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04 September 2012

Ingredient Substitution: Savory

I know you're probably thinking "What the heck is "savory" anyway?"  Well, first things first, it is an herb closely related to the mint family that has a strong peppery flavor, it's often used in Mediterranean cooking to flavor beans, mushrooms, vegetables, and meats, and there are typically two varieties - summer savory (mildly spicy flavor) and winter savory (stronger, less refined flavor than summer savory).

Right, so now that we know what savory is, what would be an acceptable substitute?

The most commonly suggested substitute for either the winter or summer variety of savory is thyme OR thyme plus a pinch of sage or mint; keep in mind that thyme is more strongly flavored than savory, so start with about half as much as called for in the recipe and work up from there.

Other possibilities include marjoram or poultry seasoning or Italian seasoning.  If you opt to use one of the seasoning blends, read the ingredients first - most contain some savory along with a host of other herbs and spices, so the blend may strongly affect the flavor of your recipe.


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