I share with you one of my articles published in Better Homes and Gardens: Outdoor living and ideas. Enjoy!
As a Puerto Rican, I must have certain herbs in your back yard in order to have an excellent meal. We boricuas use them almost in everything. For example recao –what you call wild coriander –is good in any beans and a key ingredient in sofrito. This condiment-a mix of garlic, tomatoes, green and sweet peppers, and onions-has other herbs, too, such as cilantrillo (maidenhair fern) and orégano (wild marjoram).
Most of the herbs I’ve heard about in the cooking networks, I know them by their English names. Asking about them in the local nurseries was frustrated because must of the people know them by their native names.
When I learned all the names of the ones I wanted to have, I bought some seeds and started planting early in spring. Now I know what you mean when you say lemon balm-you mean limoncillo; anise, anís; parsley, you’re saying perejil; thyme is tomillo; basil is albahaca; the spearmint is just menta; and lavender, lavanda. With this in mind, I just relax amongst the aromatic herbs, for I will not be lost in translation.