Food3 October 2020
A World Tour on The Trail of Spices
As the most important product in global trade for many centuries, spices are widely used in gastronomy as well as the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries with their enchanting smells. Having a trade route named after them, spices address too, all five senses with their traditional and strong smells.
Used frequently in coffees and desserts today, cinnamon is a spice that was included in alternative treatments for centuries. Cinnamon is obtained from the interior bark of the cinnamomum tree, which is found in many countries, namely Egypt. It was first used in Egypt. Back then, cinnamon was an extremely valuable, rare, and expensive product and gift only used by the kings. It was thought that its smell gave clarity and helped with concentration.
Estimated to have a history of almost two thousand years, cumin is frequently used as a spice or seasoning in the kitchens of the Indian peninsula and some Asian, African, and Latin American countries. Cumin is especially used in Turkish dishes and provides a unique touch with its different tastes and smell. It is also very beneficial for our health. You can also brew cumin and consume it as a tea if you want a quicker solution. Cumin is known to calm nerves with its smell and lower stress levels are an energy booster, good for sleeplessness, and is known to provide clarity.
As the most essential element in Iranian cuisine with its taste, color, and smell, saffron is an extremely hard spice to obtain. Almost 225 thousand stigmas of 75 thousand flowers must be plucked one by one by hand, only to produce half a kilo of saffron. This is why saffron is an extremely expensive spice. In addition to its industrial uses in food, perfume, medicine, and textile industries, it has been used as a therapeutic herb for thousands of years.
Used more and more each day, curry is a spice that spread to the world from India and became the secret ingredient behind the delicacies of this cuisine. Especially used in chicken and red meat dishes, curry provides a lovely color and taste to the dish as well as an inviting smell. Curry has a deep-rooted history; it is estimated to have been used since the 1300’s. Whatever its color and origin are, the curry blend usually contains turmeric, ginger, cumin seed, fanugrek, cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, red pepper, black pepper, mustard seed, and nutmeg.
Obtained from an all-year-round green tree native to Indonesia, clove is a spice known since the ancient ages and used for the treatment of many diseases. It has an effective and rather intense smell because it contains a great amount of volatile oils.