Where does that delightful smell come from? A question often heard when the lid of cooking pots is lifted. The chances are high that this lovely aroma comes from a cheerful bouquet of fragrant herbs. This bouquet is known to all of us as a bouquet garni or a herb bundle. But do you know which herbs are used and how to make a herb bundle yourself? We'll tell you everything, starting with 'What is a bouquet garni?'

What is a bouquet garni?

A bouquet garni, also known as a herb bundle, is a handy and flavorful tool used during cooking. And when we say 'flavorful,' we mean it literally. It's essentially a gathering of herbs that you can use to impart a savory aroma to sauces, soups, or stews. The classic bouquet garni typically consists of parsley stems, some sprigs of thyme, and a few bay leaves. The herbs are tied together or tucked into something so that they can be easily removed after some time, preventing any annoying twigs from ending up in the dish itself.

How to make a bouquet garni?

Making a bouquet garni or herb bundle is very simple. It all starts with buying fresh herbs. Then, trim the parsley stems and thyme sprigs to roughly the same length. Lay them on the bay leaves and then roll everything up. Tie it all together with some twine, and you're done.

Some "did you know" facts and tips about the bouquet garni

  1. Did you know that a herb bundle is often used in brewing beer too? Indeed, brewing is a bit like cooking, and the bouquet garni often serves as the secret ingredient in the brew. The exact composition of the secret herb mix determines the taste of the beer. Even for seasoned beer aficionados, it's often guesswork to identify the exact ingredients of the herb bundle.
  2. Avoid using colored twine to tie your herb bundle. The color might end up in your dish, and you wouldn't want blue smurf soup.Besides using twine to tie your bouquet garni, you can also use other aids. Some people use a (tea) cloth.
  3. There are also special metal containers or you can use tea infusers to hold your herbs.

Trying, experimenting, and learning

Indeed, traditionally the herb bundle consists of thyme, bay leaf, and parsley stems. But there's nothing stopping you from letting your imagination run wild. Experimenting is learning. If you dive into cooking pots regularly, you'll know which herbs go with which dishes. To get you started, here are some tips:

  1. Add some sage to pasta sauces or tomato sauces.
  2. A herb bundle with rosemary is perfect for dishes with lamb and for Mediterranean stews.
  3. Adding lovage gives the typical bouillon flavor and pairs well with many dishes and sauces.

You can buy fresh herbs online at Taste Up

For your fresh herbs, you can turn to Taste Up online. They have a wide range of fresh herbs, edible flowers, and peppers.

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