Bouquet Garni is an assortment of various herbs which in French means “garnished bouquet” and signifies a common cooking method of France. This collection of herbs and spices is also known as herb posy, bouquet fagot, kitchen bouquet and garnished faggot in many countries of the world. There are various bouquet garni recipes and are used to add flavor to various dishes. The common herbs used for making this kitchen bouquet are parsley, thyme, rosemary, cloves and bay leaves.
History and Origin of Bouquet Garni Recipes
The mention of Bouquet Garni was first done by Alan Davidson, a renowned food historian in his book called “The Oxford Companion to Food”. The write-up mentioned that a strong spice mixture was used in flavoring and masking the flavor of various foods in the Middle Ages. The mixture became popular in 1600s in England and other countries of the world.
In 1656, Pierre de Lune also described his bundle which included thymes, cloves, chives, chervil and parsley, rolled in a bacon slice. This was one of the bouquet garni recipes with variations and at present date many such variations exist.
Method of Preparing Bouquet Garni
Bouquet garni can be made by using both fresh and dried herbs. To make a fresh bouquet garni, two sprigs of thyme are combined with five sprigs of parsley and a bay leaf. The herbs are tied with a string and dropped in the pot while cooking. Dried herbs can also be used for making kitchen bouquets. Tarrago, parsley, rosemary, thyme and bay leaf are put in square shaped cheesecloth and tied with a string. The pouch is allowed to simmer with rest of the dish ingredients.
Variations in Bouquet Garni Recipe
The commonly used ingredients of bouquet garni recipe are parsley, thyme and bay leaf; however, marjoram, savory, fennel, garlic, onions and celery are also used in many bouquet garni preparations.
Popular Bouquet Garni Recipes
- Mix and match kitchen bouquet- Parsley and chives are combined with mild herbs like basil, cilantro and marjoram and some strong flavored herbs like sage, thyme, spearmint and rosemary.
- Aromatic garam masala- It is one of the popular bouquet garni recipes, used commonly in Indian cooking. Cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg and cloves are crushed in a powdered form and used for flavoring.
- Five spice powder- This recipe is a perfect blend of sweet, spicy, salty and sour flavors. This powder is popular in Chinese and Vietnamese cooking.
Culinary Use of Bouquet Garni
Bouquet garnis are used for enhancing the taste of casseroles and stews. Chicken, pork and other meat dishes can also be flavored by using these aromatic kitchen bouquets. Using herb posies in the tea preparation add to the taste of tea. These bouquets are also commonly used in stocks and broths.
Trivia- Bouquet Garni
Bouquet Garni makes perfect gift items. The herbs can be wrapped in a muslin cloth and presented with a personal note.