Why should a man die when he has sage in his garden?



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Think of an opera in which all the principal singers are men and in which one of the highlights is an aria about the contribution of the humble sage plant to the safety of the infant Jesus. Jules Massenet’s Le Jongleur de Notre Dame is the answer, and if you have never come across it, then you are in for a treat. Not just because it is full of very beautiful music, but also because it contains one of the nicest and most open-hearted of all operatic cooks, Brother Boniface, and because it is full of good thing to eat. And the topic of this Opera Kitchen article is the herb sage, which holds pride of place in the opera, and even has its own aria to sing its praises.

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