Blended Spices
     

Blend Spices

Spices - the aromatic bark, roots, seeds, buds, and flowers of plants - have been prominent in human history virtually since its inception. Spices as medicines, preservatives and perfumes were some of the most valuable items of trade in the ancient and medieval world. Surprisingly, it was this race for spices that prompted Christopher Columbus to sail in search of the western route he was sure existed. "Spices were once one of the most expensive items in household accounts and were usually kept locked up in the drawers or compartments of special spice cupboards or boxes." "The appeal of exotic spices used to be so great that they were once believed to be a gift worthy of royalty." Many ancient cuisines, among them Indian and Indonesian foods, have grown up next to the indigenous spices that identify them. Others, like the Italian and Spanish ones, have benefitted from the spice trade's migratory nature, adopting exotic spices and indelibly linking them with their own food. As research both old and new has helped us to better understand spices' curative effects - psychological, as well as physical, the importance of spices in our lives becomes even greater. Spices can be primarily used in the various forms e.g., fresh ripe, dried, broken, powdered etc., and contribute aroma,taste,flavour, colour and pungency to food. Spices constitute an essential part of any dish and are used to add that special distinctive relish to Indian, Arabic and Mediterranean dishes for their aroma, fragrance and harmonized flavours. Indian spices, which include pepper, cardamom, red chilies, ginger turmeric, cumin, curry powders etc., are world famous for their aroma, tangy taste and flavour. Spice expert, Jill Norman, in her new book Herbs & Spices says: "Herbs and spices are used to stimulate all the senses, not just the taste buds, through their aroma, flavor, texture, and visual appeal. In all the regions of the world, traditional flavor combinations, using local ingredients, have come to characterize the foods of those regions".