Fresh Herbs Make A World of Difference

The use of fresh herbs is essential for developing distinctive flavourings.

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The use of fresh herbs is essential for developing distinctive flavourings. Thyme is a critical herb at Anassa—it is used in all stocks, soups, and sauces made at the hotel—yet it can only be sourced commercially from abroad. To have the freshest herbs on hand, Anassa planted its own herb garden. “We needed a sustainable supply of robust herbs, so the best solution was to create it ourselves,” says Executive Chef David Goodridge. Lavender from the garden is infused into local organic honey for use in the breakfast service, and it also provides seasoning for two popular dishes—oven-baked sweet potatoes and figs with parma ham. At Pelagos, our al fresco taverna, servers pour extra virgin olive oil on a small plate and garnish it with a sprig of oregano cut from the plant at the table. Lemon verbena flavours the mushroom risotto served at fine-dining restaurant Helios. Snippets of lemon balm are used by Thalassa Spa to create infused waters and teas. The garden provides a generous supply of fresh basil, too; Armonia bar uses it to infuse vodka. Of course, the extended gardens of Anassa also provide an ample supply of herbs, such as rosemary and bay leaves, and other seasonings, such as orange and lemon blossoms. A popular Cypriot ingredient is kiouli, a fragrant geranium used to make sweet syrup for desserts and to flavour kleftiko and roasted potatoes. Guests are invited to stop by and check the progress of the herb garden—it is located in the Roman Gardens just next to the entrance court.