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What Is The Difference Between An Herb And A Spice?

Cooking is one of those daily things we do without thinking. But a really great meal is something that brings people together. The perfect flavor on that perfect plate of chicken can make or break the mood. A little spice in life certainly makes it worth living. Those of us who are a little more amateur when it comes to cooking may be a little ignorant when it comes to specific technical terms. For example, what is an herb versus a spice? Most of us might say that they are the same thing, and continue on without a blink. But for those of you that would like to understand a little more about those things you use to flavor every meal, let us explain just a little bit further.

Both herbs and spices have been used for centuries all across the world for many different purposes. Not only are they used for cooking, like we may be familiar with, but they’ve also been used for medicinal purposes as well as general health or even just to fill a room with its aroma. Herbs and spices have been precious trading materials that were part of the reason of early colonization all over the world, as well as good reasons to travel and discover the unknown. They have always been precious and made a difference in every day life. But herbs are not the same thing as spices.

The basic difference between these two things are how they are gathered. Herbs and spices come from plants, but herbs are gathered from a different part of the plant than the spices. The leafy part of a plant are usually dried, and it is from these leaves that herbs are obtained. Certainly, there are a number of herbs that can be used fresh, for a little bit different flavor. Spices are generally obtained from seeds, fruits, roots, bark, or any other vegetative substance that can be edible. Usually, herbs are fresher than spices, but both can be used with great results.

Herbs also are used more often than spices in the medical field, as well as a substance to augment cosmetics and preserve foods. Spices are used very often in other things, such as aromatherapy, candles, and other things.

What is an herb versus a spice? Of course, there are a number of people that say that there is no actual difference between herbs and spices, although the botanical definition of an herb is a plant that does not produce any kind of woody stem. Nevertheless, both are important parts of our everyday lives.

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