Herbs and spices are used in culinary to increase the aroma and flavor of the dish. Both of them have strong aroma and people love it because it can wake up the appetite. However, spice vs herbs sometimes make people get confused since they’re similar to one another.
Both of them aren’t the main ingredients. Some people might add them based on their preference. The more it’s used, the greater and stronger the flavor. If it’s confusing for you, here is the simple explanation about the two and also the difference.
- 1 Herbs Definitions
- 2 Spice Definitions
- 3 Spice VS Herbs
- 4 The Benefits of Spice VS Herbs
Since centuries ago, spice and herbs are used as natural medicines and also flavoring the dish. Herbs can be found everywhere. It’s a plant with strong fragrant. The popular herbs are thyme, rosemary, basil, dill, and parsley. They grow easily and compatible as companion planting herbs.
Most herbs are evergreen or have greeny leaves. The size of plants is various, ranging from 10 inches to 40 inches. As herbs, people take the benefit from its leaves. The leaves have strong scent that could influence the taste of the dish, especially as topping.
Spice and herbs are different things. If herbs are the leafy part, spice is the dried ones. The benefit is as same as herbs, flavoring the dish to the next level. But still it isn’t considered as main ingredient. Even so, it has a great role to make the cuisine even tastier.
In many Asian dishes, spice is very popular because it grows well in tropical land. The parts of spice are the root, the seed, the twigs, the berries, and sometimes the stem. They’re not the leaves, yet it’s woody and hard. All of them are dry and have a minimum content of water or oil.
Spice VS Herbs
1. The form
The main part of herbs is its leaves. When you’re doing how to harvest herbs, you only pick the leaves part. Though you take all of the stem or whole, you only need the leaf since it’s the only part that has a strong fragrance and is edible.
But if you go to the supermarket, you’ll find two kinds of herbs. Some are still fresh, and the others are dry. The dry herbs are cheaper unlike the spice you find. People often can’t differ spice and herbs when they are in dry form. But mostly, dry herbs are sprigs.
People take the advantages of spice from its stem, berries, or root. They are the hardy part, that’s why you need to grind it first before cooking. In the supermarket, you might find the powdery form and it’s easy-to-use. Choose the natural form for the better flavor.
2. How to cook
Herbs consist of two kinds, the fresh and dried. Both of herbs have different style. The fresh one is taken from the garden or bought immediately before cooking. It’s chopped or put as the topping of the dish. The taste is bright and fresh. They’re parsley, mint and cilantro.
Spice and herbs in dry form has similar role in usage. The dried herbs are used to marinate the dish before it’s cooked. This method is used in order the herbs absorb to the main ingredients. Using the dry herbs has to be careful and look at the conversion chart because the great amount can ruin the taste.
When you go to the spice and herbs section, usually you’ll find spice as powder. Some companies decide to sell them as powder because it’s easy to use. The consumers don’t need to ground them. However, the ground spice has lost their flavor, moreover if it’s stored in a long time.
So, it’s better to get them in original form than the powdery ones. Grind them before you use it, but don’t take too long. You can use mortar especially to grind the seeds. Make sure the mortar has been cleaned before using so the spice’s flavor won’t change as the previous ground-spice.
There are several ways to store those best herbs to grow. The popular ways are storing in the freezer and storingng as dried herbs. The dried herbs are easier. You just need to put them in cool places and sealed tightly in a jar. The flavor is good at least in the next six months.
Another way to preserve them is in the freezer. The fresh herbs are chopped into sprigs. After that, put them in ice cube tray and add olive oil. Once you want to cook, just throw the cube on the pan. This is the great way in spice vs herbs storing because the flavor is still great after months.
It’s easy to store the spice. All you need is an opaque jar. Put your spice there and store in cool places. Avoid the exposure, whether it’s sunlight or the lamp. The light can influence the taste. Avoid placing it near the stove as well because the heat can reduce the flavor.
Some herbs are enjoyed raw and fresh. The nutritions are greater than the dry herbs. The common nutrition in herbs are vitamin K, vitamin C, and calcium. But when you enjoy the dry one, the nutiriton has decreased significantly as well as the antioxidants.
Spice and herbs are only used in small quantities. That’s why some people ignore the content of their nutrition especially the spice. Whether spice vs herbs can add a few calories to your meal. But don’t worry because the impact won’t be large if you’re on diet.
The Benefits of Spice VS Herbs
1. Promoting the health
Are spices good for you? The best part of herbs and spice is promoting health. Since ancient times, both of them haven been used as medical properties. They have antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, preventing the stroke, and smoothing the digestion.
2. Soothing the skin
Do you have a problem with sore skin? Spice and herbs can be used to gain the blood circulation. You need to grind them first, then apply to the skin. The effect is greater than bathing with hot water. Usually, people use ginger, pepper and cloves.
3. Aroma therapy
Both of them have a strong scent and they’re soothing. The scent is natural and it can be an excellent therapy. Some industry whether it’s perfume or deodorants, take this benefit. It calms your nerves especially if you drop some oils to your diffuser before sleep.
In a nutshell, you can’t easily compare spice vs herbs because they’re different. However, they have some benefits like natural remedy and natural medicine. Go get the herbs and spice in the supermarket or in the garden to increase the flavor of your dishes.