Hey Guys, I’m really excited to start learning about all kinds of herbs. My website is called My Herb Gardening.com

What is a Herb?

When I hear “herbs” I think spices, but apparently even though they are stored in the same place and used in the same manner they are different. Herbs are the leaves of herbaceous plants. On the other hand, spices, usually grow within 15 degrees of the equator and may be bark, root bud, fruit or the berry of the plant. Herbs seem to have remained regional in use, depending upon local availability. Spices have played a significant role in religion and economics. Spices are responsible for turning Venice into a great power and launched Columbus’s voyage.

The use of herb and spices for flavoring and medicinal purposes are as old as cooking. A particular cuisine is defined more by herbs and spices than by the food itself. For example rice, beans and vegetables are typical Asian ingredients but it’s the seasoning that differentiates a dish from Punjabi, Korean or Sichuan. Fresh herbs lend a more delicate refreshing flavor than dried herbs. When substituting dried for fresh, use 1 Tsp. dried to 1 Tbsp fresh.

For maximum herb flavor grow your own and snip right before you use them is best. that is why I’m learning about this :) I can even have a kitchen window herb garden. So many time I’ve purchased fresh herbs from the grocery store and then forgot all about them in the fridge only to later on find them and throw them out. It would be hard to forget about them if they are staring at me every day.

When purchasing them, unless they are organic it is safe to assume that the spice or dried herb has been irradiated or sterilized according to FDA ruling. These nasty potentially hazardous treatments are banned in Europe. All the more reason to learn how to grow my own. The fumigation reduces the oil and denatures the alkaloids in certain plants. Organic purveyors flash freeze or use a super hot steam process to sterilize imported herbs and spices.

The first spice/herb I’ll be taking a look at will be Tumeric. Catch ya on my next post to see what I discover.