The first time I encountered rosemary (โรสแมรี่) was not in any sort of food, but in a song.
Are you going to Scarborough Fair
Parsley sage rosemary and thyme
Remember me to one who was there
She once was a true love of mine
I grew up listening to Simon & Garfunkel version, and always thought it was strange that the refrain was a list of herbs in a ballad about lost lovers.
Thanks to the internet, I found out that the song is actually a traditional English folksong, and that Scarborough Fair itself dates all the way back to the medieval ages. Herbs were associated with different meanings: parsley eliminated bitterness, removing of bitter emotions); sage was wisdom; rosemary represented remembrance and fidelity in relationships, and thyme symbolized strength and courage.
Perhaps rosemary was associated with memory and relationships, due to its property of long-lasting fragrance. Rosemary adds a piney-floral bass note that lingers deep, even when it’s dried. Rosemary stimulates the immune system and improves circulation. In the past, it was believed to improve memory.
Rosemary can be used in cooking with both young and mature forms, leaf and stem. It is mostly used with meats and baked goods, usually roasted, baked, or grilled. Roasting a chicken with rosemary leaves is a classic. If you have tough older rosemary branches, strip off the leaves, and use the woody stems as a skewers for grilling chicken, shrimp or other meats. You can also toast nuts and toss them hot in a mix of rosemary leaves, salt, sugar and a little cayenne or chili powder, which make a delicious snack.