a cook by the name of Alton Brown (from the series Good Eats). You take a box fan and several of the cardboard framed air conditioner filters. You will also need several bungee cords.

    1) place the box fan between 2 chairs or boxes.
    2) Lay the herbs in a single layer on each filter.
    3) stack the filters on top of the fan. The fan should be positioned so that it blows upward.
    4) strap the filters to the box fan using the bungee cords.
    5) turn the fan on medium high until the bottom sides of the herbs are dried.
    6) undo the bungee cords and turn the filter stack over and then repeat steps 4 and 5 until the herbs are completely dried.

    This process does not use heat and so it does not destroy as much of the essential oils in the herbs as heat drying would.

  • i 100% approve the "hey, buddy… wanna buy some herbs?" thumbnail. It's 100% why I am even here. I've already got my "dried herbs" for that, but I'll take some of your cooking herbs though. 😉

  • I would add dried ginger and dried garlic. In the context of breads and meatball type dishes I find that the powdered spices distribute the flavors better than the fresh. For example in gingerbread you sometimes get pockets or pieces of ginger in the cake that hold the flavor whereas using powdered ginger melds better into the batter and it tastes like ginger bread not bread with ginger

  • what happened to tarragon? I thought it is used quite a lot in French cooking, like eggs, fish, chicken etc.

  • I'm not a fan of sage myself, but don't they make drops of them? Just go to the pharmacy and you should get them. In Germany you may also get them in any good supermarket.

  • For a sweet usage of sage, you could definitly try sage wine, often found in medival faire like in Provins or Brie-comte-robert (way smaller but closer to paris) 😉

  • I made a long comment on your "12 essential spices" video, but I will make a couple more here, and repeat on tip that has made my cooking life easier:

    First of all, it is possible to become a snob about spices, and go overly crazy about very similar varieties. For example, there are 3 varieties of vanilla bean (In order of stength/cost: Madagascar, Tahiti, Mexico). Are they different? Sure. Are they different enough to warrant having all 3 on hand? I think not. The same goes for saffron. Some micro-varieties are so rare that they originate from one small field in the entire world. Again, is it worthwhile to have multiple varietes? I think not. Just buy the best you can afford, and stick with that.
    Second, while I have many spices…my spice rack, homemade from 1 x 3's, is 6 feet tall by 2 feet wide. That holds many dozens of bottled, dried spices, mixtures and, at the bottom, my vinegar varieties, soy & fish/oyster sauce, etc. Yet, there are some spices I just don't seem to find necessary…particularly savory & chervil. If I had them fresh, I might find uses for them. But, as dried spices, they seem to have little or no flavor/use for me personally.
    Finally, as I said in my other long comment, there are a couple of spices that, when I discovered that they can be bought pre-ground, AND that they retain good flavor in this form, was a real revelation. I am referring particularly to rosemary, bay leaf and, to a slightly lesser extend, anise seed. These are all spices that are difficult to grind to a powder using a home grinder (…at least not in a reasonable amount of time). But, they are also spices that, when added to foods as whole dried forms, never get tender no matter whole long they are cooked. By adding them a a powder, I do not have to worry about digging them out of the food later. Plus, these particular spices are much stronger when ground, so that less is needed in cooking. I now reserve whole dried bay leaf for use as a vermin preventative in bottles of rice, pasta, flours, etc. Whole dried rosemary is reserved for flavoring oils or vinegar, etc.

  • Use mylar foil zip lock bags to savor the flavour. Ordinary plastic bags are more permeable and the flavour will escape faster.

  • Some French guy in the past:
    Ey, oui oui, Pierre, what should I call this new herb I discovered?
    Pierre: I don’t care just don’t name it something stupid
    Random French guy: I don’t know I want people to know what it tastes like when they hear the name, you know?
    Pierre: Just name it something we have croissants to make and nasally laughs to laugh! Name it “savory” for all I care!
    Random French guy:
    *devilish grin

  • Where i'm from sage is usually used like tea (just pure hot water on it, don't boil it), other than that I don't know any other uses.
    Another thing we clean our herbs before storing and using, and it goes like this:
    -Wash any herb or spices with cold water in a bowl (like rice) 2-3 times.
    -Then use mesh strainer to get rid of excess water.
    -After that spread it on a tray and put it outside under the sun to dry/ or in a dry+warm place if it is (cold/raining) outside.

  • Oui larder includes as essential: Cumin/Cumino; Turmeric; Ginger; Cilantro/Coriander; Mustard Seeds; Fennel; Lavender; Rose Hips/Rose Water; Peppermint; Spearmint; Cayenne; Sesame; Black Sesame Seeds; Black Salt; Kosher Salt; Sea Salt; Flor du Sel; Fenugreek Seeds/Fenugreek Leaves; Chives; Anise; Cinnamon; All Spice; Nutmeg; Chervil; Verbena; Lemon Balm; Cardamom; Celery Seeds; Marjaram; Saffron; Spanish Saffron; Paprikas – Sweet, Savory, Hot; Red Pepper Flakes; Tarragon; Vanilla Bean and Watermelon Seeds. Notice Alex we omitted the leafy Herb's. But these are to us an essential herbarium and spice condiment kitchen without defining "Ethnic" traditions. We recently found your channel and enjoy your efforts. We suggest you discuss the "Trinities" as a way to introduce your culinary herb and spice traditions to your audience. We note one of your viewers had no reference for Savory. Not a problem but how then can your viewers know of Verbenas, Chervil or Tahini. Continued success and adventure young man.

  • I wonder would there be too much of a difference if the watery herbs, such as mint are freeze-dried instead of heat dried/air dried.

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