Pork is a very versatile meat, and works well with common herbs. When roasted or cooked in stews, herbs with very strong flavours like sage and rosemary can help add richness and a depth of flavour to the meat. When cooked lightly or quickly, gentler herbs like dill and parsley are preferable.
Rosemary is originally native to the Mediterranean. It grows on a bush and comes in the form of sturdy twigs with small, pointed leaves that have a strong aromatic flavour and work well with a variety of meats. It is traditionally used in pork roasts and stews, and to flavour sauces. Rosemary is available dried, but has a stronger, more distinctive taste when it is used fresh.
Sage consists of small leaves with a pungent flavour that works particularly well with pork. It is commonly used to flavour sausages and pork stuffing, as the taste of sage works well with cured and seasoned meat. Due to its strong flavour, it is used in small amounts; dried sage has a particularly strong taste, and should be used sparingly.
Parsley comes in a number of varieties, but flat-leafed (Italian) and curly are most common. Generally speaking, flat-leaf parsley has a stronger, more distinctive taste, while curly parsley is favoured mainly due to its attractive appearance. Parsley is used widely around the world, often in conjunction with cilantro; it is used to flavour soups, stocks and sauces, and is often chopped and sprinkled on top of dishes as a garnish.
Dill is native to the Mediterranean, but today is more commonly associated with the cuisines of northern Europe and Scandinavia. Dill grows in long, sturdy stalks, and both the leaves and the seeds are used as flavourings. Dill works particularly well with grilled or roasted pork chops, especially in conjunction with other pork-friendly flavours like mustard, honey and mushrooms. It has a fragrant flavour and is fairly light on the palate.
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