Herbs for cooking
Raising vegetables and herbs for the monastery kitchen was one of the monks' regular activities. The herbs were used in large quantities as spices and, like salt, were also used to preserve food. Herbs, such as leeks, celery, coriander, dill, anise, garlic, shallots, parsley, chervil, savory, and nigella, were cultivated and were used both fresh and dried. Through the crusades to the east, people also learned of other spices, which were imported to Europe with increasing frequency, though most people could not afford them.