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Features

Fall Flavours: Sage

Sage is one of our favourite herbs.

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Autumn is finally here and all we want to do is cosy up beside a warm fire while enjoying some seasonal fall flavours.

When temperatures start to lower and leaves start to change colours, we know that autumn has officially arrived. It's our absolute favourite season, as we love chunky jumpers, hot chocolate and scarf season, but mostly we love the reintroduction of some of our favourite flavours.

Of course, flavours know no time-constraints, but there are some that just taste better in autumn, which is what this new series is all about. Over the next few weeks, we'll be taking a closer look at some of our favourite fall flavours to help you adjust to the demise of summer.

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Getty Images.

READ MORE: Fall Flavours: Cinnamon 

Why Is Sage So Popular In Autumn?

Of all herbs, we think sage is the most autumnal. It comes from the mint family and has a slightly sweet, yet savoury flavour. Historically, sage was mostly used for medicinal purposes as it supposedly had healing properties. 

In China, the herb was so popular that four pounds of Chinese tea was traded for just one pound of sage tea. This was mainly because it was thought to cure colds, joint pain, kidney disease and typhoid fever. In ancient Rome, the herb was lauded for its substantial healing properties, which were so important that it was listed in the Roman guide for illness control. These days, we know sage better as a natural antiseptic or as part of 'thinker's tea', which may be able to help alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer's and depression.

Sage is so popular at this time of year because it is widely used in Thanksgiving stuffing. North American fall culture has spread throughout the world, so we now associate their favourite flavours with the season. American Thanksgiving takes place in November, while it's held in October in Canada, so it makes sense that while the centre of the western world prepares for one of its biggest occasions, we start to see their favourite flavours appear on menus and in supermarkets. 

Sage is also in season right now, so lots of chefs start to use it more and more in their dishes, especially as it goes so well with so many other flavours.

Flavour Pairings

Sage is extremely versatile, so it works really well with both savoury and, surprisingly, sweet dishes. In terms of desserts, it adds a savoury note to recipes, so we like to make almond friands with brown butter and sage, similar to this recipe from Ottolenghi.

In terms of savoury flavours, sage works so well with pork, tomato, chicken, bacon eggs and blue cheese. While we have lots of gorgeous recipes that use sage on the site, some of our favourites include this pasta and pumpkin, chicken saltimbocca with fontina and this salt-rubbed turkey. Try them out and let us know what you think!