I recently visited an herb garden that showcased a variety of herbs (plus some spices) and started wondering… do our readers know the difference?! I distinctively remember when I learned the difference – it was in an undergraduate dietetics course at Michigan State University (HNF 400 for all you Spartys). Our professor made sure we knew the difference! Now I get to pass the spicy info on to you! So here’s what you need to know: It’s all about where they come from…
- A spice comes from seeds, roots, stalks, and bark, while herbs are strictly edible leaves of the plant.
- The terms “spices” and “herbs” are used interchangeably in American language & culture (and most importantly, here on the blog).
- Plants can provide BOTH spices & herbs! Example: Cilantro (herb) is the leafy portion of a plant that grows from the Coriander (spice) seed.
Tips & Tricks when dealing with SPICES & Herbs:
- 1 tbsp finely cut fresh herbs = 1 tsp crumbled dried herbs = 1/2 tsp ground dried herbs
- Whole spices release flavors slower during the cooking process than crumbled or ground spices.
- Always store spices in tightly covered containers, away from heat, light, & moisture.
- Ground spices will last 1 year, while whole spices will last for 2. After that, they may lose their potency and flavor.
Hope this helps at your next trivia night!
Stay Spicy ❤ xoxo