‘Let the one burdened by sleep soften Savory with vinegar and, washing his head with it, he’ll dissolve the sleepy disease.’
– Henry of Huntingdon (c.1088 – c.1157)
As well as his description of it as a medieval version of a double espresso, Henry also advocates the use of Savory in a fresh herb sauce to accompany cold pork, proving he had great gastronomic taste as well. The two versions of Savory (Satureja) that are best for cooking – Winter and Summer – are wonderful when added to flavour darker meats, vegetables, and pulses. Savory adds a hot and slightly peppery taste to dishes: throw a few sprigs in to a casserole as you would thyme or rosemary, or remove the fresh leaves from their stalks, chop finely and toss in a salad or mix through a vinaigrette. Savory is another popular herb in the 12th century recipe collection that I’m working on… more to follow!