Spices : “A Passion for Spicing the Food”
Today spices have great value and importance than gold and silver. They are often more expensive than the food itself. It makes food taste and smell better. Many spices are extremely expensive. A kilo of some of these spices could cost as much as a small car. These are merely a perishable item of consumption.
Spices are most widely used condiments throughout the world. They are widely used in traditional medicine to heal many diseases. These spices are sweet, aromatic and pleasant. The aroma and flavor of spices are difficult to describe. Some spices are floral but not sweet. They are not only a common ingredient in kitchens, but an essential one in exploring new taste and smell.
- Black Pepper
Saffron is one of the most precious spices in the world. It comes from the bright red stigmas of the saffron crocus flower. The main producer of this Saffron flowers are including the countries like Greece, India, Iran and Spain. The aroma and flavor of saffron is unique.
The spice Saffron is derived from the purple Saffron Crocus flower. Its fragrance is used in perfumes and cosmetics. Each flower produces just 3 stigmas. That stigmas are dried before used with food. It can take around 150 flowers to produce a gram of saffron.
It is so expensive because it is an extremely labor-intensive crop. The crocus flowers have to be individually hand-picked in the autumn when fully open. Only a little needs to be added to a dish to lend it color and aroma of the food.
|Price of 1 Kg Saffron : Around Rs. 2 Lakhs|
Vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world. The plant Vanilla is belongs to the family of Orchidaceae. This spice is sweet, aromatic and pleasant. Bean is the part from the Vanilla plant is used as a spice, which is the ripe fruit or pod. The main usage of this are extract it for chocolate chip cookies or scraped vanilla beans for custard or ice cream.
Today, the world’s largest producer of vanilla is Madagascar. The Madagascar Vanilla is commonly known as bourbon vanilla. In Asia, Indonesia is the most successful producer. It takes a lot of effort to grow vanilla. The pollination of the plant Vanilla occurs only once for every 100 flower blooms. If the vanilla fruit does form, it’ll still take up to a year to get a usable, sell-able vanilla pod.
|A pound of pure vanilla can cost up to Rs. 2.17 lakhs to Rs. 2.4 lakhs|
Cardamom is the third most expensive spice after saffron and vanilla. It is an aromatic seed pod used in many Indian preparations like a rich Biriyani, creamy kheer . This spice is often used as a flavoring agent, which produce a distinct aroma and a sweet flavor. It is called The Queen of Spices.
This spice is not only a flavoring agent but also a wonderful spice with innumerable health benefits. It helps in curing colds and cough and certain respiratory problems. Cardamom is good for curing stomach problems like indigestion, gas and constipation. They are effective remedy for treating high blood sugar levels, to increase the blood circulation in your body. There are 3 types of Cardamom; they are white, black and green cardamoms.
The cardamom spice is used heavily in curries, pickles, custards and spice blends such as garam masala in India. It is also chewed as a nut and used as an aromatic and essential oil in perfumes. These spices are grown extensively in hilly regions of South India. India is the second largest producer of cardamom in the world.
|A pound of cardamom can cost to Rs. 1900|
Clove is an important spice widely used to produce aroma and flavor to food preparation and beverages. They are aromatic flower buds of the Syzygium aromaticum tree. In foods and beverages, clove is used as a flavoring.
The Cloves are in the form of flower buds that is aromatic, dry and fully grown. That has been used for food preservative and for many medicinal purposes. The larger producer countries of clove are Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Madagascar and Tanzania specially the Zanzibar island
These spice helps the people in a several ways of usages such as oils, dried flower buds, leaves, and stems to make medicine. It also used in toothpaste, soaps, cosmetics, perfumes, and cigarettes. Clove is applied directly to the gums for toothache, for pain control during dental work.
|A pound of clove can cost to Rs. 1267|
5. Black Pepper
Black Pepper is one of the most traded spices in the world. This spices is known as the king of spices which is widely used for seasoning and as a spice. It belongs to the Piperaceae family.
Vietnam, Indonesia, and India are the leading producers of black pepper. The black pepper fruit grows from a woody vine known as pepper plant. It appears in the form of small brown to black berries which are plucked and dried. When it is dried, the fruit is referred to as a peppercorn.
In the ancient times it spread from India through trade to the rest of the world. Black pepper gives off a strong aroma when added to food. It is commonly incorporated in tea to relieve colds, flu, viral infections, and other respiratory ailments. This spice is a source of essential elements including iron, manganese, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
|A pound of black pepper can cost up to Rs. 317 to Rs. 633|
Cinnamon is one of the most valuable spices in the world that extracts from cinnamon tree bark have also been used traditionally as medicine throughout the world. The plant belongs to the family of Lauraceae.
These spices are strongly aromatic, sweet, pleasant, warm and but hardly bitter. It is made up of the dried bark of cinnamon trees. This versatile spice adding fragrance to stews, curries, and rice dishes. The cinnamon can significantly reduce blood pressure. It also kills off bacteria that cause gum disease and may lower blood sugar in people with diabetes.
|A pound of Cinnamon can cost up Rs. 443 to Rs. 1267|
Turmeric is one of the costly spices in the world. The turmeric rhizome has an aromatic and spicy fragrance. This spice not only provides flavor and color to many cuisines but also has medicinal properties. It can be used as an excellent skin care ingredient. That helps reduce stretch stretch marks and also to remove pigmentation and tanning.
India is the largest producer and exporter of turmeric in the world. Turmeric is a native to Asia and India. It is an important spice in India, which produces nearly the whole world’s crop and consumes 80 % of its produce.
|A pound of Turmeric can cost up to Rs. 190 to Rs. 250|
Nutmeg is one of the important and most expensive spice in the world. It is a dry aromatic seed of the tree called Myristica fragrans. This famous spice used in flavouring many dishes and desserts around the world.
This spice plant belongs to Myristicaceae family of medium to large trees. The outer coat or husk of nutmeg is removed and discarded. Mace is gently peeled off from its nutmeg surface. Nutmeg kernel is then dried under the sun for several days to weeks. It is a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc and magnesium.
Today Nutmeg is produced by many countries like India, Malaysia, New Guinea and Sri Lanka. Thousands of tons are produced annually which is available in the markets of US, Japan, India and Europe.
|A pound of Nutmeg can cost up to Rs. 443 to Rs. 1267|
9. Allspice (Jamaican pepper)
Allspice a famous and one of the expensive spice in the world. This spice is also known as Jamaica pepper, English spice, clove pepper or Myrtle pepper. It is the dried unripe berry of the pimento tree.
This spice is the native to Central and South America, Mexico and the West Indies in general. It is coomonly known as Jamaican pepper, because Jamaica is so rich with allspice that it is a major export from the island.
The Allspice resembles large brown peppercorns. It is essential to many spices mixes such as Garam Masala. The spice has also used in the preparation of soups, barbecue sauces, pickling and as a main ingredient in a variety of curry powders. This spice also resembles a mixture of black-pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon.
|A pound of Allspice (Jamaican pepper) can cost to Rs. 190|
One of the most expensive and famous spice Mace is the aril of the nutmeg seed shell. It is removed from the shell. The broken part of it is generally known as blades.
The Nutmeg kernel and mace arils are two separate spice products of same nutmeg fruit. The flavor of mace is aromatic, sharp and warm and is sweeter than nutmeg.
Indonesia isThese fruits ripen and get picked. the native place of nutmeg tree. This mace enhances color, taste, and flavor of foods. More over it contains some of the health benefiting antioxidant compounds, essential oils, minerals, and vitamins.
|A pound of Mace can cost up to Rs. 443 to Rs. 950|