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Defining herbs powdered or leafy

April 10, 1980

People often ask where "whole sage" or "whole tarragon" leaves can be purchased. The term "whole" in dried herbs refers to an unground product. But in practice, "whole" is usually composed of small bits of leaves, not the original leaf intact.

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Bay leaves are the exception. They are normally packed as entire leaves. The distinction in cooking is that the ground, or powdered product is instantly ready for use and blends into a dish completely.