Borage is used as either a fresh vegetable or a dried herb. As a fresh vegetable, borage, with a cucumber-like taste, is often used in salads or as a garnish. The flower, which contains the non-toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloid (PA) thesinine, has a sweet honey-like taste. It is one of the few truly blue-colored edible substances, and is often used to decorate desserts.
Although often used in soups, one of the better known German borage recipes is the Green Sauce (Grüne Soße) made in Frankfurt. In Italian Liguria, borage is commonly used as a filling of the traditional pasta ravioli and pansoti.
The leaves and stems of borage, when steeped into any kind of liquid also gives it a vibrant, fresh taste, which made it a choice herb for the creation of cooling and soothing summer drinks in the past. These days, these qualities are often put to good use by masterful blenders of alcoholic drinks, as borage leaves still feature as a primary ingredient in some skillfully made homebrewed ales, or in fine wines and ciders.