Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis, is from the Lamiaceae family (mint family) and is closely related to basil, hyssop, lavender, marjoram, mint, oregano, sage, savory and thyme. Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean region. Due to its strong aroma, it is often used in small amounts.
Rosemary is a very difficult herb to buy online, as it can be hard to determine what type of “cut” a spice company is selling. The three most common are whole, cracked and ground. It’s certainly easy enough to understand ground rosemary, but where it gets a bit trickier is whole needles vs cracked. Whole needles are often difficult to work with and can get caught in your teeth. Whole rosemary is an approximately 1″ long needle like leaf that is best used in longer cooking processes such as goulashes or stews. For shorter cook times, or for using in blends, we prefer to use a cracked rosemary needle. This rosemary is considered cracked rosemary leaves.
Rosemary has .5% to 2.5% volatile oil content, primarily 1,8 cineol (which is responsible for it’s cool eucalyptus aroma), α-pinene, camphor, borneol and bornyl acetate.
Rosemary is also called ikleel aljabal (Arabic), mi tieh hsiang (Mandarin), rosmarin (French), rosmarein (German), rusmary (Hindi), rosmarino (Italian), mannenro (Japanese), alecrim (Portuguese), rozmarin (Russian) and romero or rosmario (Spanish).