The savouries are members of the genus Satureja, which comprises about 30 species. Summer savoury (S. hortensis) and winter savoury (S. Montana) are the best known.
S. hortensis is an annual with a branching root system and bushy, finely hairy stems. The entire plant is highly aromatic. S. Montana is a hardy semi evergreen perennial. It is woody at the base and forms a compact bush. It has a heavier aroma, while that of summer savoury is sweeter and more delicate. Both species are native to the Mediterranean region.
The primary use of savoury is in cooking, and the two savouries were among the strongest cooking herbs available to Europeans until world exploration and trade brought them tropical spices like black pepper.
The savouries have been used to enhance the flavour of food for over 2,000 years.
Savoury is commonly used fresh or dried and chopped. It is used in stews, vegetable dishes, pizza toppings, egg dishes, roasting meats, fowl dishes, and fish dishes. Savoury plays an important part in Italian cuisine, particularly when cooking beans.
Medicinal uses :
The most common medicinal use of savoury today is in the treatment of gastrointestinal enteritis, the inflammation of the intestinal tract. In some folk cultures, savoury has been used to increase libido.
Bold and peppery in flavour.
Other names :