Spices Facts

Spices Facts
Spices are used to flavor foods in many different cultures around the world. A spice is a plant substance, which can include seeds, bark, root, or fruit. Spices are not the same as herbs - herbs are derived from the stems, flowers, or leaves of a plant. A large number of spices provide antimicrobial properties and other health benefits, which is why they can be found in medicine in various cultures. Spices are often found in the creation of perfume, religious ceremonies and rituals, and cosmetics. The spice trade in the Middle East and Southern Asia began in approximately 2000 BCE and spread throughout the world as demand grew.
Interesting Spices Facts:
Alum is a spice that can be applied to minor cuts to stop the flow of blood.
Sage can be used to prevent foot odour when placed in the shoe. A few crumbled leaves in the shoe help to kill the bacteria that causes odour.
A bay leaf inside food storage containers can keep ants from invading as they do not like the spice.
Spices such as cayenne pepper can be used to keep animals out of the garden.
Spices can be used in a variety of forms including whole, dried, fresh, or pre-ground.
Whole spices have the longest shelf-life, while fresh spices tend to be more expensive and have a shorter shelf life.
Spices are used in moderation and as a result do not have a lot of calories when added to dishes.
Spices derived from seeds tend to be high in fat, carbohydrates, and protein, but are used sparingly and do not add a lot of calories.
Spices often contain minerals and micronutrients such as calcium, iron, and magnesium.
Many spices contain antioxidants, such as flavonoids which can help the body absorb other nutrients.
Spices can be used as natural preservatives. They can slow or even prevent food spoilage in some cases. This can also help preserve the nutritional content in food.
Countries that produce the most spices, in order from highest and descending, include India, Bangladesh, Turkey, China, Pakistan, Iran, Nepal, Columbia, Ethiopia, and Sri Lanka.
Common spices used in India include black pepper, vanilla, turmeric, nutmeg, ginger, clove, cardamom, and paprika.
Pepper was mentioned in texts dating back to the 4th century BC in Indian cuisine.
Black garlic is a savory version of garlic, without the harshness associated with white garlic.
One of the most expensive spices in the world is saffron. Saffron is the stigma of the crocus flower and must be harvested by hand. One gram of Saffron requires 100 flowers.
A nutmeg tree produces both nutmeg and mace. Nutmeg is popular in many dishes and in baking. Mace is pungent.
There is a spice blend called Chinese Five Spice, which contains ingredients that match the five flavors, including sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and pungent.
The Scoville scale was created by Wilbur Scoville. It measures the heat of a chile. The hottest chile known to exist for sale is the Carolina Reaper which measures 2.2 million on the Scoville Scale.

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