1.2- History Uses of Spice Plants on the World 2.1- Early history The spice trade developed throughout South Asia and Middle East in around 2000 BCE with cinnamon and pepper, and in East Asia with herbs and pepper. The Egyptians used herbs for embalming and their demand for exotic herbs helped stimulate world trade. The word spice comes from the Old French word espice, which became epice, and which came from the Latin root spec, the noun referring to "appearance, sort, kind": species has the same root. By 1000 BCE, medical systems based upon herbs could be found in China, Korea, and India. Early uses were connected with magic, medicine, religion, tradition, and preservation. Archaeological excavations have uncovered clove burnt onto the floor of a kitchen, dated to 1700 BCE, at the Mesopotamian site ofTerqa, in modern-daySyria.The ancient IndianepicRamayana mentions cloves. TheRomanshad cloves in the 1st century CE, asPliny the Elderwrote about them. In the story ofGenesis,Josephwas sold into slavery by his brothers to spice merchants. In the biblical poemSong of Solomon, the male speaker compares his beloved to many forms of spices. Generally, early Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, and Mesopotamiansources do not refer to known spices. Historians believe thatnutmeg, which originates from theBanda IslandsinSouth Asia, was introduced to Europe in the 6th century BCE. Indonesian merchants traveled around China, India, the Middle East, and the east coast of Africa.Arabmerchants facilitated the routes through the Middle East and India. This resulted in the Egyptianport cityofAlexandriabeing the main trading center for spices. The most important discovery prior to the European spice trade were the monsoon winds (40 CE). Sailing from Eastern spice growers to Western European consumers gradually replaced the land-locked spice routes once facilitated by the Middle East Arab caravans. See also:Spice trade
2.2- Middle Ages Spices were among the most demanded and expensive products available in Europe in the Middle Ages, the most common being black pepper, cinnamon (and the cheaper alternative cassia), cumin, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Given medieval medicine's main theory of humorism, spices and herbs were indispensable to balance "humors" in food, a daily basis for good health at a time of recurrent pandemics. Spices were all imported from plantations in Asia and Africa, which made them expensive. From the 8th until the 15th century, the Republic of Venice had the monopoly on spice trade with the Middle East, and along with it the neighboring Italian city-states. The trade made the region rich. It has been estimated that around 1,000 tons of pepper and 1,000 tons of the other common spices were imported into Western Europe each year during the Late Middle Ages. The value of these goods was the equivalent of a yearly supply of grain for 1.5 million people. The most exclusive was saffron, used as much for its vivid yellow-red color as for its flavor. Spices that have now fallen into obscurity in European cuisine include grains of paradise, a relative of cardamomwhich mostly replaced pepper in late medieval north French cooking, long pepper, mace, spikenard, galangal and cubeb.
2.3- Early modern period The control of trade routes and the spice-producing regions were the main reasons that Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama sailed to India in 1499. Spain and Portugal were not happy to pay the high price that Venice demanded for spices. At around the same time, Christopher Columbus returned from the New World, he described to investors new spices available there. Another source of competition in the spice trade during the 15th and 16th century was the Ragusansfrom the maritime republic ofDubrovnikin southern Croatia. The military prowess ofAfonso de Albuquerque(1453-1515) allowed the Portuguese to take control of the sea routes to India. In 1506, he took the island ofSocotrain the mouth of theRed Seaand, in 1507,Ormuzin thePersian Gulf. Since becoming theviceroyof the Indies, he tookGoain India in 1510, andMalaccaon theMalay peninsulain 1511. The Portuguese could now trade directly withSiam,China, and theMaluku Islands. TheSilk Roadcomplemented the Portuguese sea routes, and brought the treasures of theOrientto EuropeviaLisbon, including many spices. With the discovery of the New World came new spices, includingallspice,chili pepper, vanilla, andchocolate. This development kept the spice trade, with America as a late comer with its new seasonings, profitable well into the 19th century. As times have changed and convenience has become a major factor for consumers, the spice trade has shifted into finding cheaper alternatives to satisfy demand. One of these ways is diluting spices to make inferior quality powdered spices, by including roots, skins and other admixture in production of spice powder.
2.1- List of Main Spices on the World and Their Uses 1- Allspice This is made from the dried unripe fruit of pimenta dioica and is great in jerk recipes 2- Alligator pepper Alligator pepper is commonly used in Africa in soups and stews 3- Anise Anise has a very sweet aroma and more frequently used in confectioners 4- Annatto Ammatto is more commonly used in Latin America and Caribbean cuisines as both a flavouring and a colouring agent 5- Bay leaf Bay leaf comes from the bay laurel tree which is a native of the Mediterranean 6- Cardamom Cardamom has a slightly sweet taste and leaves a similar sensation in your mouth to eucalyptus 7- Cayenne pepper Cayenne pepper has excellent medicinal properties, some benefits includeslowering blood pressure and rebuilding tissues in the stomach 8- Cinnamon Cinnamon is a great spice for sweet foods and has quite a number of medicinal properties. 9- Curry Curry powder is very popular in Indian cuisine, has a most delectable taste when used on chicken, with a very nice aroma too 10- Garlic Garlic is very rich in antioxidants which helps destroy free radicals 11- Ginger and Galangal Ginger is a native to India and China and has great medicinal properties, galangal belongs to the same ginger family and is commonly used in Thai foods 12- Nutmeg and Mace Nutmeg is a great flavourings for sweet foods Spices are also used in vegetarian cooking to enhance the flavour, and a lot of persons are becoming more interesting in vegetarian dishes. Find great vegetarian dishes at healthy-vegetarian-cooking.com. Source: list-of-spices
The terms "spice" and "herb" have both been used to describe parts of plants (possibly dried) that are used to enhance the flavor or taste of food. In addition, herbs have been used to augment cosmetics, preserve foods and cure illnesses. Spices and herbs can consist of flower buds, bark, seeds, leaves or many other parts of a plant. Over time the definitions for spices and herbs have changed a bit. In the past, spices have been categorized as fragrant, aromatic plant products like cinnamon, cloves, ginger and pepper. These spices are found in plants grown in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. While herbs have always been recognized as the more green, leafy products like mint, rosemary and thyme grown in more temperate areas. But according to the American Spice Trade Association, today spices have become known as "any dried plant product used primarily for seasoning purposes." This all-inclusive definition seems to cover a wide range of plants like herbs, spice seeds and even dehydrated vegetables and spice blends. Source: difference-herb-spice - http://www.infoplease.com/askeds/difference-herb-spice.html
3.1- Spice Plants + Definition: Aplantthataccumulatespiquantaromaticsubstancesin variousorgans.Theplantorgansareusedinfoodas seasoningsortoimproveappetiteandgastricactivity. Spiceplantsarewidelydistributedthroughouttheworld, especiallyinthetropics. Treesarethemostcommonformof tropical spice plants; examples include trees of the families Lauraceae, Myrtaceae, Adoxaceae, and Leguminosae. The most valuable spice plants are the clove tree, which contains essential oils in the flower buds; the cinnamon tree, which has an essential oil in the bark; the nutmeg tree, whoseseeds and aril contain an essential oil; and black pepper,which has an essential oil and the alkaloid piperine(imparting a piquant taste) in the fruits. Widelyusedherbsincludecardamom(essentialoilin the seeds), ginger (essential oil in the rhizomes), vanilla (essential oil and aromatic glycoside in the flower buds andthe unripe fruits), and red pepper (the pungent alkaloid capsaicin and up to 390 mg percent vitamin C and carotene in the pericarp). IntheUSSRmanyspeciesofspiceplantsgrowwildorarecultivated.Nearlyallareherbsandbelongtonontropical families.Someofthecultivatedspeciesareindigenoustothetropicsandsubtropics(redpepper,sweetbay,parsley, marjoram). Themostvaluablespice plantsarefromthe families: - Umbelliferae(dill,parsley,celery,anise,ajowan, coriander,parsnip), - Cruciferae(mustard,horseradish, gardencress), - Capparidaceae(capers), - Labiatae(basil, lavender, marjoram,balm,mint), - Compositae(tarragon), - Liliaceae(onion,garlic), - andIridaceae(saffron). Theparts usedasspicesfromtheseplantsincluderoots,rhizomes, fruits,andflowers. Source: Spice Plant + Examples of Top Ten crops of Spice Plants on the World: 1- Garcinia (Garcinia gummi-gutta) – Vietnamese: Bứa 2- Black pepper (Piper nigrum) – Vietnamese: Hồ tiêu 3- Ginger (Zingiber officinale) – Vietnamese: Gừng 4- Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) – Vietnamese: Đinh hương 5- Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) – Vietnamese: Tiểu Đậu khấu 6- Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) - Vietnamese: Nhục Đậu khấu 7- Turmeric (Curcuma longa) – Vietnamese: Nghệ 8- Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum) – Vietnamese: Quế khâu 9- Paprika (Capsicum annuum) – Vietnamese: Ớt 10- Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) – Vietnamese: Va ni Source: Indian_Institute_of_Spices_Research
3.2- Herbs + Definition of Herbs In general use,herbsare any plants used for food, flavoring, medicine, or perfume. Culinary use typically distinguishes herbs as referring to the leafy green parts of a plant (either fresh or dried), from a "spice", a product from another part of the plant (usually dried), including seeds, berries,bark, roots andfruits. InbotanicalEnglish the word "herb" is also used as a synonym of "herbaceous plant". Herbs have a variety of uses including culinary, medicinal, and in some cases spiritual usage. General usage of the term "herb" differs between culinary herbs andmedicinal herbs. In medicinal or spiritual use any of the parts of the plant might be considered "herbs", includingleaves,roots,flowers,seeds,resin, root bark, inner bark (andcambium),berriesand sometimes thepericarpor other portions of the plant. The word "herb" is pronounced/ˈɜrb/by most North American speakers and in some dialects in the UK, or/ˈhɜrb/by some North American speakers and in all other English-speaking countries. + Types of herbs 1- Culinary herbs Culinary herbs are distinguished fromvegetablesin that, like spices, they are used in small amounts and provideflavorrather than substance tofood. Herbs can beperennialssuch asthymeorlavender,biennialssuch asparsley, orannualslikebasil. Perennial herbs can beshrubssuch asrosemary,Rosmarinus officinalis, ortreessuch asbay laurel,Laurus nobilis – this contrasts withbotanical herbs, which by definition cannot be woody plants. Some plants are used as both herbs and spices, such asdillweed and dill seed orcorianderleaves and seeds. Also, there are some herbs such as those in the mint family that are used for both culinary and medicinal purposes. 2- Medicinal herbs Some plants containphytochemicalsthat have effects on the body. There may be some effects when consumed in the small levels that typify culinary "spicing", and some herbs are toxic in larger quantities. For instance, some types of herbal extract, such as the extract of St. John's-wort (Hypericum perforatum) or of kava (Piper methysticum) can be used for medical purposes to relieve depression and stress.However, large amounts of these herbs may lead to toxic overload that may involve complications, some of a serious nature, and should be used with caution. Herbs have long been used as the basis of traditionalChinese herbal medicine, with usage dating as far back as the first centuryCEand far before. In India, theayurvedamedicinal system is based on herbs. Medicinal use of herbs in Western cultures has its roots in the Hippocratic(Greek) elemental healing system, based on a quaternary elemental healing metaphor. Famous herbalist of the Western tradition includeAvicenna(Persian),Galen (Roman),Paracelsus(German Swiss),Culpepper(English) and the botanically inclined Eclectic physicians of 19th century/early 20th century America (John Milton Scudder, Harvey Wickes Felter,John Uri Lloyd). Modern pharmaceuticals had their origins in crude herbal medicines, and to this day, some drugs are still extracted as fractionate/isolate compounds from raw herbs and then purified to meet pharmaceutical standards. Some herbs are used not only for culinary and medicinal purposes, but also for psychoactiveandrecreationalpurposes; one such herb iscannabis. See also:Herbalism 3- Sacred herbs Herbs are used in manyreligions. For example,myrrh(Commiphora myrrha) and frankincense(Boswelliaspecies) inHellenistic religion, thenine herbs charminAnglo-Saxon paganism,neem(Azadirachta indica) leaves,bael(Aegele marmelos) leaves, holy basil ortulsi(Ocimum tenuiflorum),turmericor "haldi" (Curcuma longa), andcannabisin Hinduism.Rastafarialso considercannabisto be a holy plant. Siberianshamansalso used herbs for spiritual purposes. Plants may be used to induce spiritual experiences for rites of passage, such asvision questsin someNative Americancultures. TheCherokeeNative Americans use bothwhite sageandcedarfor spiritual zerden cleansing andsmudging. See also:Sacred herbs