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Herbs and Spices - Culinary Herbs and Spices 1
Most meals are tastier with added herbs or spices.

Herbs and Spices - Culinary Herbs and Spices 1

Culinary herbs come in many different guises. They can be annual, biennial or perennial; large or small, easy to grow and almost impossible to grow. Some varieties (such as the mint family) can be used in cooking and also in medicine. Our two quizzes on culinary herbs will give you an insight into this fascinating world.

To see a larger image, click on the picture.
1.
What is this culinary herb?
Photograph courtesy of Raffi Kojian
Lovage
Chili pepper
Parsley
Woodruff
  • Latin Name: Levisticum officinale.
  • Gets its name from the fact that it is said to be an aphrodisiac.
  • Nearly the entire plant can be eaten.
  • Roots taste strongly of celery.
  • The leaves are frequently chopped and used for flavouring soups and stews.
  • When made into a drink it is an aid to digestion.
  • Seeds can be dried and used as a spice.
2.
What is this culinary herb?
Photograph courtesy of Rasbak
Chives
Mint
Chervil
Horseradish
  • Latin Name: Anthriscus cerefolium.
  • Sometimes referred to as gourmet's parsley because its flavour is reckoned to be more delicate than parsley.
  • Used to flavour poultry, fish and vegetables in the UK and in France it is also used in the preparation of omelettes and salads.
  • It is most often grown from seed in containers where a succession of sowings will ensure a continuous supply of fresh young leaves.
3.
What is this culinary herb?
Photograph courtesy of www.geograph.org.uk/profile/6699
Sorrel
Lovage
Chili pepper
Woodruff
  • Latin Name: Rumex acetosa.
  • Sometimes known as narrow-leaved dock or spinach dock.
  • Its lemon-like flavour goes well with fish dishes.
  • The leaves taste best in early spring - as the summer progresses they become increasingly bitter.
  • Widely believed to have medicinal properties but it should be avoided by people with arthritis because its oxalic acid content can aggravate the condition.
4.
What is this culinary herb?
Photograph courtesy of Christian Bauer
Lovage
Oregano
Parsley
Chervil
  • Latin Name: Origanum vulgare
  • The plant is sometimes called wild marjoram but note that this is NOT the same plant as sweet marjoram!
  • Any flower heads that appear should be removed and the stems should be cut back frequently to encourage new growth.
  • You should use artificial fertilizers sparingly for fear of tainting the delicately flavoured leaves.
5.
What is this culinary herb?
Photograph courtesy of www.flickr.com/photos/verzo/
Oregano
Horseradish
Chives
Mint
  • Latin Name: Mentha Spicata.
  • Leaves can be used whole, chopped, dried or frozen.
  • Frequently used for flavouring confectionary, tea and toothpaste.
  • To get the most flavour from the leaves the plant should be growing quickly - constantly moist at the roots but in full sun.
  • Can be very invasive so best grown in a container.
6.
What is this culinary herb?
Photograph courtesy of Jopi
Sorrel
Chili pepper
Oregano
Woodruff
  • Latin Name: Galium odoratum.
  • Sometimes called baby's breath or kiss me quick.
  • The leaves have a sweet scent that intensifies as they are dried and for this reason they are often used in pot pourri.
  • Sometimes used as an ingredient in summer punch.
  • Grows well in shady places but it can become invasive in much the same way as mint.
7.
What is this culinary spice?
Photograph courtesy of Daniel Risacher
Parsley
Oregano
Chili pepper
Mint
  • Latin Name: Capsicum spp.
  • In the UK it is typically grown in a greenhouse.
  • Can be used fresh or dried.
  • There is an entry in the Guinness Book of Records for the hottest variety!
  • Plants are usually grown for the berries but also the leaves can be eaten.
  • So pungent that it is sometimes hung on fences in Africa to keep elephants away from crops.
8.
What is this culinary herb?
Photograph courtesy of flagstaffotos
Lovage
Parsley
Sorrel
Chervil
  • Latin Name: Petroselinum crispum.
  • Believed to be the most popular herb in the world.
  • Used for both flavouring and decoration.
  • Accredited with numerous health giving properties but most are difficult to scientifically substantiate.
  • Frequently chopped and mixed with garlic. It is said that eating the two together ensures that the smell of garlic does not linger on the breath.
9.
What is this culinary herb?
Photograph courtesy of Captain-tucker
Chives
Woodruff
Chervil
Sorrel
  • Latin Name: Allium schoenoprasum.
  • As can be seen from the photograph this is a highly decorative addition to any herb garden.
  • The smallest type of edible onion.
  • Leaves are shredded and used to flavour fish and soups.
  • Insects dislike the plant and it is sometimes grown as a repellent.
10.
What is this culinary herb?
Photograph courtesy of Pethan
Mint
Woodruff
Chives
Horseradish
  • Latin Name: Armoracia rusticana.
  • Grows up to 1.5 metres tall.
  • Mainly grown for its large white roots with which to make a strong sauce that is often served with roast beef.
  • Sometimes used in the mixing of Bloody Mary cocktails.
  • The roots should be grated and used immediately.
  • Avoid contact with the eyes because it can be irritating.
Author:  Colin King

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