"Are you going to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme."
When I say sage, I suppose most Americans think of sagebrush—the pungent plant of the West.
That sage is in the sunflower family, while, like rosemary and thyme, true sage is a mint.
Mints have been cherished for centuries because these plants give off volatile oils—which, after evaporating, have a pleasant odor.
In nature, this scent helps mints attract insect pollinators.
The same volatile oils can make food more palatable.