There are two main kinds:
- santoreggia: summer savory (Satureia hortensis)
- santoreggia montana: winter savory (Satureia montana)
The word comes from the Latin satura, indicating a mixed dish, usually of legumes, which was seasoned with santoreggia and other herbs. According to my dictionary, there is also an influence of the word santo (holy) as a reference to the therapeutic properties of the plant, which have been known since ancient times. Santoreggia has a flavor reminiscent of thyme, with mint and pepper tones. Besides being used as seasoning, it is an ingredients of herb liqueurs.
My experience with savory prior to last Sunday, when I bought the lovely plant you can see in the photo, was exactly equal to zero, but I will catch up rapidly. I used a few leaves right away to season an improptu salad I made with quinoa, a roasted red bell pepper, grilled tofu and toasted pistachios (pistacchi, which I will talk about in an upcoming post) and I could taste it among the other herbs I had used.
My next step will be to 'do as the Romans did' and use santoreggia to season legumes, like the lentils (lenticchie) I have in my cupboard.