Herbs Vs. Spices

Difference Between Herbs And Spices

Adding flavor and aroma to food is always the responsibility of herbs and spices. But the next time you are confused by the facts that are there in an Oriental cookbook then just take a look at the subtle difference between spices and herbs.

The most noticeable difference between these two is that both are different parts of a plant. While one is the leaves, spices on the other hand are usually, derived from roots, stems, seeds or fruits of the plant. While most people confuse with these two terms but technically both are different.

If you look at the biological differences, the plants found in plants that do not produce woody stems. There is an exception to this rule, Rosemary. They are normally in temperate regions, but spices are generally found in countries in Asia. Origin Even spices such as nutmeg, pepper and cloves in tropical countries, they are common in most western countries today.

Herbs are basically plants and leaves are used for savory flavors in food. But they also hold certain medicinal properties as well. When preparing a culinary delight, you will often feel the need of adding more of herbs rather than spices owning to their subtle flavor. Spices are usually are much stronger in taste than herbs.

Herbs usually originate from places like France, Italy and England. Technically, herbs are also herbaceous plants that die before the end of the seasons span; they may not be the herbs that are used in cooking at all.

Spices are on the contrary available across countries that are tropical and warm, and these are usually features of herbaceous and woody plants. Spices help in the preservation of food though herbs lack this property.

You may also encountered plants that are considered both a source of spices and herbs. For example, coriander leaf varieties, and seed spices. Other examples of such plants are dill. The seeds are spices and dill weed is from the character or the leaves of the plant.

There is another difference to note between the spices and herbs. Since the plants originated in temperate countries themselves, they often seem to be cheap. Spices are not easily available and are expensive, even around areas where their availability is common however herbs are easy to grow and hence very reasonably priced. Even a common gardener can grow some of these but spices require accurate conditions for growth.

Before clinical medicines were invented, spices and herbs were used for the cure of various conditions. Even today these are commonly used for treating certain diseases. Like for example, turmeric has anti-cancer properties however a rigorous scientific analysis is yet to be conducted on these.

Herbs and spices are not just used for the flavoring of food. They are also used in perfumes and aromatherapy as well.


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