Collection image

M-EOL The Origin of Herbs, Spices and More

Last updated about 1 year ago

This Collection highlights the origin of several common food plants, herbs and spices used for cooking. Food plants, herbs and spices have been extensively traded since early times and many are now grown in places where they are not native.

Spices and herbs are parts of plants that are used to enhance the flavor of foods. They can also be used to preserve foods, cure illness and as natural pesticides.

The difference between spices and herbs is based on which part of the plant they come from. Herbs come from the leafy and green part of the plant while spices are parts of the plant other than the leaf such as the root, stem, bulb, bark or seeds.

Spices are often dried before being used to season foods. Some examples are allspice, cinnamon, cloves and pepper. Herbs are used both fresh and dried and examples include basil, oregano, thyme, parsley and mint. Herbs are usually grown in more temperate areas than spices.