Spices play a significant role in nearly every aspect of any cuisine; you can learn a lot about a culture by exploring its array of aromatic spices. A dish is almost incomplete without that flux of aromatic spices that simply elevates its flavour. There are many common spices you use in your day to day cooking, like cumin, black pepper and turmeric, but you may not know the interesting history behind these everyday spices. Here are some interesting facts about the everyday spices you have in you pantry.
- Red Peppers
Fun Fact: The hottest chilli in the world is the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper, and it is claimed be extremely hot that it can burn through a pair of latex gloves.
Health benefit: Did you know that red peppers contain 4 times more Vitamin C than an orange, and Paprika made from bell or chilli peppers have more Vitamin C than any other citrus fruit.
Famous cuisine: Red peppers are home to many cuisines like Chinese, Indian, North African, and Caribbean cuisine.
Fun Fact: Christopher Columbus didn’t only discover the Americas, but also discovered this rich spice on his journey around the Caribbean islands, he mistook it for black pepper.
Health benefit: Did you know that allspice helps with digestion, boosts immunity and improves blood flow and circulation.
Famous cuisine: Allspice is used in Jamaican, German, and Middle Eastern cuisines.
Fun Fact: Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, it is grown in Iran, India and Mexico.
Health benefit: Did you know that saffron is high with antioxidants, may lower blood sugar levels and can reduce heart disease risk factors.
Famous cuisine: Saffron is commonly used in Spanish, Indian, and North African cuisines.
Fun Fact: Peppercorns are one of the oldest spices ever used in dishes from around the world.
Health benefit: Did you know that peppercorns may lower cholesterol levels, promote gut health, and boost absorption of nutrients in the body.
Famous cuisine: Being the oldest spice ever used, peppercorns are present in almost every cuisine.
Fun Fact: The nutmeg plant produces two different kind of spices, which are nutmeg and mace. They both have identical flavours and are commonly used in pies, cakes and curries.
Health benefit: Did you know that nutmeg has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, and may boost mood.
Famous cuisine: Nutmeg is mostly present in French, Greek, Scandinavian and Indian cuisine.
Fun Fact: Garlic is native to Central Asia; however, it was worshipped by Ancient Egyptians and it is claimed that workers building the Great Pyramids of Giza were fed garlic to help boost their health.
Health benefit: Did you know that garlic may help with stabilizing blood pressure, boost immunity, reduce risk of heart disease and can help build stronger bones.
Famous cuisine: Garlic is frequently used in Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Indian and Spanish cuisine.
Fun Fact: When you see basil you instantly think of pizza, pasta or pesto, basically any Italian dish. But basil originally was found in India and Persia, however, the Romans adopted it and made it a symbol of love and fertility.
Health benefit: Did you know that basil can aid with digestion discomfort, supports liver functions and helps with detoxifying the body.
Famous cuisine: You guessed it basil is commonly used in Italian cuisine and Mediterranean cuisines.
Fun Fact: The Anise seed is native to the Middle East and was used to make medical potions. The Ancient Romans also believed that the Anise plant helped prevent misfortune.
Health benefit: Did you know that Anise may protect against stomach ulcers, can balance blood sugar levels and may reduce inflammation linked to chronic diseases.
Famous cuisine: Anise seed is mainly used in Indian and Chinese cuisine.
You might have been using these spices every day, without knowing the incredible journey they went through to get to your kitchen. If you are running low on spices or want to explore a variety of exotic spices you can visit the Waterfront Market which offers an array of herbs and spices worth adding to your meals.