Rosemary for Remembrance

Share this post


In Hamlet, Shakespeare’s Ophelia dispenses some crazy wisdom in the scene when she hands out flowers and herbs: “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.” Miss O might’ve been referring to one of rosemary’s properties, known since ancient times—its ability to improve memory. Sprigs of rosemary were used as a symbol of remembrance and fidelity at weddings and war memorials. Also funerals. Shakespeare may be giving us a hint that Miss O will soon exit stage left to go sleep with the fishes.

In a 2003 psychology study in the UK, subjects had the scent of rosemary pumped into their cubicles. “Rosemary produced a significant enhancement of performance for overall quality of memory and secondary memory factors, but also produced an impairment of speed of memory compared to controls.” In other words—better memory, but slower recall. It’s as if the subjects were savoring their memories—rather like rosemary helps us savor our food.

This woody evergreen shares a chemical bond with pine and eucalyptus, making it one of the strongest of the aromatic herbs. Rosemary pairs well with roasted meats and root veggies, especially potatoes. It can even be used as a savory counterpoint in sweet treats like jams or cookies. It’s most potent when used fresh, but if you have an abundance, hang sprigs in a warm, dry place to let air-dry, then remove brittle leaves (discarding stems) and store in an airtight container.

Heidi Lewis writes about farms, bees, and fruit from her home in Sonoma County, CA. She's been with The FruitGuys since they were FruitKids.


Subscribe to the WEEKLY BITE

* indicates required


Recent Food articles:

History of the tomato
April 18, 2019
How to prepare Ataulfo mango
April 4, 2019
Making the most of citrus season
February 14, 2019
Three hearty soup recipes you can enjoy all month
February 4, 2019
Tempting winter fruits to brighten your weekly mix
January 31, 2019
Easy meal prep recipes you can eat all week
January 7, 2019
How to make latkes and applesauce
December 6, 2018
The food history of Thanksgiving
November 22, 2018
Winter and summer oranges
August 23, 2018
How to make vegetarian sushi at home
August 7, 2018

More recent articles:

Quick, easy steps to spruce up your office space
May 14, 2019
Grilled portobello recipe
May 9, 2019
How to prepare physically and mentally for race day
May 9, 2019
Three simple ways to enjoy watermelon radishes
May 2, 2019
Beehives, swales, and vermicomposting, oh my!
April 29, 2019
Easy spring salad recipe
April 25, 2019
Reduce plastic use with these earth-friendly alternatives
April 22, 2019
Spring fruit varieties and how to enjoy them
April 16, 2019
How to make sure you’re getting enough iron in your diet
April 11, 2019
How fostering psychological safety increases performance
April 8, 2019

About Us

Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.