As the Chef and Spice Master at MorningStar Kitchen, I am frequently asked about the differences between spices, herbs, and seasonings. Essentially, all three are ingredients that are added to a recipe to enhance its flavor, or even to create a distinct flavor profile.
For example, without the addition of certain spices, herbs, and seasonings, a bowl of Chili would be nothing more than a mixture of beans, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and sometimes, meat. Except for the beans, there would be little to differentiate the mixture from a basic Spaghetti Sauce.
Now enter ingredients like chili pepper, salt, allspice, coriander, cumin, oregano, cloves (all ingredients in our Bravo! seasoning) and you have a dish with a distinctive flavor profile. A simple, nondescript mixture of ingredients now becomes a delicious bowl of Chili!
Or instead, add a mixture of things like oregano, basil, thyme, marjoram, sage, parsley, dill weed, and savory (included in our Mediterranean Kitchen seasoning) and that same mixture of tomatoes and vegetables become a delicious Bolognese Sauce.
Now that you understand the purpose of a seasoning, you may still be wondering about the different type of ingredients.
For starters, most are derived from plants. A few quick definitions are helpful here. Let's call this little primer "Seasonings 101."
Spice: spices come from the dried bark, root, stem, seed, or fruit of a plant. For example, cinnamon comes from the bark of a tree. Peppercorns come from a vine.
Herb: herbs are the leaves of plants like basil, oregano, mint, etc. Sometimes the herbs are served whole, other times they are chopped, dried, ground, or pulverized for easy use.
Seasoning: seasonings are a mixture of various herbs, spices, salt and/or sugar, blended to create a particular flavor profile to a recipe. (When used by itself, salt is used to enhance the flavor of ingredients, without creating a new flavor profile).
We're proud of the products that we've created at MorningStar Kitchen: seasonings with a global flair, all developed with the ultimate goal of making the Home Chef's job easier, more creative, and more fun!
We've got a lot to offer Home Chefs at every level of ability, so I hope you'll check us out at: https://www.morningstarkitchen.com