Q:

What is a dill sprig?

A:

A dill sprig is a cutting of the fine, fern-like leaves of the plant Anethum graveolens, or dill weed. It is a term used as a loose measurement of the herb, usually in recipes.

The use of dill dates back to at least 3000 B.C. when it was mentioned in an ancient Egyptian medical textbook. It is still used today for inflammation, fever, cough, bronchitis, hemorrhoids, spasms, flatulence, lack of appetite, kidney disease and liver and gallbladder problems.

Most people know dill for its use in cooking and preserving. Its seeds, leaves and stems add a signature flavor to dill pickles, and it is used in foods all over the world. Fresh dill sprigs are preferable to dried dill because it loses its flavor quickly.

Dill sprigs should be washed and dried before use, and stored in the refrigerator wrapped in a damp towel, or with the stems in a glass of water like cut flowers. Dills sprigs stay fresh in the refrigerator for about two days. They can also be frozen in an airtight container. They lose flavor quickly when heated, so they should be added to foods at the last moment. Dill sprigs are typically used with fish or meat, and in yogurt, breads and salads.

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