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Introduction to Herbs and Spices

Introduction to Herbs and Spices

Since ancient times, spices and herbs have been used, and they play an important role in food preparation. The spices make food tastier and add unique flavors and colors to the food as it is being prepared. These spices and herbs can either be used alone, or they can be blend together to give food a mixed taste. In some places, spices and herbs are used to replace table salt. So what are herbs and spices and is there any difference between the two?

What Are Herbs and Spices?
To some people, they interchange the two names to mean the same thing, but in reality, there is a big difference between the two. To start with, note that the herbs are planted in temperature zones and come from aromatic plants. Further, the spices come from the tropical zones, and the barks, the berries, flower buds, and the roots are used. So what is the role of the herbs and spices in foods and which ones are the best?

The Use of Herbs and Spices in Food
These two add a very little difference in foods, and their major role is food flavoring and coloring. Some people fear that the spices can make them fat, but they should know that 9they are low in calories. The spices and herbs should be used in low proportions when preparing food. In many places, people are advised to replace salt with spices and herbs; however, the choice is as per the individuals’ preferences since they can as well be used together. Always store the herbs and spices in a cool, dry place, and if possible store them in closed containers. Let’s now review Cinnamon;

Analysis of Different Cinnamon Varieties
This comes from the bark of the trees that are classified under the Genus Cinnamomum. The barks are harvested and left to dry in direct sunlight. During the drying process, the cinnamon bark will curl and can be ground or sold as cinnamon sticks. For many years, cinnamon has been used as traditional medicine, particularly in Egypt, and many other places. There are many different varieties of cinnamon across the world, and they are used for different purposes. Of the many different types, only four are used for commercial purposes and the most common type of the four varieties is Cassia and Ceylon.

Cassia and Ceylon
The Cassia Cinnamon is also referred to as Chinese Cinnamon. Many people refer to the Cassia cinnamon as the fake variety of cinnamon. However, it is the most used type of cinnamon in the US with close to over 80% of households that use spices and herbs using it. It is the cheaper variety of cinnamon and widely available, and this could be the reason why it is the most used variety. When you taste it, you will notice that it has a toxic flavoring substance. The Ceylon variety is referred to as the true cinnamon and is pricier variety. It is hard to find and has a sweeter tasting than the cassia variety. 

Whichever of the two spices you might use, remember to add to taste. You can as well prefer to substitute salt for the spices or use salt and spices in combination. 
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