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Herbs and Spices

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									Herbs and Spices
             Herbs and Spices
• Herbs generally of
  temperate origin- leaves
  (sometimes seeds) used.
• Spices generally of
  tropical origin and can be
  aromatic flowers, fruits,
  bark or other parts of the
  plant.
• Essential oils that
  contain terpenes are
  responsible for scents
  and flavors of these
  aromatic plant.
Essential Oils
      • Unsaturated hydrocarbons
        with Isoprene building
        block (C5H8)
      • Antiherbivore compounds
      • Inhibit bacterial/fungal
        pathogens
                  History
• Herbs have certainly been used since antiquity
  (before recorded history).
• Exploration and quest for spices shaped human
  history. Trade routes of 15th and 16th century
Ancient Trading
        • Alexander the Great
          Conquered Egypt
        • Set up Alexandria - spice
          trading center connecting
          Eastern Asia with Africa,
          Europe
        • Roman Empire- purchased
          spices from the East and
          spread them throughout
          Europe
        • After collapse of Empire-
          spice trade stopped for
          centuries
                      Europeans
• Europeans relied mainly on
  native herbs. Tropical spices
  were rare, highly valued.
• Strong spices was to cover up
  the taste of semi-spoiled food
• Nosepiece worn by physician
  attending plague victims were
  filled with spices to overcome
  the smell
• Marco Polo (1271) - traveled
  to Orient and learned about
  cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.
  Reintroduced these to Europe.
                               Spice Wars
•   Vasco da Gama (1497) of
    Portugal - First traveled by sea   •
    to India around Cape of Good
    Hope (S. Africa).
•   Portuguese monopolized spice
    trade in the 16th century.
•   The Dutch forced Portugal
    from the Spice Islands
    (Moluccas - part of Indonesia
    in 1621.
•   Nutmeg and cloves later
    cultivated outside these areas
    (Ceylon).
•   Dutch East India Company
    made huge profits on
    cinnamon.
                           Cinnamon
• Cinnamomum zeyanicum and C.
  cassia
                                       •
• Family = Lauraceae
• India and Sri Lanka
• Bark is used
• Egyptian Pharaohs and queens
  used cinnamon and cassia, for
  embalming during mummification.
• In Exodus, Moses anointed a
  tabernacle using these spices.
• Use of Cinnamomum is recorded
  in Chinese medical history from at
  least 2700 B.C.
• Nero, burned cinnamon at his
  wife's funeral (66 A.D.).
                Cinnamomum
• Cinnamomum is a small
  tree
• Prepared from young
  stems, plants are forced
  to form many vigorous,
  young suckers from
  ground level.
• Young woody stems cut
  into poles several meters
  in length
• Bark peeled at the
  vascular cambium.
          Cinnamon and Cassia
• Cinnamon surface cells, which
  are bitter, are removed, and
  the strips, called quills.
• The best samples are sold as
  whole quills and quillings
• Later subdivided or ground.
• Cassia bark is thicker and
  coarser, and the outer bark is
  not removed.
• U.S. Federal Trade
  Commission permits both
  species to be sold in this
  country as cinnamon.
      Black and White Pepper
• Piper nigrum
• Family = Piperaceae
• Dried berries ground
• Hot/spicy flavor
• White pepper is milder
  because ripened and
  outer fruit removed
• Black pepper picked
  green and fruit dried
  whole
Production

       • Indian growing
         regions are Malabar
         and Tellicherry
       • Southeast Asia-
         insular Malaysia also
         important for black
         pepper
       • Indonesia- white
         pepper
       • Brazil is a commercial
         producer of both
Nutmeg and Mace
       •   Myristica fragrans;
       •   Family = Myristicaceae
       •   Nutmeg- ground seed
       •   Mace- Arils inside fruit
       •   Large evergreen tree
           native to Mollucas
           currently cultivated in
           West Indies
          Nutmeg Medicinal Uses
• Reduce flatulence, aid digestion,
  improve the appetite and treat
  diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.
• Nutmeg’s flavour and fragrance
  come from oil of myristica,
  containing myristicin, a poisonous
  narcotic.
• Myristicin can cause
  hallucinations, vomiting, epileptic
  symptoms and large dosages can
  cause death.
• These effects will not be induced,
  however, even with generous
  culinary usage.
Allspice
    • Pimenta dioica
    • Myrtaceae
    • Native of the New
      World.
    • Berries used.
    • Similar to Cloves
    • Used to treat
      flatulence, nausea,
      vomiting
                    Cloves

• Eugenia caryophyllus
• Myrtaceae
• Native to Spice
  Islands
• Tropical Tree
• Dried Flower Bud
  used
Medicinal Uses: Cloves
           • Cloves contain 15 to 20%
             essential oil which is mostly
             Eugenol
           • Very strong antiseptic.
           • Clove oil is often applied
             directly to an aching tooth,
             bringing immediate relief.
           • Compounded with zinc
             oxide, it has been used in
             dentistry as a temporary
             tooth filling.
           • Also used to treat nausea,
             indigestion and dyspepsia.
                       Ginger
• Zingiber offinale
• Family = Zingiberaceae)
• Rhizome used.
• Herbaceous perennial
• Grows in warm humid
  climate
• Prefers well-drained, rich
  loamy soils
Ginger Medicinal Properties
              • Enhances digestive
                function
              • Enhances circulation
                and absorption.
              • Indigestion, Morning
                Sickness, Nausea
              • Motion Sickness
Hot Chilies
      • Capsicum spp
      • Family = Solanaceae)
      • Native of the New World.
      • Columbus brought them
        to Europe when he was
        looking for route to spice
        islands
      • Spanish and Portuguese
        brought them to Africa
        and Asia
      • Berries used.
           Medicinal Peppers
• Active ingredient
  Capsaicin
• Found in white
  membranes of placental
• Weapon
• Thumbsucking
• Diarrhea, Cramps
• Asthma, Coughs
• Topical ointment for
  muscle and joint pain
Vanilla
    • Vanilla planifolia
    • Family = Orchidaceae
    • Fleshy Vine
    • Native of the New
      World tropics.
    • Fruits used.
Processing
     • Plunged into boiling
       water after picking
     • Dried slowly in sun (1-
       2 hours/day)
     • Further dried in shade
     • 5 beans split open to
       1 pint rum
     • Shake weekly for 1
       month
                      Saffron
• Crocus sativus;
• Iridaceae
• Stigmas used.
• Native to the
  Mediterranean, most
  grown in Spain.
• World's most expensive
  spice.
• 150,000 - 200,000 stigmas
  needed to yield one
  kilogram.
• At $8.50 per gram, that's
  $8,500 for a kilogram (ca.
  $240.00 per ounce)!!

								
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