Friday, April 3, 2009
Herbs, spices...What’s the difference?
Recipes would be pretty bland without the addition of herbs and spices.
Here’s how can you tell one from the other:
Herbs are the flowers, leaves or stems of aromatic plants. They can be purchased fresh or dried. Dried herbs are stronger than the fresh variety because their flavorful oils become more concentrated. To get the most out of dried herbs, lightly crush or grind them before adding them to the recipe.
Spices are the bark, berries, buds, roots or seeds of plants. They are generally used dried, and can be purchased either whole or ground. Whole spices can be added early in the recipe preparation, allowing their flavors to permeate the food. Ground spices should be added later during cooking.
Armenian cuisine uses some common herbs and spices, but can also pack a punch with some unique ones as well. From time to time, we’ll highlight a specific herb or spice, with its background information, plus a recipe or two for you to try.