The Official Ranking Of Herbs, From Worst To Best

An entirely scientific review.

33. Cress.

Victor Bayon / Flickr: formalfallacy / CC

Pros: Such an average herb. You may not be able to do anything exciting with it, but since you always know what to expect, it will never disappoint you.

Cons: Without egg, it’s nothing.

32. Catnip.

Jennifer Lamb / Flickr: lambj / CC

Pros: It can be used to relieve colds.

Cons: You can eat it, but no one knows how to prepare it. Also it grows near stinging nettles, which is dangerous..

31. Stevia.

tJj / Flickr: hebam / CC

Pros: You can use it to replace sugar in icing and cakes, which will make you feel very virtuous.

Cons: It’s just not as tasty as sugar.

30. Patchouli.

Mike Cohen / Flickr: mike_c / CC

Pros: It smells lovely and earthy, and makes gorgeous incense.

Cons: Does anyone know how to cook it?

29. Parsley.

Jørgen Schyberg / Flickr: mrjorgen / CC

Pros: It’s uncomplicated. If you’re cooking with parsley, you know what to expect.

Cons: Such a boring herb.

28. Anise.

Doug McAbee / Flickr: mrmac09 / CC

Pros: It’s a cheeky herb, because it’s an aphrodisiac.

Cons: It’s definitely an acquired taste.

27. Borage.

mwms1916 / Flickr: mmwm / CC

Pros: If you want to find some, you have to forage for borage, which is an excellent sounding activity.

Cons: It almost looks too pretty to eat.

26. Bay leaves.

Sydney Wired / Flickr: misswired / CC

Pros: They require no preparation. You just drop one your dish and leave it to do its magic.

Cons: Eat a whole one, and you’ll die. Maybe.

25. Chervil.

Alexandre Dulaunoy / Flickr: adulau / CC

Pros: It’s a more aniseed-y, better parsley. Also if you put it in tea, it aids digestion.

Cons: It loses its flavour easily.

24. Lemongrass.

Jenny Konrad / Flickr: queen_of_subtle / CC

Pros: It’s so good in all Thai curries and dumpling broths.

Cons: Such a sixth form herb. You’ve definitely tried to make lemongrass shots your thing. It definitely didn’t go well.

23. Sassafras.

Maggie / Flickr: mmwm / CC

Pros: “Sassafras” is possibly the most fun word to say. Also it goes in root beer, which is delicious.

Cons: There’s not a whole lot more you can do with it.

22. Chamomile.

data smog / Flickr: data-smog / CC

Pros: When you’re tired and stressed and everything is bad, there’s nothing better than a mug of chamomile tea. And there’s basically no summer dessert that isn’t improved by chamomile cream.

Cons: It can’t really be used in savory dishes.

21. Sorrel.

Rahel Jaskow / Flickr: rahel_jaskow / CC

Pros: Yum yum yum, it tastes like spring.

Cons: It wilts loads when you cook it, so you end up using so much more than you anticipate.

20. Savory.

Pros: Delicious with egg dishes and all white cheeses. Also if you plant savory near beans, it deters bean beetles, which is very handy.

Cons: It’s basically an inferior thyme.

19. Oregano.

Joi Ito / Flickr: joi / CC

Pros: Pizza wouldn’t be pizza without a sprinkling of fresh oregano on the top.

Cons: Sometimes, when all you want is to taste the mozzarella, there’s just a bit too much oregano on your pizza.

18. Lavender.

Anne / Flickr: mrsmagic / CC

Pros: It looks beautiful, it can be dried and put into scent bags for your underwear drawer AND it’s delicious. No matter how full you are, you’d never turn down a slice of lavender and pepper corn cake. YUM.

Cons: Smells a bit like school air freshener.

17. Lovage.

Howard Walfish / Flickr: h-bomb / CC

Pros: Such an underrated herb. It’s like a parsley-celery-aniseed-curry combo. And it’s called “lovage”, which is a lovely word.

Cons: It’s a bit intimidating, because it just has so much flavour.

16. Fennel.

floato / Flickr: floato / CC

Pros: Mmmmmmmm fennel soup.

Cons: Sometimes people insist on combining fennel and mashed potatoes, which is a strange thing to do.

15. Hyssop.

Oregon Department of Agriculture / Flickr: oragriculture / CC

Pros: Adding hyssop to honey-roasted carrots or creamy cauliflower cheese is a borderline genius culinary move. Also, if you boil it with water and add it to your oil burner, your flat will smell incredible.

Cons: It can be hard to acquire.

14. Lemon verbena.

Pros: All puddings improve with lemon verbena. Would you rather eat apricot jam, or lemon verbena apricot jam? Crème brulee, or lemon verbena crème brulee? Strawberry fool, or lemon verbena strawberry fool? SEE.

Cons: It’s only good if you like lemon.

13. Marjoram.

Rhonda Fleming Hayes / Flickr: thegardenbuzz / CC

Pros: It’s like a better, less-intrusive oregano that improves all roast meats, stews and cooked vegetables.

Cons: In the 17th century, marjoram was used to cover up unpleasant body odours, which is a gross fact.

12. Tarragon.

zenryaku / Flickr: 14392420@N03 / CC

Pros: JUST SAUTEE SOME WILD MUSHROOMS AND ADD TARRAGON AND YOU WILL BE SO HAPPY. Also it’s used in perfumes.

Cons: It’s liquorice-y taste can be a bit much. Especially if you don’t like liquorice.

11. Lemon balm.

hitomi / Flickr: loveberry / CC

Pros: Delicious in summery puddings like cheesecake and lemon meringue.

Cons: Not everyone likes the flavour of lemon.

10. Garlic chives.

Eleanor Martin / Flickr: eam31 / CC

Pros: They’re what makes all Chinese and Japanese food so delicious. Also, if you add garlic chives to scrambled eggs, you become the king of breakfasts.

Cons: Not very versatile.

9. Sage.

Matt Mitchell / Flickr: mattmitchell8 / CC

Pros: Mmmmm venison and sage. Mmmmm turkey breast and sage. MMMMM NUT ROAST AND SAGE. Also a lovely girl’s name.

Cons: It feels a bit wintery.

8. Thai basil.

Alyss / Flickr: alyssssyla / CC

Pros: So unusual. So trendy. So tasty in stir frys.

Cons: It sometimes tastes like perfume.

7. Dill.

kimll / Flickr: coycholla / CC

Pros: A SCANDI-CHIC HERB. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking it only goes with fish, because OMG dill in borscht is just the best.

Cons: Sometimes you’re eating potato salad and then you get a section with just too much dill and that’s beyond awful.

6. Chives.

Charlee Brown / Flickr: charleebrown / CC

Pros: Chopping chives is one of life’s most satisfying activities . Also it grows very pretty flowers, which you can put in salads and eat.

Cons: They make your fridge smell really gross when they go off.

5. Thyme.

cookbookman17 / Flickr: cookbookman / CC

Pros: It feels very grown up to cook with thyme. And putting it in bean soup is a very good thing to do.

Cons: Can be confusing, because it sounds a bit like “time”, as in what a clock shows.

4. Rosemary.

Ludwig Simbajon / Flickr: ludwigsimbajon / CC

Pros: It makes bread better. It makes chicken soup better. It makes lemonade better. You can make tea with it. But OMG just sprinkle some on your buttered, boiled potatoes and you will discover true happiness.

Cons: It kind of reminds you of your grandma.

3. Coriander / Cilantro.

dan-morris / Flickr: danmorris94 / CC

Pros: It’s tastes amazing fresh or dried. Plus, it’s kind of jazzy, but not intimidatingly so. And if you want to mix things up, you can call it cilantro, which is a very cool thing to do.

Cons: It’s overused by Pret.

2. Mint.

Zeetz Jones / Flickr: zeetzjones / CC

Pros: It’s just so versatile. It works in savory dishes and desserts. And tea. Also it upgrades all things. Imagine some peas. WHAT AN AVERAGE THING TO BE IMAGINING. Now imagine a steaming hot bowl of peas with feta and mint. NOW THAT’S GOURMET.

Cons: It smells a bit like a rockery.

1. Basil.

Matt Burris / Flickr: mattjb / CC

Pros: It makes a boring mozzarella and tomato salad taste like heaven in a bowl. It improves literally every pizza and pasta dish. It’s essential to pesto, the world’s greatest sauce. AND the word “basil” comes from the Greek word “βασιλεύς”, which means “king”. BASIL IS THE KING OF HERBS.

Cons: None. It’s a flawless herb.

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Tabatha Leggett is head of buzz at BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.
 
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