Sachet d'espice vs. bouquet garni

Joined Aug 15, 2004
I've got a question!

Sachet d'espice vs. bouquet garni.

On the surface, these two items seem very similar, having several identical components. What are the determining factors for using one vs. the other?

Is there some theory about the exact combination of ingredients used in one vs the other and the appropriateness for their subsequent use?

In other words, are there occasions when one should use only the sachet d'espice and not a bouquet garni? And vice-versa? Are there times when either one will do?

Is there some history behind their evolution and use in cooking?

Looking forward to your inspired and informative replies.



Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Inspiring is not what you'll get from me. I've never used a "standard" sachet or bouquet. For making stock, it all gets dumped in and strained out at the end.

For making soups I may tie a bunch of herbs together and fish it out after a bit. If using whole spices I wrap it up in cheesecloth.


Joined Apr 4, 2000
The obvious difference is that one is for herbs the other for spices.

In French a sachet is a small bag. In this case, the little bag would be filled with spices. Why put them in a bag? Obviously you do not want to try and fish out a few cloves or all spice bays. By putting your spices in a bag you’ll be able to easily removing them from your pot.

The same idea behind the bouquet garni, held together the herbs will be easier to fish out. Traditionally the herbs in a bouquet garni are parsley, thyme & bay leaves. But depending on what you have, one can also add savoury, sage or rosemary.

The Larousse Gastronomique does not give any historical background on the bouquet garni except to say that in ancient time the bouquet also contain cloves. Everything was wrapped in a thin slice of lard.
Joined Aug 15, 2004
I'm not sure that it is so obvious. A quick internet search show the recipe for Bouquet Garni as typically: parsley, thyme and a bay leaf.

Same search for Sachet d'espice showed: Parsley, thyme, a bay leaf, and peppercorns.

Basically pretty similar.

Joined Dec 30, 1999
I agree with Isa for the sake of answering the question.

In the traditional definition of the word, a bouquet garni would contain only herbs. My assumption is that the d'espies would definitly contain spices and may also have herbs in addition.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary:

A bouquet garni: A bunch of flavouring herbs

1846 French Dom. Cookery 41 A garnished bouquet is when thyme, fennel, and bay are added to the parsley and onions.

1960 Woman 3 Dec. 42 Classic ingredients of a bouquet garni are half a bay leaf, three or four long-stemmed sprigs of parsley, and a sprig of thyme.
Joined Aug 4, 2000
I'm fluent in French, BA UC Berkeley, 1976, and Middle and Advanced Degrees from the Sorbonne University and don't see any difference. Often I've read that the bouquet garni is placed in a sack made of cheesecloth although the exact spices may differ slightly.

Why not checkout an old tome entitled "LA CUISINE", written by Ramond Oliver who 'chefed" and operated a 3 star restaurant near the Louvre museum and fell out of favor with Parisians during the early 80's. The book may provide further information.
Joined Dec 15, 1999
Both are the same. Herb and spiced wrapped together so they can be easily be retrieved before overpowering the dish. Satchet - in cheese cloth. Garnit in simple twine.

Pig skin(off that bacon slab) can also be used.

By the way both are also known as a "faggot".
Joined Jan 4, 2009
I just copied and pasted my answer to this question from another post:

ChefAllen Online Now!
Registered User

Culinary Experience: Professional Chef
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: York, PA
Posts: 14

Originally Posted by ED BUCHANAN http:///image/noimage/true
Sorry , but your cooking class needs some help. In classical cooking a Bouquet Garni was herbs and or aromatics wrapped in cheesecloth and tied with string' It varied in individual recipes, but in most cases had many more then 2 things, plus peppercorns, cloves, marjoram etc. Then there was a studded onion which was a half onion with a bay leaf attached to it with a clove to hold in place mostly used for a Sauce Bechamel.
The purposeof having it on string in bag was you could take it out when flavour was enough withyout straining the whole pot of liquid. A tea strainer can also be used to put all herbs in.:bounce:

Wow, so that is what you call a bouquet garni?! Now I am just a culinary student and a chef so maybe I am just lost. However, what Ed Buchanan has descibed here is not a bouquet garni at all; what he has described is a sachet d'e'pices. A sachet d'epices is made by tying seasonings together in cheesecloth. A standard sachet consists of peppercorns, bay leaves, parsley stems, thyme, cloves and optionally, garlic. The exact quantity of these ingredients is determined by the amount of liquid the sachet is meant to flavor.
Now what a bouquet garni is; is a selection of herbs (usually fresh) and vegetables tied into a bundle with twine. A standard bouquet garni consists of parsley stems, celery, thyme, leeks and carrots.
As for his "studded onion" or what it is called a oignon pique' (also known as an onion piquet). This is a similar technique as to the garni and sachet, however it is less commonly used. In this technique, you prepare the onion by peeling it, trim off the root end and attach one or two bay leaves to the oignon pique' using whole cloves as pins.
The oignon pique' is then simmered in milk or stock to extract flavors.
I'll also give you one more you may never had heard of, an oignon brule' French for "brunt onion," is used to flavor and color stocks, sauces and soups such as consomme'. To prepare an oignon brule', peel the onion, trim off the root end and cut in half. Place the onion halves cut side down in a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until the onion halves char and darken (caramelize). The oignon brule' is then simmered in stocks or soups to give them a clear Carmel color.
Now, I knew most of this but just in case I gave you the definitions as I pulled out of "ON COOKING, FOURTH EDITION," page 188. Feel free to look it up if you don't believe me. Thank-You.
So many Flavors; So little time. Taste your way through life.
Last edited by ChefAllen; Yesterday at 10:17 PM.
Joined May 29, 2006
The term sachet du spice is hardly ever used in a commercial kitchen even french kitchens where I have worked when I worked in France back in the Seventies .I did ask one time the difference and was told by the french cooks,""the sachet stays in the dish till the end where-as the bouquet garni could be removed at any time by the string and not straining the whole mass."" Also what you learn in schools and what is done outside is 2 different things.Sachet was however refered to in the pastry shop where vanilla pods, cinnomin stix and other sweet preps were steeped in flavored milk and syrups. Veges are part of a mirepoix not bouquet garni, and before you were born we were carmelizing or browning whole onions for color in hot oil and then adding to stock or sauce in fact I have seen it done with a brulee torch,on an onion rubbed with oil. Also books, books I still go by Guide Culinare by Escoffier which to this day is refered to as the bible of cookery ,try reading that.:look::roll:
Joined Jan 4, 2009
I have read and do resource Guide de Culinare, and yes I DO know that what is done in schools and done outside are totally different. I have been in the trade for years already. The thing I like about what the teach us in school is the basis for great cooking skills. Also, I know I came across like a jerk and for that I apologize. The main reason I quoted my text book and not The Guide, is because my text book is a lot easier for a layman to read. As for browning the whole onion thing and really a lot of the stuff I am doing in school, I have done for years in the field and never knew what it was called. One of the ways i would do the whole onion thing in the oil when I was in a hurry was to grab the raw, peeled and slightly trimmed onion in my tongs and thrust it into my deep fryers for about 5 seconds and then hold it over an open flame on my stove, then drop it still flaming into my stock or sauce. But regardless I did come off as a jerk and for that I am sorry.


I still think I am right.
Joined May 29, 2006
Appoligize for what? we each are each entitled to our own theories. Your onion gimmick is another good way to do it. This being one ofthe differences between school taught and practical in the kitchen. Following the school recipe for something is great, but when you go to work one of the ingredients you need is missing. what do you substitute for it? The schools dont tell you that, experience does. Some schools put visions of sugarplums in the students heads, like when you graduate you will be sous chef at the waldorf. Or in school you are pushing out lunch for say 75 people, in the hotel you are doing it for 600 Quite a difference and totaly different way of getting it out. They both work, but each way is different. EJB
Joined Sep 15, 2012
According to the National Restaurant Association, a sachet d'epices is dried thyme, peppercorns, and bay leaf tied in a cheese cloth. A bouquet garni is fresh thyme, fresh parsley, and bay leaf tied in a cheese cloth. So, they are largely similar... And various things can be added, such as cloves (to the sachet d'epices), oignon-brulee (to the bouquet garni), or whatever else one might desire. But that is the foundation.
Joined Dec 12, 2012
I know this thread is old but I saw it and you've gotten horrible answers (except for ChefAllen's comment) . They are NOT the same. A standard Sachet d'épice is made with bay leaves, dried thyme, cracked peppercorns, parsely stems, and sometimes whole cloves and garlic tied in a cheesecloth and is used to flavour soups, stocks, and sauces. A Bouquet Garni is a selection of fresh herbs and vegetables tied into a bundle to flavour soups, stocks, sauces, and stews. The standard one is made with celery root, carrot, and 1/2 leek.

I've made stocks where both were used for flavouring but if you are adding herbs to the bouquet garni anyway, there is no need to use a sachet as well. A bouquet garni is used when you want the flavours of those fresh vegetables. A sachet is used when you just want the herbs and spices flavourings.
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Joined Aug 7, 2008
This may be the most hair splitting thread ever. There is no difference between the two save for the fact that one is tied and one is in a sachet and even that is not an "absolute". The bottom line is either is done for easy retrieval just as Kuan noted years ago. A Bouquet Garni may have veggies but even that's subject to interpretation and regional differences. Either way we are talking about aromatics. Even a bouquet Garni can be wrapped in Cheesecloth which makes the whole debate a bit silly and at least according to Larousse can even be tied with bacon which would certainly get my vote. At home I use AD coffee filters and I tie the top with butchers twine or you can just take a piece of plastic wrap, stretch it and then use that to tie your "sachet".

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Joined Feb 7, 2013
I was recently @ a bench test for culinart,I was disrespected by a chef who thought he knew more about food than me.I did a poached salmon with cucumber and dill burre blanc,..he told me I should have put in a bouquet garni in a kitchen towel and added it to my poaching liquid...geeeeez,..this guy calls himself a chef.The kicker,I only had a 3/4 lb.pc.of salmon in a poaching liquid with white wine and water.The salmon was already marinated.There was nothing to use for my test except this piece of salmon.Problem was this salmon was already marinated.There was such a strong smell of garlic I was unable to figure out what else was in marinade. So I simply used white wine and water. I did not want to over season salmon so I simply washed off the heavy garlic powder smell.I felt really insulted by this guy who called himself a chef.I thought of sachet or adding a small bundle of herbs,but had no clue what fish was marinated in, because of the strong scent of garlic.Any way....I could not believe this guy telling me to wrap a bouquet garni in a kitchen towel,not tying it with butcher string...or asking me to do a sachet...or possibly a court bullion.
Joined Oct 10, 2005
I was using burnt onions to colour and flavour bouillion back in the 80's,and I know it has been around for at lest 5o years before that.  A lot of the Englisch cooks would call it "black-jack"  My Mom would use the studded onion trick not only in milk sauces, but in roasts, and pushed in poultry cavities.

For me, I can never have too much leek or onion flavour in a stock, and what I learned in school back in the '80's was that a bouquet was vegetables and possibly a bay leaf or herb stems tied up with string.  A sachet d'epice was always wrapped in cheesecloth or a s/s tea ball and contained spices, ie cloves, peppercorns, crumbled bay leaves (never make the mistake of swallowing a partial or whole dried bay leaf!!!!!) thyme, rosemary, etc.
Joined Sep 18, 2008
Remember, it pays to really know what the proctor for any type of practical exam is looking for. What the proctor is looking for may, or may not, have a direct connection to your experience or training but it definitely has a direct connection to the experience and training of the proctor!

Virtually all practical exams are subjective to some degree and what the proctor believes trumps what the exam taker thinks.

Is that right? Not necessarily.

Keep in mind: Life is not fair. Live with it!
Joined Feb 7, 2013
Are you serious ? you call yourself a chef...when bench do things by the book..plain and never..not ever put a bouquet garni, in  an " un-sat" kitchen are talking to a 54 year old chef...J.W. grad,bachelors degree in nutrition,owner working as a sous chef for something to do,..I would never lower my standards to pass a test.If you lower your standards....that is the beginning of mediocrity with lower can do that in your with your low standards,I also teach a hobby class..would you teach a new student to use a kitchen towel ? there is a reason for servsafe

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