Spices as Antimicrobials

As early as 1500 BC, Egyptians used spices to preserve foods. In Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, before the days of refrigeration, spices were used to preserve meats, fish, bread, and vegetables. Spices were used alone or in combination with smoking, salting, and pickling to inhibit food spoilage. The Romans preserved fish sauce with dill, mint, and savory, and meats and sausages with cumin and coriander. The Greeks used garlic to prevent food spoilage, and in India, ginger, garlic, clove,...

Foods and Contributing Tastes Rasas

Anise, fennel, cumin, coriander, sugar, butter, honey, jaggery, rice, legumes, fruits, milk, cardamom, coconut, most grains, ghee Kokum, pomegranate, tamarind, tomato, lemon, citrus, grapefruit, fermented foods (yogurt, pickles, miso, soy sauce), vinegar Salt, seaweeds, vegetables (high moisture) Fenugreek, turmeric, clove, cinnamon, endives, lettuce, purslane, bay leaf, ajwain, chicory Chile peppers, ginger, garlic, horseradish, mustard, onion, black pepper Asafoetida, teas, licorice, legumes,...

Clove

Clove is native to the Moluccas (or Spice Islands), Indonesia, where traditionally, when a child was born, a clove tree would be planted. If the tree grew straight and strong, then so would the child. Children were also given clove necklaces to protect them from illnesses. Cloves are an ancient spice but used extensively in meat curries. The Chinese used cloves as early as 200 BC, when court officials chewed cloves to sweeten their breaths in the Emperor's presence. Arab traders introduced...

Nigella

Nigella, called kalonji in Hindi, is a popular spice for breads and vegetables in North India, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iran. It was a culinary spice and a medicine for Romans, ancient Hebrews, and Greeks. Nigella was introduced by the Armenians into the United States as charnushka. From the Latin word nigef or nigellus meaning black, it is often confused with black cumin because of its similar size and color. Thus, it is called black cumin in many cultures, including kala jeera, jintan hitam, or...

Poppy Seed

Poppy seeds are not fully formed until the plant matures, by which time the plant has lost all of its opium potential. Poppy seeds do not contain opium or narcotics, as other parts of the plant. The dried latex or exudates, from the immature poppy plant gives opium, which contains the alkaloid painkillers, morphine and codeine. The poppy plant has been valued since ancient times as a medicine and painkiller. In the Ebers Papyrus, the Egyptians described it as a sedative. As early as 1400 BC,...

Boldo Leaf

Scientific Name(s) Peumus boldus Molina. Family Monimiaceae. This is a close relative of the bay leaf family, Lauraceae. Origin and Varieties Chile, Bolivia, Peru, and other regions of South America and North Africa. Common Names boldina (English), boldoblatter (German), boldo (French, Greek, Hebrew, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian), and borudo (Japanese). Form the leaves are broad and medium-sized and come as fresh or dried, whole or ground. Properties boldo leaf has a strong warm flavor that is...

Garlic

One of the world's most popular spices, garlic is used extensively from China to the Americas, in French aioli, Turkish cacik, Vietnamese pho bo, Indian korma, or Greek skordalia. Garlic's name is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word garleac, meaning spear plant. Since ancient times, garlic has been used as a cure as well as a food. Egyptians used garlic since 3700 BC to provide strength and prevent disease. Jews ate it on their long journeys, Romans honored garlic for providing strength and...

Aniseaniseed

Anise aniseed, first used by early Egyptians as early as 1500 BC, is a popular spice used throughout the world. Called anysum by early Arabs, anison by Greeks, and later anise by the English, it was used by Europeans as an aphrodisiac and as a charm to prevent nightmares. Ancient Assyrians used anise as a medicine, Greeks found it to be a digestive aid, and the Romans used anise to soothe sore throats. They ate anise spice cakes to soothe digestion. Associated with the taste of licorice, the...

Myrtle

Myrtle leaves, branches, and fruits have been used since Biblical times to flavor smoked or roasted meats in the Eastern Mediterranean islands of Sardinia, Corsica, and Crete and western Asia. The dried berries were used in the Mediterranean as a substitute for black pepper. Scientific Name(s) Myrtus communis. Family Myrtaceae (myrtle family). Origin and Varieties myrtle is indigenous to Mediterranean regions of northern Africa, southern Europe, and the Middle East. Lemon myrtle Backhousia...

Spice Applications

Spices provide savory, spicy, sweet, pungent, bitter, or sour notes to foods and beverages. A vast spectrum of tastes and aromas can be created by combining spices and other flavorings. Asian Indians use various spices to create uniquely balanced curry blends, while the Chinese use them to contrast sweet, sour, or pungent notes with vivid textures. Thais, Japanese, and Caribbeans create great visual appeal with spices. Whether we are creating authentic or fusion themes or merely adding ethnic...

Kaffir Lime Leaf And Fruit

Kaffir lime is a very popular spice used in Southeast Asian foods, especially in Thai, Malaysian, Cambodian, and Balinese cooking. The leaves and the rind of the fruit are similar in taste except the leaves are more intense with the zesty pungent citrusy notes which Southeast Asian cultures enjoy. Scientific Name(s) Citrus hystrix. Family Rutaceae (citrus family). Origin and Varieties indigenous to Southeast Asia. Common Names Indonesian lime and wild lime. Also called lemo (Balinese), shaunk...

Spices as Antioxidants

Spices can be used in foods to help fight the toxins created by our modern world. Heat, radiation, UV light, tobacco smoke, and alcohol initiate the formation and growth of the free radicals in the human body. Free radicals damage the human cells and limit their ability to fight off cancer, aging, and memory loss. Many spices have components that act as antioxidants and that protect cells from free radicals (Table 9). Some spices have more antioxidant properties than others depending on the...

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Spices in A Spicy Tale A Short History of the Spice Early Use of Spices in the The Asian Spice The First Spice Spice Use in the Greek and Roman Spice The Arab Spice Use in the Middle The Age of European Spices in Chapter 2 Trends in the World of Spices Trends in Foods and Understanding and Effectively Meeting the Growing Demand for Spices and Flavorings of Popular, Authentic Ethnic Authentic Ethnic Spices, Flavorings, and Seasonings of Popular Authentic Ethnic Authentic Ethnic...

Celery

Derived from the Latin word sedano, celery has been used by the Greeks historically as a medicine and as a sign of victory. The Romans were the first to value it as a seasoning, and later, it became a delicacy for Italians and French. It was only in the nineteenth century that North Americans began to use celery seed, mainly in pickling solutions. Today Europeans commonly use the leaves for soups and sauces and as a garnish, and the stalks and roots as vegetables or salads. Bengalis use the...

Table

Thai basil, black pepper, cardamom, jalapeno, asafetida, lemongrass, star anise, kokum, sorrel, chipotle, habanero Clove, ginger, kari leaf, mint, nutmeg, rosemary, cardamom, tarragon, cinnamon, sweet basil, mango, rose petal Mustard seed, onion, sassafras, sesame seed, shallot, peppercorn, ajowan seed, poppy seed, candlenut, almonds Annatto, cayenne, paprika, parsley, turmeric, saffron, basil, cilantro, mint, marigold Cinnamon, clove, cumin, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, ginger, fenugreek,...

Chervil

Called French parsley by Europeans, chervil is a symbol of new life for them, because of its resemblance to myrrh given to baby Jesus. Romans and Greeks used these leaves in tonics (with watercress and dandelions) more than 2000 years ago to rejuvenate the body. Because of their pleasant sweet aroma, it was introduced to France and the rest of Europe, where it is used as fresh salads to accompany meals. Derived from the Latin word cherifolum, chervil is now widely used by central and western...

Chile Pepper Species and Varieties

C. pubescens C. baccatum C. frutescens Ancho, Banana wax, cabe merah hijau, cascabel, cayennes, chilacate, chili de arbol, chili guero, chili pasado, chilhuacle negro, chipotle, Cubanelle, exotics, Fresno, guajillo, Guntar red, Hungarian wax, jalapeno, Kashmiri, lal mirch, lombok, mirasol, mulato, New Mexican, pasilla, poblano, pungent bells chili dulce, Sante Fe, serranos, tabia Bali, tipico, xcatik, shi feng jiao, Cherry-sweet hot, chi yang jiao, kochu, pepperoncini, prik chee fa Bird pepper,...

Cumin And Black Cumin

Cumin has been a popular spice in India since ancient times. Cumin got its name from the Sanskrit word sughandan meaning good smelling. In Europe, cumin was a very valuable spice, and Romans and English used it to pay their taxes. They also used it to season food and as a digestion aid. The Romans introduced it to Germany, where it was named Roman caraway and is now called kummel, identifying it as a foreign variety of caraway. Then the Europeans confused it with caraway and called it Roman,...

Lovage

Lovage belongs to the parsley family, and its seeds, leaves, and roots are commonly used in Europe for flavoring foods and beverages and for their medicinal properties. The Romans, who introduced lovage to Europe, used it widely in their cooking as well as to reduce fevers and treat stomach ailments. Germans called it maggikraut because its aroma reminded them of maggi cubes (meaty yeast extracts). Today it is popular in South and Central European cuisines. Scientific Name(s) Levisticum...

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm, called bosem in Hebrew or citronelle in French, originated in the Middle East. While it is a popular spice in Mediterranean cooking, lemon balm is valued more for its medicinal properties, for stomach ailments or nervous disorders, than as a seasoning. The Latin word for lemon balm, melisa (which means bee) came from the Greek practice of planting this spice to feed bees. Scientific Name(s) Melissa officinalis. Family Lamiaceae (mint family). Origin and Varieties lemon balm is...

Kari Or Curry Leaf

Kari (or curry) leaf (called kariveppilai in Tamil) is grown all over India and has been used for centuries in South India and Sri Lanka as a flavoring for curries, chutneys, vegetables, and beverages. South Indian traders introduced it into Malaysia, Burma, and Singapore. When the British were in India, they called it curry leaf, naming it after the seasoned sauce (called kari in Tamil) that it was added to. Scientific Name(s) Murraya koenigii. Family Rutaceae (citrus family). Origin and...

Caraway

Called in Sanskrit as karavi, caraway is an ancient spice, used at least 5000 years ago during Mesopotamian times. Its name is derived from the Arabic word karawya through the Latin word carum. Many global cultures call it a relative of cumin. In Hindi, it is called vilayati jeer or foreign cumin, and in French, cumin de pres or meadow cumin, because of its similar flavor profile to cumin. In ancient times, Romans seasoned sausages with caraway seeds. Hungarian herdsmen used them to flavor...

Greek And Roman Spice Traders

For centuries, Arab merchants sought to protect their spice trade by hiding their true sources. The Arabs told stories of a mythical land in Africa as the source of spices. They also spun tales of gods and creatures protecting the spices from harvest by human hands. In the first century AD, a Greek sailor discovered the secret of the monsoon winds to and from India that hastened the trip and broke the Arab monopoly. Early Tamil poems from that time tell about the Yavanas or Greeks who spoke a...

Fusion And Regional American Flavorings

While changing demographics are increasing the demand for authentic ethnic ingredients and foods in general, one of the most important trends in a diverse country such as the United States is the growth of fusion (or cross-cultural) and regional American foods. These new foods are emerging from the mixing of ingredients and preparation styles taken from the popular traditional American and ethnic cuisines. Fusion food is not something new. The transformation of cuisines through fusing flavors,...

Fennel Seed

Fennel seeds resemble anise, cumin, and caraway in flavor, so many cultures use them interchangeably. Called madhurika in Sanskrit, meaning sweet spice, fennel is thought to be a variety of anise (which is called saunf in Hindi) in India. In fact, the Hindi name for fennel, moti saunf, means big, thick anise seed. Indonesians think of fennel as a variety of cumin and call it jintan manis, which means sweet cumin. Arabs confuse it with anise and many in Europe think it as a variety of dill....

Horseradish

A relative of turnip, cabbage, and mustard, horseradish, called peberrod or pepperot, meaning pepper root in northern European languages, is a popular seasoning in central and northern European cuisines. The German name for horseradish, meeret-tich, means more radish and reflects horseradish's much stronger pungency than the ordinary radish. Japanese refer to it as seiyo wasabi or western wasabi, and wasabi daikon or radish wasabi. Scientific Name(s) Armoracia rusticana. Family Brassicaceae...

Asafoetidaasafetida

The name asafoetida is derived from the Persian word aza, meaning resin, and the Latin word foetida, meaning fetid or bad smelling. Asafoetida was known to early Persians as the food of the Gods and to the Romans who used it to flavor sauces and wines, as Persian sylphium. Europeans equated its smell to truffles and the French flavored mutton during the early Middle Ages, after which, its use declined. In ancient India and Iran, asafoetida was used as a condiment and as a medicine. Today,...

Cardamomcardamon

Known as the queen of spices, green cardamom is the world's third most expensive spice, after saffron and vanilla. The name cardamom comes from the Greek word kardamom (from Persian origins), and was used by Indians, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Egyptians, and Chinese over 2000 years ago in foods, beverages, medicines, and perfumes. Originating in South India, the Vikings from Northern Europe bought cardamom from traders who obtained it through Constantinople, and introduced it to Scandinavia. To...

Baylaurel Leaf

Greek legend says that the gods turned a beautiful nymph named Daphne into an evergreen laurel tree when she was fleeing from Apollo's (Greek god of prophecy, medicine, and poetry) love. The Greek name for bay leaf is daphnee. In ancient Greece, the winners of Olympic games were decorated with laurel wreaths, and these leaves became an immortal symbol of victory and courage. When Greek physicians completed their studies, they were crowned with laurel branches called the baca lauris, and which...

Understanding And Effectively Meeting The Growing Demand For Authenticity

Authentic ethnic flavors and their preparation techniques and presentation styles are becoming a regular part of our meals. For most Americans, certain ethnic foods are so common that they are not thought of as ethnic anymore, such as pizzas, spaghetti, tacos, burritos, sushi, egg rolls, or stir-fries. When exotic ingredients and dishes are presented in a more familiar setting, and consumers enjoy these foods, then they want to experience authentic foods and flavors. Many chain restaurants...

Traditional Medicine

Spices are used in many traditional cultures to boost energy, relieve stress, improve the nervous system, aid digestion, relieve cold symptoms and headaches, and treat many diseases. A food creator can explore interesting food concepts that combine taste and cure by using authentic spices and methods of preparing and presenting them in meals. Europeans have used oils from leafy spices or plants to provide physical, mental, and spiritual benefits, such as to provide a calming effect, to soothe...

Grains Of Paradise

Also called Melegueta or Malagueta pepper, guinea grain, or guinea pepper, grains of paradise were prized as a spice and as a substitute for black pepper in Europe during the Middle Ages. Grains of paradise were combined with ginger and cinnamon to flavor wine called hippocras. Currently, they are not widely used around the world, except in northern Africa and in the western regions of Africa, such as Ghana, Benin, and Nigeria. The Yorubas in West Africa call them atare. Scientific Name(s)...

Savory

Savory was introduced to England by the Romans, and it was named by the Anglo-Saxons for its strong spicy taste. Europeans used savory as a substitute for black pepper and so it came to be called pepper herb. It is a popular ingredient for vegetable and legume dishes as it helps with their digestion. In ancient times, it was added with vinegar and used as a seasoning, as well as an aphrodisiac and cough medicine. The German word for savory, bohnenkraut, means bean herb because they found that...

Epazote

Epazote characterizes the taste of Mayan cuisine in the Yucatan and Guatemala. The name epazote comes from the Nahuatl words, epote, meaning disagreeable or foul, and epatzotl, meaning sweat, reflecting its strong aroma. The Swedes call it citronmalla, because of its lemony undertones. Another variety is used in the southern United States as a cure for intestinal worms, thus, the origin of epazote's nickname, wormseed. Scientific Name(s) Chenopodium ambrosioides. Family Chenopodiaceae...

The Asian Spice Emporium

Many of the spices that are popular today are indigenous to India, where they have been savored for thousands of years. The Harappa civilization, one of the first cultures of the Indus valley in northern India, ground saffron and other spices on stones around 3200 BC. One of the earliest written records regarding spices appears in the religious scriptures of the Aryan people of north India who had driven the earlier civilizations further south. The Vedas, written in Sanskrit between 1700 and...

Ajowan

Sometimes mislabeled as lovage seeds, ajowan, also referred to as royal cumin, Ethiopian cumin, Egyptian black caraway, or caraway. In India, similar names are given to ajowan, nigella and celery. Ajowan is an essential ingredient in a Bengali seasoning called panchphoron. Omam water, an infusion of ajowan seeds, has been used since ancient times in India for stomach pains, colic, diarrhea, and other disorders. Scientific Name(s) Trachyspermum (T) ammi, T. copticum or Carum copticum. Family...

Paprika

It comes from the Hungarian word paparka, a variation from the Bulgarian piperka, which in turn comes from the Latin piper, meaning pepper. In the United States and the rest of the world, paprika is the term for the dried ground or powdered form of the dried peppers of the nonpungent to slightly pungent red varieties of Capsicum annum. Brought by the Ottoman Turks to Hungary during the sixteenth century, the Hungarian term paprika includes all of the fresh varieties of peppers, including green...

Dill And Dillweed

In the southern Mediterranean region, as early as 3000 BC, dill was popular for its medicinal properties. Dill promoted digestion and soothed the stomachs of Assyrians and later Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks, and eventually northern Europeans. Dill's name comes from the Old Norse word dilla, meaning to soothe because Norse parents used it to ease the stomach pains of crying babies and to lull them to sleep. Dill was also believed to have magical properties and was valued as an ingredient in...

Lemongrass

Lemongrass derives its name from its characteristic scent and appearance. It is widely used in Southeast Asian (including Thai, Malaysian, Singaporean, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Indonesian as well as Sri Lankan) cooking - soups, curries, sauces, and desserts. Scientific Name(s) Cymbopogon citrates Southeast Asian, West Indian Cym-bopogon flexuosus Sri Lankan, Thai, Burmese Myanmar. Family Poaceae (grass family). Origin and Varieties lemongrass is indigenous to Southeast Asia and South Asia. It is...

Typical Sensory Characteristics of Spices

Characteristic Spices and Other Flavorings Sweet Green cardamom, anise, star anise, fennel, allspice, cinnamon Sour Sumac, caper, tamarind, sorrel, kokum, pomegranate Bitter Fenugreek, mace, clove, thyme, bay leaf, oregano, celery, epazote, ajowan Spicy Clove, cumin, coriander, canela, ginger, bay leaf Hot Chile peppers, mustard, fagara, black pepper, white pepper, wasabi Pungent Mustard, horseradish, wasabi, ginger, epazote, garlic, onion, galangal Fruity Fennel, coriander root, savory,...

Spice Preparation

Spices need to be ground, sliced, roasted, toasted, fried, or boiled to release their characteristic flavors. Just as we roast garlic, saute onions, or mustard, we also need to apply appropriate cooking techniques to other spices to derive their optimal flavor sensations. Volatile oils are released from spices through grinding, cutting, and heating. Spices also release unique flavors when they are cooked. Several different flavor characteristics can be derived from the same spice by using...

Hanh Tay Mexican Bulb Onions

Onion is an ancient spice, native to Asia, and it is long noted for its flavoring and pickling properties. From the Latin word cepmeaning onion, Greeks valued it for its curative powers, while Egyptians ate it raw. Today, onion is an indispensable ingredient for flavoring many ethnic cuisines, whether sauteed, roasted, or pickled. Indians savor it not only for its flavor but also for the texture and consistency it provides to curries. There are many types of onions that vary in color, size, and...

Coriander Seed Leaf Cilantro

Since ancient times, coriander has been enjoyed by many cultures for its culinary and medicinal values. Coriander is mentioned in Sanskrit literature as far back as 5000 BC and in Greek Eber Papyrus as early as 1550 BC. About 400 BC, Hippocrates, the Greek physician, recommended coriander for its medicinal value. Coriander was found in Egyptian tombs dating from 1090 BC. As early as fourth century BC, the Chinese ate it to attain immortality. The Arabs used it as an aphrodisiac, while the...

Spice Forms And Composition

Spices are available in many forms fresh, dried, or frozen whole, ground, crushed, pureed, as pastes, extracts, or infusions. Each form has its respective qualities and drawbacks. The form chosen by the food product designer will depend on the specific application, processing parameters, and shelf life. Consumers and chefs frequently use fresh spices to give a fresh taste to foods. This fresh taste of ginger, cilantro, sweet basil, or chile peppers is due to the overall flavor, aroma, and...

Galangalgalangalegalingale

Galangal is an aromatic, peppery, gingerlike spice. First used in Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisines, galangal has traveled around the world and is found in Egyptian, Indian, and a few European applications. There are three types of galangal the greater galangal, the lesser galangal, and the kaempferia galangal. Greater galangal, called liang xiang in Mandarin (which means mild ginger) or lengkuas in Malay, commonly used in many dishes of Southeast Asia, is more popular globally than the...

Peppers Black White Green Pink Longpippali Cubeb Negro Tasmanian

Black pepper has long been known as the King of Spices. The word pepper comes from the Sanskrit word pippali, which is Indian long pepper, a relative of black pepper. Native to the Malabar Coast of southwest India, black pepper was introduced to Egypt and Europe through Arab traders. Black pepper was a precious commodity in ancient times. Measured like gold, it played a vital role as a medium of exchange, whether to pay taxes, rents, dowries, or ransoms. In ancient times, the Romans lavishly...

Nutmeg

Nutmeg has its origins in the Spice Islands of Indonesia. Arab traders brought nutmeg to India (thus called Indian nut by many European languages), then to Europe, and eventually it was taken to the Caribbean by the Spanish. It was widely popular in Europe and in India for its flavoring and medicinal properties. During the Middle Ages, fashionable Europeans carried their own nutmegs and graters to eating establishments as a status symbol. Nutmeg's name is derived from the Latin word nux...

Maintaining Spice Quality

When spices are exported into the United States, they must meet ASTA specifications. The general quality tests set by ASTA include cleanliness (foreign and extraneous matter), ash level (impurities), volatile oil (adulteration), moisture content (pricing, stability), water activity (microbial growth), pesticide levels, mycotoxin aflatoxin levels, and particle size. Other tests include piperine levels for black and white peppers ASTA color values capsaicin level Scoville units for chile peppers...

Doshas and Respective Personalities

Vata Quick thinking, creative, flexible, nervous Pitta Determined, strong willed, fiery, passionate Kapha Good endurance and stamina, heavy, stable, relaxed, tolerant taste. For example, fenugreek seed provides a bitter taste as well as astringency, and fennel seed has sweet and cooling tastes. Thus, there is more than one taste contributed by a spice (see Table 10). With regard to rasas, other spices can be explored to provide more variety. Understanding these rasas is essential to...

Examples of Characterizing Essential Oil Components in some Popular spices

Spice Components in Essential Oils Allspice seed Eugenol 1,8-cineol humulene, a-phellandrene Basil, sweet Linalool 1,8-cineol methyl chavicol, eugenol Cardamom 1,8-cineole linalool limonene a-terpineol acetate Dill leaf Carvone, limonene, dihydrocarvone, a-phellandrene Epazote Ascaridol, limonene, para-cymene, myrcene, a-pinene Fennel Anethole, fenchone, limonene, a-phellandrene Ginger Zingiberene, curcumene, farnescene, linalool, borneol Juniper a-pinene, P-pinene, thujene, sabinene, borneol...

Natural And Organic Spice Trends

Today's consumers are demanding natural and organic foods with label-friendly ingredients, for maintaining a healthier lifestyle, preventing ailments, and concern for the environment. Sustainable methods of growing crops and manufacturing products without the addition of chemicals and pesticides, MSG, hydrolysed plant protein (HPP), salt, sugar, or chemical preservatives are the trend today. The organic food consumption is growing at a steady rate in the United States. The current annual growth...

Hot and Pungent Nonvolatiles in Some Spices

Capsaicin, hydrocapsaicin, dihydrocapsaicin, homocapsaicin, dihydrohomocapsaicin Piperine, chavicine Sanshool Allyl isothiocyanate Allyl isothiocyanate Gingerol, shogoal Diallylsulfide Diallylsulfide Similarly, the release of heat sensation in mustard is different from wasabi. In wasabi, heat is immediate and in the front of the mouth, while with mustard and horseradish the release is delayed and comes at the back of the mouth, with a shooting sensation to the sinuses. Table 3 details some of...

Lavender

Used in ancient times by the Phoenicians, Egyptians, and Arabs as a perfume and for mummification, and later, by Romans and Greeks to scent bath water. Lavender got its name from the Latin word 'lavare,' meaning 'to wash.' As part of wedding bouquets, it sends a message of good luck to the bride and groom. It is a favorite with the French who not only use its oil for perfumery and cures but for culinary purposes as well. A member of the mint family, its dried flowers make up the potpourri used...

Mints Spearmint And Peppermint

Peppermint was discovered in the seventeenth century in England as a wild plant and was mainly used as a medicinal infusion. From here it spread to Europe, North Africa, and to the United States. The familiar after dinner mints originated in England to soothe the stomach after a meal. Nowadays, mint is widely used in confectionery, liqueurs, teas, and chewing gums. Spearmint was the symbol of hospitality in traditional Europe, where it was crushed and used in baths and other leisure places. It...

Fenugreek Seed And Leaf

Called in Sanskrit methika, fenugreek was cultivated in Egypt as early as 1000 BC. It was prized throughout the Middle East and in India as a flavoring, medicine, and fumigant, while in Europe mainly for medicinal use. The Egyptians and Indians soaked the seeds in water until they swelled and then used them to reduce fevers and aid digestion. By AD 1050, fenugreek had spread as far as China. The name fenugreek is derived from the Latin word foenum graecum, which translates to Greek hay (strong...

Spice Definition And Labeling

To establish appropriate standards of quality and authenticity for spices, we need to properly define spices. Standard definitions for spices will allow spice suppliers to write specifications on a global basis. The International Standards Organization ISO defines spices as vegetable products used for flavoring, seasoning, and imparting aroma in foods. The Food and Drug Administration FDA defines spices as any aromatic vegetable substance in whole, broken, or ground form, except for those...