Friday, June 10, 2011

National Herbs & Spices Day

June 10th is National Herbs & Spices Day.

Herbs & Spices are to some extent the basis on which many nations were built. At one point and time believe it or not, Spices such as Black Pepper were far more valuable than Gold. Culinary use of the term “Herb” typically distinguishes between herbs, from the leafy green parts of a plant and spices from the other parts of the plant including seeds, berries, bark, roots, and fruit. Culinary Herbs are distinguished vegetables in that, like spices they are used in small amounts and provide Flavor rather than Substance to food.

Great Culinary Herbs such as lavender, thyme, basil, rosemary, bay laurel should to highlighted as some of the most flavor enhancing herbs that are commonly used.
Spices on the other hand are dried seeds, fruit, bark, or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for flavor, color or as a preservative that kills harmful bacteria or prevents growth. 
Many spices, like herbs, are used for their medicinal effects;
for example, tumeric is used as preservative, liquorice is used as a medicine, garlic as a vegetable and numerous other cases can be found around the world of just such uses.

Get your herb and spice game up by visiting various spice traders and markets that carry broader selections than your local Albertsons or Ralphs. Hispanic, Asian, Halaal, Kosher and Indian (especially Thai and Indian stores) carry some of the finest and rarest herbs and spices found on Earth. To say that your spectrum will be broadened exponentially is an understatement after you visit a few of these shops.

Celebrate National Herbs & Spice Day the right way and load up on all the things you might not allow yourself to enjoy because it is not part of your culture.

Remember, that by mixing and blending our heritages and cultures together we can all get a taste of the joys and bitter struggles our ancestors have had to overcome. Food plays a major roll in all of our lives and by broadening ones horizons we can all begin to understand where one another comes from.
Herbs & Spices play a big part in just about every culture  under the sun and if it weren’t for them, the nations we call home, wouldn’t be the same. 

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