What is Italian Seasoning?
Italian seasoning is an herb blend used in many Italian or Italian-American dishes. The flavors lend themselves well to the hearty and often rich flavors of Italy. This blend is composed of dried and ground herbs, including oregano, marjoram, thyme, basil and rosemary. These flavors create a sweat and spiced blend of peppery and and mildly sharp tastes. The spice is a mix of muted green colors.
What does Italian Seasoning Taste Like?
...Sweet is one of the five main tastes. It has smooth and round notes in its flavor profile. Sweet is a naturally occurring flavor in many foods, including fruits, berries, winter squashes, sugarcane, and honey. The sweet taste in these foods is due to a higher sugar content. Sweetness is characteristic of desserts and is used as an accent in savory foods.
...Oregano is an herb in the mint family and grows on thin and delicate stalks that produce tiny oblong leaves with tapered ends. These leaves are less than half an inch in length. Oregano has a mildly fuzzy texture and is thin and delicate. The green herb has a sharp and peppery flavor that is pungent, slightly bitter, green and a bit minty. When eaten, raw oregano creates a stringent feeling in the mouth. This herb is used in many cuisines and can be found frequently in Italian dishes, such as tomato sauce.
...Marjoram is an herb in the mint family and grows on thin brown stalks. The small, green oblong leaves are used fresh, or dried and ground into flakes to season food. Marjoram looks similar to oregano and the flavors are somewhat akin, with marjoram holding a more delicate flavor and without the spicy bite that oregano has. Flavors within the herb can be described as zesty, herbal and with citrus notes. Marjoram pairs well with meats, vegetables and soups.
...Thyme is an herb used in various cuisines for its gently sharp and cool pungency. A minty edge is present in its flavor. It grows on thin stalks and has very small tapered green leaves with a hint of white at the edges. The herb is often dried and takes on a muted green color. It goes well in soups and with meats, grains and vegetables.
...Dried basil is an aromatic herb. Fresh green basil leaves are dried and often ground into tiny flakes. Dried basil can be used year round, as this herb only grows in the warm months of the year. The dried herb is a muted green color, with an herbal, spicy and green zesty flavor. It can be added as a seasoning to salad dressings and a variety of savory dishes.
...Rosemary is a woody herb and grows on a plant that looks like a small bush. The dense stalks are reminiscent of a Christmas tree, with the many skinny rosemary leaves situated much like fir needles. However, rosemary is a soft leaf and has a very strong aromatic smell. This smell is sharp, yet pleasing and refreshingly green. Dried rosemary smells similar and is dried using air or mild heat. The leaves remain fairly intact and are added to potatoes and meat. The flavor has a quality that could be considered distantly like mint, but sharper and with a hint of bitterness.
...Sage is an herb used primarily in various Western and Middle Eastern cuisines, but can be found outside of these regions. The herb grows on tender green stalks and the 1-2 inch leaves are long, tapered and fuzzy. Dried ground sage is fluffy and broken into tiny pieces. The herb is green and tastes astringent, bitter and sweet. Sage is a popular herb in American Thanksgiving dishes and is usually used in savory foods.