Most aromatic plants originally come from the East. But people were already seasoning their food in the Iron Age. Egyptians and Babylonians seasoned pieces of meat with a mixture of herbs and twigs. So it’s reasonable to say that they would have begun to create the first gardens for culinary and pharmaceutical use. The Romans imported many herbs and spices from Africa, Europe and the East.
There are a host of spices that can enrich your dishes. Without adding either calories or fats, you can give the most original of flavours to a cream of vegetable soup or any other dish you prepare. Here at Amandín we have no doubts and we use them in some of our products. With just a spoonful of spices you can make incredible-tasting dishes.
Do you know what nutritional density is?
Nutritional density is the amount of valuable nutrients in relation to volume. We can increase it by using spices.
You can replace oil with chopped nuts to add more fibre, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants to your dishes.
You can replace liquid cream with yoghurt.
Mix powdered nuts in with breadcrumbs to add fibre, vitamins and minerals to them.
You can replace part of the meat in a hamburger with lentils or any pulse to add potassium, fibre and magnesium.
Also, a very simple way to liven up your dishes is with herbs. Many of these plants aid the digestion of foodstuffs and this is why they were first used in food.
Hippocrates himself said, “Let food be your best medicine, and your best medicine be your food”
It’s always best to use them fresh, as this is when all their properties are intact. The following are considered as aromas: basil, chervil, tarragon, fennel, dill, laurel, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, cinnamon, clove, coriander, cumin, curry, ginger, nutmeg, pepper and saffron. And as condiments: garlic, capers, chive, mustard, onion, leek, daikon radish, salt and sugar. The leaves or shoots of aromatic plants are used, fresh, dried or dehydrated. They are used to season stews or to bring out the flavour of dishes. Many of these herbs and plants were ignored for a long time, except for mint, parsley and garlic.
Aromatic plants can form part of 3 families:
Alliaceae: garlic, onion, chive and shallot, etc.
Apiaceae: angelica, caraway, chervil, fennel, parsley, etc.
Lamiaceae: marjoram, lemon balm, mint, oregano, savory, sage, thyme, etc.
Technically, it is the hard part of a plant, like the seeds or bark, that is considered as spices. However, the leaves of some plants are often included because of their similarity. This would include turmeric, pink pepper and ginger. Most if not all herbs, spices and condiments have various properties affecting our health. These properties are the result of their chemical composition.
Their properties are so important that in the past they were even used as currency and highly prized.
In some of our products we use spices to enrich their flavour and create highly original stocks. In our Oriental Stock and Aztec Stock we used: paprika, cumin, chilli, turmeric, black pepper, nutmeg and rosemary, and we put a little rosemary in all our stocks to add to the taste.
Because at Amandín we understand the importance of flavour and quality in our dishes.