1.something added to food primarily for the savor it imparts
2.the property of being seasoned with spice and so highly flavored
3.any of a variety of pungent aromatic vegetable substances used for flavoring food
4.aromatic substances of vegetable origin used as a preservative
1.make more interesting or flavorful"Spice up the evening by inviting a belly dancer"
2.add herbs or spices to
SpiceSpice (?), n. [OE. spice, spece, spice, species, OF. espice, espece, F. épice spice, espèce species, fr. L. species particular sort or kind, a species, a sight, appearance, show, LL., spices, drugs, etc., of the same sort, fr. L. specere to look. See Spy, and cf. Species.]
1. Species; kind. [Obs.]
The spices of penance ben three. Chaucer.
Abstain you from all evil spice. Wyclif (1. Thess,v. 22).
Justice, although it be but one entire virtue, yet is described in two kinds of spices. The one is named justice distributive, the other is called commutative. Sir T. Elyot.
2. A vegetable production of many kinds, fragrant or aromatic and pungent to the taste, as pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, allspice, ginger, cloves, etc., which are used in cookery and to flavor sauces, pickles, etc.
Hast thou aught in thy purse [bag] any hot spices? Piers Plowman.
3. Figuratively, that which enriches or alters the quality of a thing in a small degree, as spice alters the taste of food; that which gives zest or pungency; a slight flavoring; a relish; hence, a small quantity or admixture; a sprinkling; as, a spice of mischief.
So much of the will, with a spice of the willful. Coleridge.
SpiceSpice, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Spiced (?); p. p. & vb. n. Spicing (?).]
1. To season with spice, or as with spice; to mix aromatic or pungent substances with; to flavor; to season; as, to spice wine; to spice one's words with wit.
She 'll receive thee, but will spice thy bread
With flowery poisons. Chapman.
2. To fill or impregnate with the odor of spices.
In the spiced Indian air, by night. Shak.
3. To render nice or dainty; hence, to render scrupulous. [Obs.] “A spiced conscience.” Chaucer.
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savor, savour, taste[Cause]
condiment et épice d'origine végétale (fr)[ClasseParExt.]
substance qui agit contre qqch (fr)[ClasseParExt.]
(cure; conserve; preserve; bottle)[termes liés]
change; alter; modify[ClasseHyper.]
change - adjustment, alteration, change, changing, edit, modification, variation - change - alteration, change, modification, transformation - changer, modifier - change - change - alterable - editable, modifiable - spice, spice up - flavour, season, spice, spice up, zest - piquant, savory, savoury, spicy, zesty[Dérivé]
nourriture (pour l'homme) (fr)[Classe]
cuisine; art of cooking; cookery; preparation[ClasseHyper.]
seasoning - flavor, flavour, nip, relish, sapidity, savor, savour, smack, tang - condiment, flavorer, flavoring, flavourer, flavouring, seasoner, seasoning, spice - seasoner - spice, spice up - flavour, season, spice, spice up, zest - piquant, savory, savoury, spicy, zesty - lemonlike, lemony, sharp, sourish, tangy, tart - nippy - bake, cook, fry - cook - cook, fix, make, prepare, ready - cook[Dérivé]
savor, savour, taste[Cause]
flavor, flavour, season[Hyper.]
Many spices have antimicrobial properties. This may explain why spices are more commonly used in warmer climates, which have more infectious disease, and why use of spices is especially prominent in meat, which is particularly susceptible to spoiling.
A spice may have an extra use, usually medicinal, religious ritual, cosmetics or perfume production, or as a vegetable. For example, turmeric roots are consumed as a vegetable and garlic as an antibiotic.
Humans were using spices in 50,000 BCE. The spice trade developed throughout the Middle East in around 2000 BCE with cinnamon and pepper, and in East Asia with herbs and pepper. The Egyptians used herbs for embalming and their need for exotic herbs helped stimulate world trade. The word spice comes from the Old French word espice, which became epice, and which came from the Latin root spec, the noun referring to "appearance, sort, kind": species has the same root. By 1000 BCE, medical systems based upon herbs could be found in China, Korea, and India. Early uses were connected with magic, medicine, religion, tradition, and preservation.
Archaeological excavations have uncovered clove burnt onto the floor of a kitchen, dated to 1700 BCE, at the Mesopotamian site of Terqa, in modern-day Syria. The ancient Indian epic Ramayana mentions cloves. The Romans had cloves in the 1st century CE, as Pliny the Elder wrote about them.
In the story of Genesis, Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers to spice merchants. In the biblical poem Song of Solomon, the male speaker compares his beloved to many forms of spices. Generally, early Egyptian, Chinese, Indian, and Mesopotamian sources do not refer to known spices.
In South Asia, nutmeg, which originates from the Banda Islands in the Molukas, has a Sanskrit name.[clarification needed] Sanskrit is the ancient language of India, showing how old the usage of this spice is in this region.[original research?] Historians believe that nutmeg was introduced to Europe in the 6th century BCE.
Indonesian merchants traveled around China, India, the Middle East, and the east coast of Africa. Arab merchants facilitated the routes through the Middle East and India. This resulted in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria being the main trading center for spices. The most important discovery prior to the European spice trade were the monsoon winds (40 CE). Sailing from Eastern spice growers to Western European consumers gradually replaced the land-locked spice routes once facilitated by the Middle East Arab caravans.
Spices were among the most demanded and expensive products available in Europe in the Middle Ages, the most common being black pepper, cinnamon (and the cheaper alternative cassia), cumin, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Given the medieval medicine's main theory of humorism, spices and herbs were indispensable to balance "humors" in food, a daily basis for good health at a time of recurrent pandemics.
Spices were all imported from plantations in Asia and Africa, which made them expensive. From the 8th until the 15th century, the Republic of Venice had the monopoly on spice trade with the Middle East, and along with it the neighboring Italian city-states. The trade made the region rich. It has been estimated that around 1,000 tons of pepper and 1,000 tons of the other common spices were imported into Western Europe each year during the Late Middle Ages. The value of these goods was the equivalent of a yearly supply of grain for 1.5 million people. The most exclusive was saffron, used as much for its vivid yellow-red color as for its flavor. Spices that have now fallen into obscurity in European cuisine include grains of paradise, a relative of cardamom which most replaced pepper in late medieval north French cooking, long pepper, mace, spikenard, galangal and cubeb.
The control of trade routes and the spice-producing regions were the main reasons that Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama sailed to India in 1499. Spain and Portugal were not happy to pay the high price that Venice demanded for spices. At around the same time, Christopher Columbus returned from the New World, he described to investors new spices available there.
The military prowess of Afonso de Albuquerque (1453–1515) allowed the Portuguese to take control of the sea routes to India. In 1506, he took the island of Socotra in the mouth of the Red Sea and, in 1507, Ormuz in the Persian Gulf. Since becoming the viceroy of the Indies, he took Goa in India in 1510, and Malacca on the Malay peninsula in 1511. The Portuguese could now trade directly with Siam, China, and the Moluccas. The Silk Road complemented the Portuguese sea routes, and brought the treasures of the Orient to Europe via Lisbon, including many spices.
With the discovery of the New World came new spices, including allspice, bell and chili peppers, vanilla, and chocolate. This development kept the spice trade, with America as a late comer with its new seasonings, profitable well into the 19th century.
In the Caribbean, the island of Grenada is well known[clarification needed] for growing and exporting a number of spices, including the nutmeg, which was introduced to Grenada by the settlers.
A spice may be available in several forms: fresh, whole dried, or pre-ground dried. Generally, spices are dried. A whole dried spice has the longest shelf life, so it can be purchased and stored in larger amounts, making it cheaper on a per-serving basis. Some spices are rarely available either fresh or whole, for example turmeric, and must be purchased in ground form. Small seeds, such as fennel and mustard seeds, are used both whole and in powder form.
The flavor of a spice is derived in part from compounds that oxidize or evaporate when exposed to air. Grinding a spice greatly increases its surface area and so increases the rates of oxidation and evaporation. Thus, flavor is maximized by storing a spice whole and grinding when needed. The shelf life of a whole spice is roughly two years; of a ground spice roughly six months. The "flavor life" of a ground spice can be much shorter. Ground spices are better stored away from light.
To grind a whole spice, the classic tool is mortar and pestle. Less labor-intensive tools are more common now: a microplane or fine grater can be used to grind small amounts; a coffee grinder is useful for larger amounts. A frequently used spice such as black pepper may merit storage in its own hand grinder or mill.
Some flavor elements in spices are soluble in water; many are soluble in oil or fat. As a general rule, the flavors from a spice take time to infuse into the food so spices are added early in preparation.
|Top 10 spices producers in 2010|
|* = Unofficial figure | [ ] = Official data | A = May include official, semi-official or estimated data
F = FAO estimate | Im = FAO data based on imputation methodology | M = Data not available
The Indian Institute of Spices Research in Kozhikode, Kerala, is devoted exclusively to researching all aspects of spice crops: black pepper, cardamom, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, garcinia, vanilla, etc.
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