Herbs & Spices

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Salt usually slows or stops the growth of bacteria and sometimes kills existing bacteria. Some strains of bacteria, such as Staphylococcus, have evolved to survive in salty environments.

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  • What is the difference between anise oil and anise extract?

    Q: What is the difference between anise oil and anise extract?

    A: Anise oil is a pure essential oil that is extracted directly from the herb anise; anise extract is a small amount of that essential oil mixed with other ingredients to create a flavoring solution for recipes. Anise oil is much stronger than anise extract. Although both substances are used in cooking for flavor, anise oil is also used in aromatherapy and by natural healing practitioners.
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  • What is the scientific name of garlic?

    Q: What is the scientific name of garlic?

    A: The scientific genus name of garlic is Allium sativum, per the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The bulb crop belongs to the class Equisetopsida, the subclass Magnoliidae, the superorder Lilianae, the order Asparagales, the family Amaryllidaceae and, finally, the genus Allium.
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  • One cinnamon stick equals how much ground cinnamon?

    Q: One cinnamon stick equals how much ground cinnamon?

    A: One stick of cinnamon is equal to ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Half a teaspoon of allspice or nutmeg can also be substituted for a stick of cinnamon.
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  • What does tarragon taste like?

    Q: What does tarragon taste like?

    A: Because there are different varieties of tarragon, its slightly bitter taste is more pronounced in the Russian variety when compared to the French variety. The French variety has a sweeter taste to it; however, the different tarragon varieties have aromas that are anise-like.
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  • Where did oregano originate?

    Q: Where did oregano originate?

    A: Originally hailing from Europe and Central Asia, oregano has a long history of medicinal use before it became a kitchen staple for seasoning a variety of dishes, according to The Herb Information Site. Using a name of Greek origins, oregano was also historically used as a key ingredient in alcoholic ales to prevent them from turning sour.
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  • What is sea salt used for?

    Q: What is sea salt used for?

    A: Sea salt is used to flavor food and has a number of health benefits. The salt can be consumed for the purpose of balancing the acid in the body and enhancing the immune system.
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  • Can you eat cinnamon sticks?

    Q: Can you eat cinnamon sticks?

    A: People generally grind up cinnamon sticks instead of eating them, but chewing on cinnamon sticks is safe for most people. Some cinnamon contains high levels of coumarin, which can lead to liver problems and cause some drug interactions when taken in high doses.
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  • What is a good substitute for rosemary?

    Q: What is a good substitute for rosemary?

    A: Tarragon, thyme and savory are all good substitutes for dried rosemary. In a pinch, sage is also a good replacement. For fresh rosemary, oregano or basil make good substitutes.
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  • Are bay leaves edible?

    Q: Are bay leaves edible?

    A: The bay leaf is added to various stews and soups, but it is hard to digest. Bay leaves are generally not consumed, but the leaf adds flavor and health benefits to a variety of meals.
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  • What spices go with pork?

    Q: What spices go with pork?

    A: Some of the common spices used for flavoring pork include ginger, cumin, garlic, rosemary and caraway. Pork is also prepared with a number of other seasonings, such as sage, thyme, cloves, coriander, fennel, dill, curry powder, paprika and cayenne pepper.
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  • Is Creole seasoning the same as Cajun seasoning?

    Q: Is Creole seasoning the same as Cajun seasoning?

    A: Although they are historically not the same thing, a meaningful distinction no longer exists between Creole and Cajun seasoning. The terms are used interchangeably and sometimes even together.
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  • Can you eat whole cloves?

    Q: Can you eat whole cloves?

    A: While whole cloves are edible, they are very powerful and strong, making them very undesirable to eat whole. When cooked whole in a dish, they are typically discarded without eating, used instead to flavor the dish as a whole.
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  • What does cardamom taste like?

    Q: What does cardamom taste like?

    A: Cardamom has a sweet flavor similar to those of grapefruit and ginger. This spice also includes floral and soapy flavors, along with green notes and a cool menthol undertone.
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  • Does salt kill bacteria?

    Q: Does salt kill bacteria?

    A: Salt usually slows or stops the growth of bacteria and sometimes kills existing bacteria. Some strains of bacteria, such as Staphylococcus, have evolved to survive in salty environments.
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  • What does rosemary taste good with?

    Q: What does rosemary taste good with?

    A: Rosemary pairs well with meats like poultry, lamb and fish, as well as vegetables and beans. As a seasoning, it pairs well with lemon. Whole sprigs can be placed in with a roast to infuse it with flavor, or the leaves can be stripped to add to dishes.
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  • What is the difference between paprika and cayenne pepper?

    Q: What is the difference between paprika and cayenne pepper?

    A: Paprika and cayenne pepper are two different types of chili peppers from the genus Capsicum annuum. They are both cultivars, or plants that are propogated from stem cuttings, not seeds. Paprika originated in Southern Mexico, yet it is most popular in Hungary, where the finest paprika is produced. Cayenne pepper initially grew in South and Central America, yet is named after the city of Cayenne in French Guiana.
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  • What is a pod of garlic?

    Q: What is a pod of garlic?

    A: A pod of garlic is simply the compound bulb containing the cloves. It is the part of the plant most commonly used in medicine and cooking.
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  • Where does saffron come from?

    Q: Where does saffron come from?

    A: Saffron comes from a species of crocus plant known as crocus sativus. The plant is native to Greece and the Middle East. The Greeks were the first to recognize the plant's potential as a spice.
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  • How can whole cloves be converted to ground cloves?

    Q: How can whole cloves be converted to ground cloves?

    A: Three whole cloves are equal to 1/4 of a teaspoon of ground cloves. This conversion can be used for any amount of cloves that a recipe calls for.
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  • Where does mint come from?

    Q: Where does mint come from?

    A: Mint comes from a small group of herbaceous plants that grow on every continent except Antarctica. Mint plants thrive near water and grow abundantly on the shores of lakes and rivers. According to Better Homes & Gardens, they are easy to cultivate and have an affinity for moist, cool locations. Mint grows well in both sunny and shady areas.
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  • Where does curry powder come from?

    Q: Where does curry powder come from?

    A: The curry powder sold in supermarkets is similar to garam masala that comes from India and contains a mixture of ground spices. Traditional Indian dishes do not contain curry powder as Westerners know it; cooks use a variety of blends and ratios of ingredients that differ from one region and one family to the next. In addition, the recipe changes according to the type of dish.
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