Monday, July 23, 2018


The Difference Between Herbs and Spices
Article from the Old Farmer's Almanac website
Below is an excerpt from the article.  To read the article in its entirety click on the link below:

"Notice how we keep all our seasonings in a “spice cupboard” and don’t call it an “herbs and spice” cupboard?

Our language has evolved in such a way that we lump together these two biologically different plant parts. While they share many similarities such as their ability to offer flavor, vitality and diversity to our meals, there are many factors that differentiate them. 

Herbs and Spices come from Different parts of the plant.  

An herb is the green, leafy part of the plant. A spice can come from the root, stem, seed, fruit, flower or bark of the tree or plant. And a plant can be host to both an herb and spice at the same time like cilantro and coriander. Cilantro is the aromatic leaf of the plant, Coriandrum sativum, while coriander is the seed that comes from that same plant. 

Whole spices will retain their flavor and potency significantly longer than herbs.  

Whole spices such as cinnamon sticks, allspice berries and cloves, to name a few, are whole and intact and not broken down or ground. These types of whole spices will keep their flavor and potency much longer than herbs or ground spices. The moment that a spice or herb is ground it’s surface area is increased and exposed to oxygen. Grinding releases the spices volatile oils and what is exposed to the air will begin to break down faster and lose its potency much faster. That is why it is best to buy your spices whole, store correctly away from heat, light and air, and grind right before you use them."

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