Flavor First: Herbs for Pottage

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Cabbage has been cooking in the kitchens of humanity for a very long time. Illustration from Kuchenmeisterey (Cooking Mastery) by Johann Froschauer, Augsburg, 1507.

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A potherb can be any herbaceous plant cooked in broth with meat or vegetables. Around 1525, an alphabetical list of “Herbys necessary for a gardyn” was compiled for English landowner Thomas Fromond. Known as the Fromond List, it is important because it identifies plants popular at the end of the Medieval period and groups them into categories, such as herbs for pottage; for sauce; for salad; to distill; for ornament; for beauty; and others. Fromond’s Herbs for Pottage list included these modern plants:

• Basil  
• Beet  
• Borage  
• Cabbage  
• Caraway  
• Chervil  
• Chives   
• Coriander
• Dandelion
• Dill
• Fennel
• Leek
• Lettuce
• Marjoram
• Mint
• Nettle
• Onion
• Orach
• Parsley
• Pot marigold
• Radish
• Sage
• Spinach
• Thyme 

Click here for the original article, Flavor First: The Humble Cabbage .