As a specialist in world spices, we would like to tell you about their properties and benefits, and provide you with tips for using the many different varieties. From a botanical perspective, a spice may come from different parts of aromatic plants. For example, cinnamon is a bark, ginger is a root, cumin a seed, clove a bud and pepper or nutmeg a fruit.
These days, we often talk about spicy cuisine when we mean hot dishes, but spiced food, on the contrary, is the whole art of balancing measurements to achieve a perfect blend of flavours.
If we look back in history, in the Antiquity period spices were a very precious, rare commodity used as a bartering currency to obtain goods. The French expression to pay in ‘espèces’, meaning to pay in cash, comes from to pay in ‘épices’ or spices. During the Middle Ages, they were mainly used in cooking - not to enhance a dish and bring out its flavours - but to mask the taste of certain spoilt foods, such as meat, for example.
Today, spices are used in cooking to lift and enhance a dish as well as to give it colour or add texture. They are especially popular as a healthy, balanced and natural way of seasoning everyday dishes, and adding a touch of exoticism. Spices are also used more and more for their therapeutic virtues, and are favoured over other treatments for their natural qualities. You can learn about all these virtues via the pages on our website.
Don’t be afraid to buy spices and test them in different dishes: you will be amazed!