Bay: Bay leaves come from the Bay Laurel, a mediterranean evergreen tree or large shrub. The leaves are usually dried and used to flavor soups, stews, hummuses and pates.
Chives: Chives are actually the smallest species of edible onion. Unlike most onion species, chives are not usually grown for their edible bulbs, instead they are cultivated for their tasty, green stems. The scapes (leafless, flowering stems) of the chive are used to flavor stews and soups, or they can be finely chopped and used as a garnish.
Fennel: Fennel is native to the shores of the Mediterranean. It produces a large, flavorful bulb that can be used as a vegetable and its frawns can be used for flavoring as well. Fennel has a sweet, licorice-like flavor and is common in salads, pastas, and risottos. Fennel seeds are often used in bread-baking as well.
Mint: Mints are highly aromatic herbs that grow by anchoring themselves into the earth with stolons; this process occurs quickly and this plant has a tendency to become invasive. They can double their size easily in one growing season. Mint is commonly used in Mediterranean cooking, particularly with lamb and regional side dishes. However, it is also commonly used in beverages, such as hot teas, mint juleps, and mojitos.
Oregano: Like many Mediterranean herbs, Oregano has been cultivated by several regions resulting in a variety of names and flavors (Italian, Greek, Turkish, Cretan, etc.). Oregano leaves can be used either fresh or dry and are most well known in the U.S. for being the flavorant of pizza sauce.
Rosemary: Rosemary is a woody, perennial herb that is well known for needing to little to no water once it has been established. It has a sharp, bitter taste and maintains its distinct aroma throughout the cooking process. Rosemary also has a long history as an herbal medicine for memory loss and cognitive development.
Sage: Sage is another woody, perennial herb that is regarded for its aesthetic beauty as well as its culinary potential. As a seasoning, it can be used in a fresh or dry form. It is also used as an essential oil that can be added to butters and other, less fragrant oils in cooking applications.
Thyme: Thyme is a perennial herb that thrives in semi-arid climates. Similar to bay leaves, thyme is slow to release its flavor in the cooking process and usually needs to be added rather early to achieve full flavor. Thyme’s fragrance becomes more potent once it is dried.
For more information about Mediterranean herbs, see the following links: