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Herbs and Spices. Herbs and spices l Herbs are aromatic leaves or seeds from plants of temperate origin l Spices are aromatic fruits, flowers, bark or.

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Presentation on theme: "Herbs and Spices. Herbs and spices l Herbs are aromatic leaves or seeds from plants of temperate origin l Spices are aromatic fruits, flowers, bark or."— Presentation transcript:

1 Herbs and Spices

2 Herbs and spices l Herbs are aromatic leaves or seeds from plants of temperate origin l Spices are aromatic fruits, flowers, bark or other plant parts of tropical origin l While herbs and spices are mainly associated with cooking, they have been used in medicine, as natural dyes, and in the perfume and cosmetic industries

3 Essential Oils l Volatile substances that contribute to the essence or aroma of certain plants l Most commonly found in leaves, flowers, and fruits where they occur in specialized cells or glands l Chemically, essential oils are classified as terpenes - type of hydrocarbon l In flowers they attract pollinators

4 Early history of spices l Primitive people were attracted to aromas of these plants and found uses for them l Ancient Egyptians used herbs and spices extensively in medicine, cooking, embalming, and as perfumes and incense. l Ebers Papyrus dated about 3500 years ago is a scroll that lists the medical uses of many plants

5 Ebers Papyrus l Anise, caraway, mustard, saffron and many others l Cinnamon and cassia also mentioned in Egyptian records l These two spices, native to Southeast Asia and China, are evidence that an active spice trade was already in existence

6 Ancient Greek trade l During ancient Greek civilization, the spice trade was flourishing between the Mediterranean region and the Far East l Spices such as the cinnamon and cassia as well as black pepper and ginger from India l Arab merchants brought the spices by caravan from India, China, and Southeast Asia (Spice Islands in East Indies)

7 The Roman spice trade l Spices were even more prominent in the Roman Empire l After first century, Rome began trading directly with India by ship, breaking the centuries-old Arab monopoly l When Rome fell in 476 A.D. the spice trade virtually disappeared l Centuries elapsed before the spice trade actively resumed

8 Dark Ages l Exotic spices from the East were rare l Europeans had to rely on native temperate herbs and many valued for medicinal uses l Merchant travelers kept a limited supply of spices from the Arab trading centers l Crusades, beginning in 1095, increased the spices from the Near East

9 Marco Polo l Venice and Genoa rose in 12th and 13th century l Venetian who influenced spice trade - Marco Polo l Traveled to the court of Kubla Khan in China in 1271 and spent 25 years in the Orient - saw its riches and wrote about it on his return l Increased European desire for spices l Lured more and more travelers eastward l New overland routes were established and soon explorers were searching for sea routes to the East

10 Henry the Navigator l Prince Henry of Portugal wanted to break the Venetian-Muslim trade monopoly l He established a school of navigation in 1418 to find a sea route to the Orient l His efforts laid the ground work for the Age of Exploration

11 Age of Exploration l In 1486 Bartholomew Dias discovered the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa, proving a sea route to India was possible l Vasco da Gama made the possibility a reality when he reached the west coast of India in 1497

12 Christopher Columbus l Sailed west in search of spices of the East l He was convinced that he had discovered the route to China and Japan. l Christopher Columbus never found black pepper and cinnamon, but he firmly establish Spain's claim to the New World l He did introduce many plants including yams, sweet potato, cassava, kidney beans, maize, capsicum peppers, and tobacco

13 Ferdinand Magellan l Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan, also sailing for Spain, led the expedition that circumnavigated the globe ( ) and discovered a western route to the Spice Islands

14 Imperialism - Portuguese control l During the 16th century, Portugal monopolized spice trade through its outposts in India, China, Japan and the Spice Islands l The Portuguese were ruthless in their control, often enslaving native populations to labor in the plantations. l Price of spices soared throughout Europe, and the revenues brought tremendous wealth and power to Portugal

15 Dutch control l Dutch and English broke the Portuguese control early in the 17th century l By 1621 the Dutch forced the Portuguese from the Spice Islands l Dominant force in the East Indies, Ceylon, and the Persian Gulf spice markets l Even harsher than the Portuguese l To inflate prices of nutmegs and cloves, uprooted 75% of trees on the Spice Islands.

16 English control l In the later half of the 18th century the Dutch monopoly began to break down l British and French began spice plantations in their own colonies l By the end of the 18th century, 200 years of Dutch control ended l Early in 19th century the English East India Company had control over most of the spice- rich Orient

17 No more spice monopolies l In the 19th century spice monopolies had ended l Decentralization of the spice trade had begun and a spice monopoly would never occur again

18 New World Discoveries l The New World spices, introduced first to Spain, included allspice, vanilla, and several varieties of capsicum peppers such as chili peppers and paprika.

19 Old World Spices *Cassia bark *Cinnamon inner bark *Cloves flower bud *Ginger rhizome *Nutmeg and mace --- seed and aril *Black Pepper fruit *Saffron stigma *Turmeric rhizome

20 Cinnamon l From bark of Cinnamomum zeylanicum tree l One of the oldest and most valuable spices l Native to India and Sri Lanka (Ceylon) l Use documented in ancient Egyptian, Biblical, Greek, Roman, and Chinese accounts l One of the main spices sought after in the explorations of the 15th and 16th centuries

21 Botany of cinnamon l Two-year old stems and twigs cut and the bark removed l Outer layer of the bark is scraped away and inner bark curls into quills l Pieces and trimmings ground

22 Cassia l The similar spice also called cinnamon comes from several related species, but primarily Cinnamomum cassia native to Southeast Asia l Entire bark is used to make the quills l In US much of cinnamon may actually be cassia

23 Black and white pepper l From dried berries of Piper nigrum l Vine native to India and East Indies l Biting flavor of pepper due to volatile oils l Strongest when first ground but the spice loses flavor after grinding

24 Black pepper l Berries picked green, dried for a few days during which they turn black and shrivel l Sold whole as peppercorns or ground pepper

25 White pepper l Berries ripen on the vine, outer hull is removed leaving a grayish-white kernel that is ground l White pepper is slightly milder

26 Cloves l Native to the Moluccas (the Spice Islands) l Unopened flower buds of Eugenia caryophyllata, an evergreen tree l Buds are dried and marketed as whole cloves or ground l Clove oil has been used in medicines, disinfectants, mouthwashes, tooth pastes, soaps, and perfumes

27 Cloves

28 Nutmeg and mace l Two spices from fruit of a single plant l Nutmeg tree - Myristica fragrans native to the Spice Islands in the East Indies l Apricot-like fruit with a fleshy mesocarp l Inside mesocarp is an aril-covered endocarp l Aril is a thin red net-like covering around the endocarp

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30 Nutmeg and mace - the spices l Aril dried and ground as spice mace l Stony endocarp and seed dried until the seed rattles l Seed is nutmeg - sold whole or ground l Both spices have similar properties with a strong, spicy but slightly bitter, aromatic flavor and are used in baking sweets as well as meat and vegetable dishes

31 Hallucinogenic properties l Both nutmeg and mace - hallucinogens. l Large quantities of either spice must be consumed. l Essential oils contain hallucinogens, but because of the toxicity of these compounds, the hallucinations are accompanied by many unpleasant side effects including nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and headaches.

32 Nutmeg and Mace in history l Not known to ancient western civilizations l Reached Europe by the 12th century and were two valued spices of the Middle Ages l Yankee traders in the 19th century developed a scam by producing fake wooden nutmegs which they sold as the real thing - Connecticut- "Nutmeg State"

33 Ginger l From the rhizomes of Zingiber officinale, a small herbaceous perennial native to tropical Asia but cultivated throughout the tropics l Aroma and taste - spicy, hot, pungent, l Best ginger today said to be from Jamaica l Introduced into the New World by the Spanish, so successfully that by 1547 Jamaica was exporting ginger

34 Ginger Rhizome

35 Turmeric l Also native to tropical Asia, Curcuma longa l Another spice obtained from a dried rhizome - same family as ginger l Turmeric is also used as a brilliant yellow dye to color both food and fabric l Ingredient in prepared yellow mustard l One of main spice in curry powder, and often a substitute for saffron

36 Saffron - the world's most expensive spice l From stigmas of crocus, Crocus sativus l Native to eastern Mediterranean countries and Asia Minor l Not an exotic spices from the Far East, but it was highly desired by the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Assyria, Phoenicia, Persia, Greece, and Rome as spice and dye l Today - Spain is leading producer

37 Crocus flowers

38 Saffron harvesting l The blooming period is short, about two weeks - flowers must be picked in full bloom often just a hew hours l Three-parted stigmas carefully removed l Speed important before the petals wilt l Traditionally done by hand l Stigmas dried by slow roasting and sold as either saffron threads or powdered

39 Harvesting

40 Most costly spice l Stigmas from 75,000 to 100,000 flowers for one pound of the spice. l Retail price of saffron $7 to $8 per gram (over $200 per ounce) l Fakes known to include turmeric, marigold or safflower petals, or other substances. l Flavor: pungent, slightly bitter, and musky l Widely used in French, Spanish, Middle Eastern, and Indian cooking

41 New World Spices l Allspice fruit l Capsicum peppers fruit l Vanilla fruit

42 Capsicum peppers l Discovered by Columbus and introduced to Spain l Capsicum fruits as pungent as the Oriental black pepper l He believed that his voyage west in search of spices had been justified

43 Early history of Capsicum peppers l Cultivated for thousands of years in tropical America l Exact time of domestication not known l Fragments of a 9000 year old chili pepper were discovered in a Mexican cave l After their introduction to Spain, spread throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa

44 Botany l Fruits of genus Capsicum, several cultivated species and hundreds of varieties l Member of Solanaceae (tomato family) l Fruits are berries - immature fruits green and mature fruits vary from yellow to purple to red, from long narrow to spherical »Capsicum annuum most widely cultivated – sweet bell peppers ---> hot peppers »Capsicum frutescens mainly in the tropics - more fiery taste such as tabasco pepper

45 Capsaicin l Biting taste due to the amount of capsaicin l Found in the seeds and placental area l Capsaicin content is negligible in the sweet bell peppers and high concentrations in hot chili or jalapeno peppers l Capsaicin can be tasted in concentrations as low as one part per million l Utilized as a pepper spray l Used in creams for localized pain relief

46 Peppers and vitamin C l Excellent sources of vitamin C l One pepper is more than enough to satisfy the daily requirement l Higher in peppers than in citrus fruits l Vitamin C was first chemically isolated from paprika in 1932 by Albert Szent- Gyorgyi, who won a Nobel Prize in 1937

47 Capsicum peppers as a spice l Sold whole, either fresh or dried l Powders are prepared by grinding the dried fruits l Chili powder - a blend of spices in addition to the ground chili peppers l Used internationally

48 Vanilla l Only spice obtained from an orchid l Vanilla planifolia, a perennial vine native to the humid tropical rain forests of Central America and Mexico l Produces elongate pods which are processed into the vanilla beans

49 Processing of vanilla l Pods picked green l Cure for several months to develop characteristic vanilla flavor l Cured beans are percolated with a solution of alcohol to produce vanilla extract

50 Early history l An important commodity among the Aztecs before conquest l Used as flavoring, perfume, medicine, and even as a means of tribute l Used in the preparation of chocolatl l Brought back to Spain, and soon its use spread throughout Europe l Today Madagascar leads the world in cultivation of vanilla beans

51 Allspice l Dried berries of Pimenta dioica an evergreen tree l Long used by the Mayan civilization l Discovered by Europeans in the 1570's l Named for its multi-faceted flavor - similar to a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves l Never successfully cultivated outside the Western Hemisphere

52 Herbs l Herbs are usually the aromatic leaves or sometimes seeds of temperate plants l Other organs may also be herbs l Throughout the centuries, thousands of plants have been used as herbs for both cooking and medicinal properties l Four well known families - mint, parsley, mustard, and lily

53 Mint family - Lamiaceae l Herbaceous plants and small shrubs »square stems »aromatic simple leaves with numerous oil glands l Dried leaves or distilled oils used l Mediterranean region an important center of origin for family

54 Mint family - Lamiaceae l spearmint l peppermint l marjoram l oregano l rosemary l sage l sweet basil l thyme l savory

55 Basil Rosemary

56 Parsley Family - the Apiaceae l Annual, biennial, or perennial l Recognized by their umbels (flat-topped inflorescences) and compound leaves l Characteristic fruit - schizocarp »dry indehiscent fruit which splits into two one-seeded identical halves »commercially referred to as seeds l Useful parts are fruits (seeds) or dried leaves or both

57 Parsley family - the Apiaceae l parsley l caraway l dill l fennel l celery l anise l coriander and cilantro l cumin l chervil

58 Dill

59 Mustard family - the Brassicaceae l Many vegetables: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, turnips, and radishes l Two flavorful herbs - mustard and horseradish l Family especially abundant in the Mediterranean area l Family easily recognized by flowers with four petals arranged in a cross

60 Mustard l From Brassica nigra and B. alba seeds l B. alba, white mustard, milder than B. nigra, black mustard l Marketed as whole and ground seeds l Taste result of reactions between: »sinigrin and myrosin in black mustard »sinalbin and myrosin in white mustard »these react to produce volatile oils - unless acidified they quickly deteriorate

61 Horseradish l Use as a condiment since the Middle Ages in Denmark and Germany l Prepared from taproots l Taste due to the interaction of sinigrin and myrosin which produce volatile oil l When the roots are scraped or grated the components interact l Volatile oil diffuses easily

62 Lily Family - the Liliaceae l Herbaceous perennials that arise from rhizomes, bulbs, or corms l A single genus, Allium from central Asia, is the source of many familiar herbs: »onions - A. cepa » garlic - A. sativum » leeks - A. porrum »shallots - A. ascalonicum »chives - A. schoenoprasum

63 Onions and garlic l Onions - biennial producing a single large bulb l Garlic - perennial with a composite bulb »each clove called a bulblet l Pungent flavor due to volatile sulfur compounds that are released when the tissues are cut » garlic -- allicin »onion -- lacrimatory factor

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65 Medical use l Ebers Papyrus listed 22 uses of garlic for various ailments l In both India and China, onions and garlic used for numerous conditions l Modern research has shown these folk remedies have a sound scientific basis »sulfur compounds in garlic inhibit the growth of disease causing bacteria & fungi »inhibit the formation of blood clots

66 Summary l Essential oils are volatile substances that contribute to the essence, the aroma or flavor, of herbs and spices l Desire for spices had a significant impact on world exploration, colonization, and trade l In temperate regions the use of herbs goes back to prehistoric time l Four families provide the majority of herbs in use today


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