[Sca-cooks] Herb? Spice? Other?

lilinah at earthlink.net lilinah at earthlink.net
Wed Feb 11 18:21:32 PST 2009

>lilinah at earthlink.net wrote:
>> Herbs are pretty much just leaves, fresh or dried. That's simple.
>> The category of spices, on the other hand, is much more complex and includes:
>> -- seeds, and, actually, some dried fruits, such as fennel, mustard, and black pepper;
>> -- roots and rhizomes, such as turmeric, ginger, and galangal;
>> -- barks, such as cinnamon and cassia;
>> -- dried buds, such as cloves;
>> -- arils, such as mace;
>> -- stamens, such as saffron;
>> -- resins, such as asafoetida and mastic.
>> I'm trying to decide if dried flowers are spices or not. I tend to list items such as roses, lavender, and safflower separately from spices.
>> Same goes for animal products, such as musk and ambergris, that were used in foods. I tend to list them separately from spices, too.  

Antonia di Benedetto Calvo wrote:
> Well, that looks like my classifications from Wikipedia, so I think it's 
> accurate :-)

Probably is my paraphrase of your work. I've been updating the Wikipedia culinary herb and spice page. I got rid of most of the purely medicinal items and added in botanical names. And i have some quibbles with some sources that include nuts and pickled capers as spices...

> I'd be OK with adding flowers to the list, if I knew of any flowers used 
> specifically as culinary spices.

Well, lavender is frequently used as a seasoning in savory dishes in the so-called anonymous Andalusian cookbook. And roses show up a lot in medieval recipes all over the place. Both are used like spices, but i'm not quite sure if they should be so classified.

> I agree that musk and ambergris are *not* spices.
Urtatim (that's urr-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

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