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Spices

A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for the purpose of flavoring.

Many of the same substances have other uses in which they are referred to by different terms, e. g. in food preservation, medicine, religious rituals, cosmetics, perfumery or as vegetables. For example, turmeric is also used as a preservative; licorice as a medicine; garlic as a vegetable and nutmeg as a recreational drug.

Spices are distinguished from herbs, which are leafy, green plant parts used for flavoring purposes. Herbs, such as basil or oregano, may be used fresh; spices, however, are dried.

History

Spices have been prominent in human history virtually since its inception. Spices were some of the most valuable items of trade in the ancient and medieval world. In the story of Genesis, Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers to spice merchants. In the biblical poem Song of Solomon, the male speaker compares his beloved to many forms of spices.

Spices were the primary reason that Portuguese navigator Vasco Da Gama sailed to India. Around that same time, when Christopher Columbus happened upon the New World, he was quick to describe to investors the many new spices available there.

List of Spices

A

Allspice

Anise

B

Basil

Bay Leaf

C

Caraway

Cayenne

Chili Peppers

Chervil

Cilantro

Cinnamon

Clove

Coriander

Cumin

Curry

D

Dill

G

Garlic

Ginger

H

Horseradish

M

Mace

Marjoram

Mint

N

Nutmeg

O

Oregano

P

Paprika

Parsley

Pepper

Peppermint

R

Rosemary

S

Sage

Salt

Spearmint

T

Tarragon

Thyme

Turmeric

V

Vanilla

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