Baking,  Cooking,  Culinary History,  Food History,  History,  Holidays,  Spices

Spices of the Season

That time of year has rolled around again where holiday baking is in full swing! All the spices of the season are being pulled out right now, so I thought it would be fascinating to spotlight each one of the most popular seasonal spices this month. Namely, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and clove. Most everyone has these in their pantry. They all have amazing histories and a few surprising facts that you might not know!

Spices and their flavoral tastes and aromas are what a lot of us associate with the holidays. There are many other spices besides the most common ones like star anise, cardamom, allspice and mace. All of them add to the holiday cheer by reminding of us of holidays past. I like to call it scent nostalgia 🙂

The word “spice” is defined as any pungent plant substances used to flavor food and drink. Spices are different than herbs in that they are most commonly the hard stems, seeds, bark or roots of a plant. When the weather turned cold, our ancestors turned to the dried spices that they had and used them through the winter when the green herbs were gone.

One of the most interesting aspects of these spices is their health benefits. During one of the most common times of the year for people to get sick, spices like these help a lot! I’ll be sharing more in each spice entry. Another fascinating aspect of most of these spices are that they are warming spices. All of them tend to help with blood flow and circulation. A huge bonus in the coldest season of the year!

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