I’ll admit it, I like watching cooking shows. I like to see the techniques professionals chefs use when they prepare a meal, and I even tried to apply one of those techniques when I was cutting vegetables on my wood cutting board the other day. But I always wondered, the cooks on those shows often use fresh herbs instead of dried ones…What do fresh herbs have that dried ones don’t.
It’s all a matter of taste:
Whether you like fresh or dried herbs is truly a matter of personal taste. And the debate over fresh herbs vs. dried herbs has been going on in kitchens across the globe for many centuries now. Depending on which type of meal you are preparing, it is sometimes better to substitute dried herbs for fresh ones and vice-versa. Also, keep in mind that the flavour found in fresh herbs isn’t as concentrated as the one found in dried herbs, so always add a little more fresh herbs when preparing a dish. When substituting dry herbs for fresh ones, use this conversion to avoid flavor mix-ups: one tablespoon of fresh herbs equals one teaspoon of dried ones. If you are cooking a dish that is meant to be served warm, add the herbs (fresh or dried) at the very end of the preparation. On the other hand, if you plan a chilled dish like a pasta salad for example, it’s best to add the herbs at the beginning of the dish to give the flavours a chance to meld together so no single flavour overpowers the others.
How to care for fresh herbs:
Dried herbs are easy to care for. It’s best not to keep them over your stove like most households do, because a prolonged exposure to heat and light will cause the flavours of the seasonings to deteriorate. On the other hand, fresh herbs are a little harder to care for. If you buy them in a store or use an indoor herb garden kit, they are some rules you have to follow to keep them fresh for a long time:
You can also freeze fresh herbs by placing them in plastic bags and storing them in the freezer. Dried herbs can last for a year. When fresh herbs have been place in a glass of water, they can last for about a week.