The fresh and dried leaves are used frequently in traditional Mediterranean cuisine as an herb; they have a bitter, astringent taste, which complements a wide variety of foods. A tisane can also be made from them. They are extensively used in cooking, and when burned give off a distinct mustard smell, as well as a smell similar to that of burning which can be used to flavour foods while barbecuing.

Rosemary in flower

Rosemary is extremely high in iron, calcium, and Vitamin B6.

Sprigs of rosemary

 
2 sprigs of rosemary

When a sprig of rosemary is referred to in a recipe, cut a single stem around 13-15 cm (5-6") long.

The leaves are easily stripped by pulling the stem tip first through a pinched forefinger and thumb. If the sprigs are to be used in a stew or casserole it's probably easier to add the sprig whole then remove and discard once the cooking has finished.

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