Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Herbs and Spices-Definition

Definitions of herbs and spices vary somewhat but can be identified as follows:

are the aromatic leaves of plants are leaves of low-growing shrubs. Examples are parsley, chives, marjoram, thyme, basil, caraway, dill, oregano, rosemary, savory, sage and celery leaves. These can be used fresh or dried. Dried forms may be whole, crushed, or ground. Many herbs can be grown in the United States in or out of doors.

Spices come from the bark (cinnamon), root (ginger, onion, garlic), buds (cloves, saffron), seeds (yellow mustard, poppy, sesame), berry (black pepper), or the fruit (allspice, paprika) of tropical plants and trees.

Many dehydrated vegetable seasonings are available. These include onion, garlic, sweet peppers, mint, mixed vegetables, and freeze-dried chives and shallots.

Condiments are usually a combination of herbs and spices blended in a liquid form. Examples are prepared mustard, catsup, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco sauce, and many of the steak sauces and specialty vinegars. Many of these contain sodium.

Seasoning blends are mixtures of spices and herbs. Check spice companies for exact mixt ures. Some examples of seasoning blends are:

Storing Spices
Whole herbs and spices last much longer than crushed or ground forms. Many consumers prefer to buy the whole form and crush or grind as needed for greater freshness. Herbs and spices can be crushed with a mortar and pestle, by using a rolling pin with spices between two cloths, or by using the back of a spoon in a cup.

Check ground or crushed herbs and spices for freshness at least once a year. If no aroma is detected after crushing, the seasoning needs to be replaced. Mustard seed and poppy seed aromas will be difficult to detect. Buying the smaller size instead of the economy size container will save money if the large package is not used while it is still fresh. ****See  tip section****

Store away from moisture. Dampness causes caking and a loss of quality.
Store in tightly covered, air tight container.
Use clean, dry spoons for measuring.

Store in a cool place.
Do not store in a window or in sunlight, or near heat sources such as the cooking areas or the dishwasher.

In hot climates, store spices such as paprika, red pepper, and chili powder in the refrigerator to maintain quality.

Storage Life of Herbs and Spices:

Seasoning  Storage Time  
Whole  2-5 years
Ground Spices  6 months-2 years
Leafy Herbs  3 months-2 years
Dehydrated Vegetables  6 months 


thebtls said...

Love your Blog! I hope you don't mind but I posted (paraphrased and outright copied in some cases) your spice information on my Blog. I am working on the second edition of my Big Green Egg cookbook and would also like to put this into my Fun Facts section if you don't mind. I have given you credit on the post, I do NOT sell my cook books, I post them for free downloads. I also posted your blog on my favorites and would appreciate your linking to my blog if you find it appropriate. Thank you

thebtls said...

nice start on the spice site...noticed that you haven't posted since 2008, did you move to another blog site? Regards.