Savory Summer

(Satureia hortensis, Linn.), a little annual plant of

the natural order Labiatae indigenous to Mediterranean countries and

known as an escape from gardens in various parts of the world. In

America, it is occasionally found wild on dry, poor soils in Ohio,

Illinois, and some of the western states. The generic name is derived

from an old Arabic name, Ssattar, by which the whole mint family was

known. Among the Romans bot
summer and winter savory were popular 2,000

years ago, not only for flavoring, but as potherbs. During the middle

ages and until the 18th century it still maintained this popularity. Up

to about 100 years ago it was used in cakes, puddings and confections,

but these uses have declined.

Description.--The plant, which rarely exceeds 12 inches in height, has

erect, branching, herbaceous stems, with oblong-linear leaves, tapering

at their bases, and small pink or white flowers clustered in the axils

of the upper leaves, forming penciled spikes. The small, brown, ovoid

seeds retain their viability about three years. An ounce contains about

42,500 of them, and a quart 18 ounces.

Cultivation.--For earliest use the seed may be sown in a spent hotbed

or a cold frame in late March, and the plants set in the open during

May. Usually, however, it is sown in the garden or the field where the

plants are to remain. In the hotbed the rows may be 3 or 4 inches apart;

in the field they should be not less than 9 inches, and only this

distance when hand wheel-hoes are to be used, and each alternate row is

to be removed as soon as the plants begin to touch across the rows. Half

a dozen seeds dropped to the inch is fairly thick sowing. As the seed is

small, it must not be covered deeply; 1/4 inch is ample. When the rows

are 15 inches apart about 4 pounds of seed will be needed to the acre.

For horse cultivation the drills should be 20 inches apart. Both summer

and winter savory do well on rather poor dry soils. If started in

hotbeds, the first plants may be gathered during May. Garden-sown seed

will produce plants by June. For drying, the nearly mature stems should

be cut just as the blossoms begin to appear. No special directions are

needed as to drying. (See page 25.)

Uses.--Both summer and winter savory are used in flavoring salads,

dressings, gravies, and sauces used with meats such as veal, pork, duck,

and goose and for increasing the palatability of such preparations as

croquettes, rissoles and stews. Summer savory is the better plant of the

two and should be in every home garden.