The 2015 Herb of the Year is savory, so named by the International Herb Association.
Lamiaceae satureja, is the botanical name of savory which comes in two varieties, summer savory (Satureja hortensis) and winter savory (Saturja montana).
Savory is native to the Mediterranean area and has been used for centuries for culinary and medicinal purposes. As with many herbs, it spread around Europe with the Romans who believed it enhanced sexual prowess.
Like it’s relatives, rosemary and thyme in the family Lamiaceae, it is an aromatic herb. Both varieties are frequently paired with beans, to aid digestion and combat flatulence.
Summer savory, an annual, is the more commonly used with a milder and delicate flavor. It best retains its flavor when added at the end of the cooking process.
Winter savory, a woodier perennial, can be started from cuttings. Plants can also be found at garden centers specializing in herbs. Both can be planted by seed in the garden in full sun as soon as the danger of frost is past.