HOW HERBS AND SPICES ADD FLAVOR TO OUR FOOD
Herbs and Spices are considered to be the heart and soul of every dish. Enthusiastic chefs around the world use them to add texture, aroma, color, and flavour to cooking.
Here is how to use these magical and naturally grown ingredients in the best possible way. They are guaranteed to enhance the taste when used in the right way. Combine them together to produce a rich symphony of flavors or use them separately to relish that distinctive tinge. Before any further ado let us understand their properties and put them to proper use in your kitchen.
A little secret about the herbs and spices
Generally, herbs are plants with savory or aromatic properties. Herbs refer to the leafy green or flowering parts of a plant, either fresh or dried. For the culinary purpose, Herbs are used for flavoring and garnishing food. Common kitchen herbs are basil, cilantro, chamomile, oregano, mint, and parsley.
Spices may be available in several forms: fresh, whole dried, or pre-ground dried. However, most spices are dried. A spice is a seed, fruit, root, bark, or other plant substance. For cooking purpose, spices are primarily used for flavoring or coloring food. Common kitchen spices are cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, coriander, cumin, and allspice. For a full list click here.
For a full list of Herbs and Spices Click here...
Since ancient times, herbs and spices have been used throughout the world, but now this secret has been re discovered and their usage have been increased tenfold in the modern era.
No doubt, both add flavor to the food and enhance the taste, but they are also beneficial for a healthy diet. Both have anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to heal body cells quickly. Moreover, their flavors are a healthy substitute for unwanted chemicals like salt, fat, and sugar which are dangerous for health. They also act as appetizers.
Often both end up in the same kitchen rack because of their use for seasoning. However, both are different from each other in terms of properties and tastes. Comprehensively, both herbs and spices are part of plants, but herbs can be fresh or dried whereas spices are mostly dried.
There is a famous saying that herbs and spices give an unpleasant medicinal smell to our dishes. In fact if used properly and in correct quantity they produce a tantalizing aroma and add a sensational flavour to our cooking.
Herbs have a subtle flavor and sweet aroma. In contrast, spices have a more robust flavor and sharp aroma. We can add extra herbs, but additional spices will destroy your dish. With spices, less is more. For example, an extra pinch of oregano in White Pasta Sauce will enhance the flavor and aroma, but extra black pepper will make your pasta very spicy.
Herbs and spices are used to enhance flavor in various cuisines and drinks, such as savory dishes, desserts, jams, sauces, chutneys, dips, cocktails, and mocktails. Leena Spices has an authentic use with easy to cook recipes.
The skill of combining Herbs and Spices
- When it comes to seasoning, little is okay. Adding too much will destroy the original taste of that dish. For example, an extra spoon of cinnamon will make the cookies unable to eat.
- Don’t spoil the broth by adding two or more potent herbs into the same dish. One strong flavor of herb and the other mild will complement better.
- For optimal flavour dried herbs are put in the beginning, while fresh herbs are added in the end. For example, we add oregano in between cooking while we add parsley in the end.
- Cold dishes need extra time to blend. That is why, we have to add herbs and spices hours before serving. For example, we rub spices on raw meat and leave it to marinate so that the meat can absorb proper flavor.
- The more you chop, the more flavor it will generate. We have to chop the fresh leaves finely, as the more the number of surface cuts, the more the food will absorb the flavor of herbs.
- An ancient device for milling by pounding is a good example. A mortar and pestle come in handy when it comes to powdering dry herbs. Always keep it in the kitchen if you are an avid user.
- Double the recipe, half the herbs. When we double any recipe, we will not double the quantity of herbs. We will use 50% more herbs to get the right taste.
- Better dried out than fresh. Dried herbs are more flavorful and suitable than fresh ones.
- In a nutshell just keep in mind that 2 teaspoons of fresh herbs are equivalent to three quarter of dried or a quarter of powdered.
How to Store Herbs and Spices Properly To Protect their Flavor
- Proper storage is necessary to retain the natural flavor of herbs and spices.
- Store dried herbs and spices in a cool, dry and dark place (preferably in the cabinets) in air-tight containers.
- Gluten free dried herbs and spices can stay without losing any of their properties. Leena Spices is the company that have spice blends with no additives and preservatives. They are pure and chili free.
- It is convenient but not preferable. Storing herbs and spices near the stove can be handy but not a good option as heat, air and light ruin the natural flavor.
- Check for life. Rub the herbs between your fingers; if you cannot smell its aroma, it will be time to purchase fresh supply.
- Fresh herbs like to be treated like a bouquet. We have to remove the stems, vertically place the herbs in the water (preferably glass of water) and the refrigerator.
- To increase its shelf life we can freeze fresh herbs to give them more energy. To do so, we have to wash them and pat dry them. Snip the stems and store the upper part in the freezer bag.
- We can also store fresh herbs in the freezer bag after washing, chopping, and freezing them in ice cube trays to save on extra time later.