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In Need of Some Sage Advice?

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Q. I have some sage growing in the backyard. Can I use fresh sage in my turkey stuffing?

I also have some that I dried. I know that the store-bought stuff is called “rubbed sage.” What would I do to make the dried stuff “rubbed?

— Laura

A. Sage is an herb that grows well in the area, and it adds a sweet savory taste to stuffing at Thanksgiving.

You can use fresh in place of dried, but you should use about using twice as much fresh as dried, because the dried herbs have such concentrated flavors.

When you cook with fresh herbs, you want to add them toward the end of the cooking process. That said, you’ll probably want to use dried with your stuffing, so you can include it in before you insert it in the bird. If you are making dressing, it likely won’t matter.

Rubbed sage is dried sage rubbed, often in your hands, to make it powdery.

Sage has a lengthy history both in the medicinal and the culinary field that dates back to Ancient Egypt. According to the website, it has been used as everything from a means of easing gastrointestinal distress to a treatment for nervous disorders and delirium. It is still considered beneficial, the site says:

“It is thought that sage is similar to rosemary in its ability to improve brain function and memory. In a study involving 20 healthy volunteers sage oil caused indicated improvements in word recall and speed of attention. Meanwhile the activity of sage and its constituents have been investigated in the search for new drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease with promising results.”

Even if it only imparts its uniquely delicious flavor, sage is something to be thankful for.

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