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This native Mediterranean herb has been enjoyed for centuries for both its culinary and medicinal uses. The name comes from a derivative of the Latin salvus, meaning "safe," a reference to the herb's believed healing powers. The narrow, oval, gray-green leaves of this pungent herb are slightly bitter and have a musty mint taste and aroma. Small bunches of fresh sage are available year-round in many supermarkets.

Choose sage by its fresh color and aroma. Refrigerate wrapped in a paper towel and sealed in a plastic bag for up to 4 days. Dried sage comes whole, rubbed (crumbled) and ground. It should be stored in a cool, dark place for no more than 6 months. Sage is commonly used in dishes containing pork, cheese and beans, and in poultry and game stuffing's. Sausage makers also frequently use it to flavour their products.

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