[Sca-cooks] Are you an herb or a spice?

Susan Lin susanrlin at gmail.com
Fri Nov 20 13:01:52 PST 2009

then do you consider that they fall under a catagory similar to onions and
garlic - as "aromatics" perhaps?  Or, are they unique and therefore fall
into their own specialized "category" that now needs a name?


On Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 1:57 PM, <lilinah at earthlink.net> wrote:

> I'm a wikipedia editor. One of my "pet" projects (i did not start it, nor
> am i the only one working on it) is the "List of culinary herbs and spices":
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_culinary_herbs_and_spices
> Removing purely medicinal herbs and spices has been easy - although keeping
> them off the culinary list requires some vigilance.
> I have also removed a number of dried fruits - amchur (dried mango powder),
> tamarind - although some people want them added back - although if so, i say
> why not add raisins, prunes, dried apricots, dates, etc.?
> There is now currently a debate in the discussion section - which i started
> - about whether sesame seeds and poppy seeds qualify as spices.
> To view the discussion, click on the "Discussion" tab at the top of the
> article and scroll to the bottom, where the discussion to which i'm
> referring, "Nuts and Seeds That Aren't Spices... Or Are They?", is located.
> I argue that they are closer in use to nuts, and in some recipes nuts
> (including that non-nut, the peanut) are sprinkled on top for flavor and
> texture but are neither main ingredients nor spices. There is an argument
> that since they are used in nutritionally small quantities and add flavor in
> many foodstuffs, they qualify as spices. Personally i think that is not
> sufficient - all sorts of ingredients are used in small quantities to add
> flavor, but doesn't necessarily make the spices or herbs. The person making
> that argument points to the Wikipedia entry for spices
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spice
> which i think is generally good, but perhaps a bit inadequate. Another says
> that Wikipedia needs to be internally consistent, which is reasonable,
> but...
> So, what think you, O collected cooking wisdom?
> Should sesame seeds and poppy seeds be listed as spices? or not?
> (and not because Spice Islands brand sells them in bottles in the spice
> section of the stupormarket or Gernot Katzer includes them in his Spice
> Pages)
> If they are "spices", then i will seriously consider adding pumpkin seeds,
> sunflower seeds, chestnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, and a number of items by
> definition not nuts: almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, coconuts, macadamia
> nuts, peanuts, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts.
> Why by definition not a nut? See:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nut_(fruit)_
> If you agree with me that poppy and sesame seeds are generally not spices,
> i will need some sort supporting references, if i am to take the step to
> alter the "Spice" entry without seeming self-serving.
> --
> Someone sometimes called Urtatim
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