Is the spice used in ancient Grecian mummification good enough for you? Or, do you rather prefer the one that was used along with currency in 11th century Germany? Herbs and spices have a very long history of association with us. Whether be it as medicine, culinary regulars or beauty potions, they have always stood by us. But, it’s not just work and never play for the spices, herbs and other unassuming regulars of our kitchen pantry. Some of these have quite an interesting and sometimes amusing past. Though undoubtedly nature’s answer to many pesky health problems, they have a pretty cool side too. Here are some interesting facts that will change the way you look at your spice rack starting now.
Interesting Facts About Kitchen Pantry Regulars
There are about 34 essential oils in turmeric.
People have been using turmeric since as early as 3000 B.C. and was initially used as fabric dye. It was considered as poor man’s saffron in the Middle Ages.
More recently, paper steeped in turmeric tincture is used in chemical analysis to indicate acidity and alkaline properties. It is called curcumapapier.
Honey doesn’t spoil if stored properly. Edible honey has been found in 2000-year-old sealed vats in King Tut’ s tomb.
Bees are not the only ones with the skills to produce honey. Though not very commonly known, Mexican honey wasp too can make delicious honey.
Use of honey dates back centuries. In Europe, it was highly sought after in medieval times. In eleventh century Germany, peasants had to make their payments in honey and beeswax to their landlords.
A bee has to fly so much to collect a pound of honey that it can go around the globe three times instead.
Cinnamon scented candles and air fresheners can be used to help keep depression at bay and reduce irritability.
The medicinal benefits of cinnamon were explored and published back in 2700 B.C. China.
Ancient Egyptians used this sweet-scented bark to mummify their dead.
Before harvesting the bark of cinnamon trees, they are covered to promote fermentation.
Coriander (cilantro) facts:
Coriander seeds are used for brewing Belgian wheat beers.
There are 31 mentions of coriander in the Bible.
In ancient Egypt, the vast array of benefits secured coriander’s inclusion in tombs as food for the departed.
Cilantro grew in the Hanging Garden of Babylon.
It has been written about as early as 1552 B.C. and used in ancient Rome, Egypt, India and China.
Mint has over 600 different varieties. The most commonly known ones are spearmint and peppermint.
Mint leaf powder was used for teeth whitening in the Middle Ages.
It was a tradition to use mint as air freshener in homes and temples.
This herb has been a part of welcoming guests in many different ancient cultures. Greeks rubbed it on tables to honor their guests. In traditional middle eastern homes, mint tea is offered as welcome drink to guests.
Our past and present are full of interesting facts that fill us with wonder for the world we live in. Even simple recipes seem more intriguing once you know the story behind their ingredients!
How well do you know your magic spices? Which is your favorite culinary trivia?
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