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Subject: Savory information
From: Chris Reeve
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 96 21:17:40 -30000

Common Name: Summer Savory, Winter Savory
Latin Name: Satureja hortensis, Satureja montana
Member of: Mint Family (Labiatae)

Growing requirements: Soil 6.8 pH, full sun, average soil Summer savory is used as an annual in most places; winter savory is perennial. Winter savory only gets a few inches high, while summer savory can grow to more than 2 feet. Pinch savory regularly to promote bushiness. You can harvest several times a season by cutting off about the top third.

Folklore: The genus's Latin name is a derivative of the word "satyr", the mythical half-man, half-goat creature. It was said that the savories belonged to the satyrs.

Winter savory was thought to decrease sexual drive, and summer savory to increase sexual drive. (Guess which became more popular!) The satyrs were notoriously lecherous creatures!

In the language of flowers, including savory in a bouquet means "the truth is bitter".

Culinary uses:

Winter savory is more strongly flavored than summer savory.

Known literally as the "bean herb" in German, this goes well with all kinds of beans, particularly string/green beans. Also for legumes (pulses). Good with cabbage and brussel sprouts.

Use anywhere you'd use thyme (which for me is everywhere!). Add it to bread crumbs before using them for stuffing or breading.

Combine with garlic and lemon as a marinade for fish.


Steep savory in cider vinegar and use this in the winter for salads etc.
Dry leaves whole and crush just before using.
MIx with butter and use this butter for freshly cooked vegetables.

Other uses:

Good for indigestion and as a carminative (reducing gas).
Said to relieve the pain of a beesting when rubbed on.

From: Joyce Schillen <

Savory also makes an attractive border plant, and I've used annual savory in flower arrangements, fresh and dried.


OK, it's Savory this week. Great Herb. There are about 30 varieties of this one altho' the 2 well known ones are winter and summer. It was the main available culinary in Europe until the Europeans started to explore the world and found black pepper among other spices. It has been a flavor enhancer for 2,000 years.

Since Chris does a lot of research on the logical side of herbs I shall keep to the magic and folk lore I've read about.

The Romans introduced it to England during Ceasars' reign ( and this is not to insult any Brits out there because I love England... they sure can grow beautiflul herbs but why don't they use them when they cook...whew...nobody ever goes to England for the food...)

It is under the sign Mercury, its powers are mental and it brings on sexual regularity ( I have no idea if that has connection with the other regularity of our bodies). It has been used as an aphorodisiac...due to the genus connection of the name "savory" and mythological satyrs. It was suppose to belong to them. If you want it to help you to strenthen your mind you must carry it. It doesn't make you smart if you eat it. Culpepper recommended it to cure deafness. Except for the aphordisiac part it seems to be pretty boring...but what it does for food is the magic part.

My favorite bean salad recipes follows. My cooking classes always loves this one.

Bohnensalat (Green Bean Salad) Serves 4

Blend the following thoroughly:
3 T (45 ml) red wine vinegar
3 T virgin olive oil (can't use vegetable oil)
½ cup chicken stock
2 t salt
5 turns freshly ground pepper
1 T finely chopped fresh dill
1 T finely chopped fresh parsley
1 T fresh savory or 1 ½ t dried savory

Set this all aside

Into boiling water with 1 t salt and 3 sprigs of savory add 1 pound fresh reen beans cut into 2 inch lengths. Boil them on moderate heat for about 10 to 15 minutes or until they are tender but slightly firm. Drain immediately in colander with cold water running over don't want to over cook them. Drain completely (you want little water on them) Transfer to the bowl with the dressing and chill for AT LEAST 1 hour.


I'm glad that savory was chosen for the "Herb of the Week". It has recently passed basil as my all time favorite herb.

I love to use it with steamed vegetables either in combination with other herbs or alone. It is great in omletts. It taste great in almost any tomato based Italian dish.

Because of this I include it in my Italian Herb blend along with basil, oregano and thyme. This makes a fantastic topping for garlic toast.

I would love to hear of more uses for savory and some recipes. I use summer savory because I think it has more flavor and is very easy to use.

From: Esther Czekalski

I had a winter savory plant in Michigan that I couldn't kill. Since moving I'm still developing places for perenials so I grew summer savory last year. It didn't do too well. I planted it next to the beans but they grew faster. I think the plants were too shaded.

From: Laura Michaels

With regards to savory, the only information I can share was that I grew some winter savory when I was living in Texas. The winter savory is a lot more hardy than summer savory so if you prefer perennial plants and are in a warm climate, I would recommend it. Also if you're in a cold climate and want something that will have a better chance of surviving the frosts, you may want to try it. I have heard that summer savory is better for culinary purposes, but since I only grew the winter variety, I am unable to compare the two myself. The winter savory did very well over the winter and managed to survive the frosts in Arlington, Texas when I was growing it.

From: Esther

Winter savory is kind of attractive. In Michigan it was a low growing evergreen plant. Never got as big as my thyme plant but similar growth habbit with slightly heavier stems. It might do well in the front of a border.

Summer savory is not an attractive plant. I checked my herb book last night and it even says so. Taller that the winter savory, kinda stringy and thin looking but it tastes greate. Book told me to plant it near the beans but I goofed and put it on the north side. Beans grew faster and shaded it.

I bought both kinds in pots from a nursery and planted them in the spring. Winter savory was perennial im MI, summer savory not.

I would like more ideas about preserving them, too.


From: (Dorothy McLeod)

Just a couple of notes to add to the SAVORY discussion. Use it when you are cooking any sort of dried bean or legume to cut down on the gas they cause. And to add to the bit about satyrs -- in the south of France they call it pebre d'ae -- or donkey pepper. I used to wonder why and now I think I know.


OH SAVORY--another really good thing to do with savory is to put a sprig of it as the last thing in your peaches if you are canning them. If you don't can, just heat the juice of a purchased can to simmer add the savory and the peaches. Cool and it is wonderful.

Culinary herb FAQ: