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Herbs And Spices
Submitted by: Jezebel Jen

Spices, herbs and seeds add that just-right touch of seasoning to baked goods. Store dried herbs, spices and seeds in a cool, dark, dry area in airtight containers. Seasonings lose flavor when exposed to heat and light, such as when stored over or near your kitchen range or in a countertop spice rack. Herbs and spices should be replaced annually. Store fresh herbs with cut stems in water in the refrigerator.
Herbs can be used either fresh or dried. One tablespoon of fresh herbs is equivalent to 1 teaspoon crushed or 1/2 teaspoon ground herbs. Here are some of the most popular spices, herbs and seeds used.

HERBS

Basil:
Found in India, Western Europe and the United States. It is a member of the mint family with leaves 1 1/2 inch long; has mild aromatic odor; warm, sweet flavor with slight licorice taste. Tastes good with tomatoes; peas; squash; lamb; fish; eggs; tossed salad; cheese; duck; potatoes. Available whole or ground. Bay Leaf: Found in Turkey, Yugoslavia, Portugal, and Greece. It is a green, aromatic leaf of the laurel tree; has pungent flavor. Tastes good with vegetable and fish soups; tomato sauces and juice; poached fish; meat stews. Available as whole leaf.

Chervil:
Found in France and the United States. It is a member of the parsley family with feathery leaves; has mild, delicate flavor. Tastes good with egg and cheese dishes; chicken; peas; spinach; green salads; cream soups. Available whole or ground.

Dill:
Found in India and the United States. It is fruit of parsley family; has aromatic odor with delicate caraway flavor. Tastes good with fish dishes; cream and cottage cheese; potatoes; fish and vegetable salads; pickles; tomatoes. Available whole or ground.

Fennel:
Found in India, France and Argentina. It is dried fruit of herb in parsley family; consists of tiny yellowish-brown seeds with licorice flavor. Tastes good with soups; fish dishes; sauces; sweet pickles; bread and rolls. Available whole or ground.

Marjoram:
Found in France, Germany and Chile. It is a member of the mint family, with aromatic odor. Tastes good with fish chowders; vegetable soups; eggs; cheese dishes; stews; roast chicken; beef; lamb; pork; stuffings. Available whole or ground.

Mint:
Found in all parts of the world. It is dried leaf of peppermint or spearmint plant, with strong, sweet odor and tangy, cool taste. Tastes good with jellies; fruit juices; candies; frosting; cakes; pies; lamb; ice cream; potatoes; peas; and chocolate desserts. Available whole (dried); flaked; or as fresh sprigs.

Oregano:
Found in Mexico, Italy, Chile and France. It is a member of the mint family, light-green in color, with strong, aromatic odor and pleasantly bitter taste. Tastes good with tomato sauces; pork and veal dishes; pizza, vegetable and fish salads; chili. Available whole or ground.

Parsley:
Found in the United States and Europe. It is a tiny green leaf growing in clusters on low plant; mild, slightly tangy flavor. Tastes good with meat; vegetables; soups; eggs; cheese. Available whole, ground, or as flakes.

Rosemary:
Found in France, Spain and Portugal. It is leaf of evergreen shrub, with appearance of curved pine needle; has aromatic odor with slightly piney taste. Tastes good with poultry stuffing; veal and lamb roasts; potatoes; cauliflower; fish; duck. Available whole or ground.

Sage:
Found in Yugoslavia, Italy, Greece and Spain. It is the leaf of a shrub of the mint family, with pleasant aromatic odor and warm, slightly bitter taste. Tastes good with stews and salads; stuffings; pork roasts, sausages; poultry and hamburgers. Available as leaf, rubbed, or powdered.

Savory:
Found in France and Spain. It is a member of the mint family; has aromatic odor, pungent flavor. Tastes good with eggs; meat; salads; chicken; soups; stuffings. Available whole or ground.

Tarragon:
Found in France and the United States. It is leaf and flower-top of plant; has pungent flavor resembling licorice. Tastes good with fish sauces; egg and cheese dishes; green salads; pickles; vinegar; chicken; tomatoes; sauces for meats and vegetables. Available whole or ground.

Thyme:
Found in France and Spain. It is a member of the mint family, with short brown leaves; has warm, aromatic odor, pungent flavor. Tastes good with soups; clam chowders; stuffings; beef; lamb, veal, and pork dishes; oysters; eggs; cheese; bean and vegetable soups; fish. Available whole or powdered.

SPICES

Allspice:
This is called “4 spices” by the French because it tastes like a blend of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and juniper berry. It is available whole or ground.

Cardamom:
This is a 3-sided, creamy white pithy pod which contains 17 to 20 seeds. The seeds are pungent yet sweet. It is available in the pod, as shelled or as ground seeds.

Cinnamon:
This is a mild, sweet spice which comes from the bark of a tree. It is available in stick, ground or as an oil.

Cloves:
Grown in Madagascar and Zanzibar, this pungent, oily spice is available whole, ground or as an oil.

Ginger:
This sweet yet slightly tangy spice comes from the root of a lily. Ginger is available fresh, ground and candied.

Nutmeg:
Nutmeg is the sweet, hard kernel of a fruit. Mace is from the same fruit and similar in flavor. Nutmeg is usually available in ground form but can be purchased whole.

Pumpkin pie spice:
This is a blend of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. To make your own, combine 4 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon cloves.

Saffron:
Harvested from the autumn crocus, this golden-yellow spice is rare, costly, has a strong flavor and must be used sparingly. It imparts a yellow color to food.

To submit your favorite recipes to be included in the Garden of Friendship Recipe Book, please email them to Barbiel

Background graphics made especially for the Recipes Committee of the Garden of Friendship by Valatine