VIEWS: 16 PAGES: 24 POSTED ON: 9/18/2011
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)!!
Pages to are hidden for
"Herbs and Spices"Please download to view full document