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Yello Herbs & Spices Rack: Herbs and Spice–What’s the Difference?

by Lou-Ann Jordan Nov 4, 2019

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Welcome to the Yello Herb and Spice Rack.

Ever wondered if there is a difference between a spice and an herb?  For many, the two terms are considered the same and are used interchangeably.

We’ve examined herbs and spices and we’re here to tell you that they are not the same.   Actually, they both have distinct characteristics.

This series will explore the benefits of various types of herbs and spices. But before we dive into these cooking essentials let’s demystify the terms.

First, we all know that both herbs and spices are referred to as seasonings, aromatic additions to our pots, which preserve and flavour food.  And, because of their bacteria killing (antimicrobial) components, many are also used for medicinal purposes.

Herbs vs Spices

The difference between a herb and a spice stems, pun intended, from the part of the plant from which they come.

Spices are derived from the seed, fruit, root, or bark of a plant. Because they are usually dried or crushed they tend to be stronger in flavour than herbs.

Herbs, in contrast, are taken from the leaves of plants.  And most herbs come from plants that do not have woody stems (herbaceous plants).  There are a few herbs that come from woody plants such as basil and bay leaf.  Also, herbs are used fresh or dried, chopped or whole.

Despite these distinctions, there are some plants that produce both an herb and a spice.  Take the popular cilantro for example.  Its leaves are used as an herb and its seeds, coriander, are used as a spice.

There you have it, the difference between herbs and spices.

Now, have fun boosting the flavour of your dishes as you sprinkle or dash.

And, be on the lookout for our next issue in Yello Herbs and Spices Rack.

Want to stock up your herb and spice rack? Search Findyello’s Supermarket & Grocer-Retail listing to find the supermarkets closest to you.

Source: Mother Nature Network.