June 10, 2013

National Herbs and Spices Day

"Spices are very hot, very hip." - Todd English

It's National Herbs and Spices Day!

Do you have a favorite herb (generally the leaves of herbaceous plants) or spice (the roots, seeds, fruits of plants)?

Unless you're a foodie, this is probably a ridiculous question, I know. But I do! For my seventeenth birthday, my mom introduced me to parts of Portland, ME I had never been to before (it was then that I fell irrevocably in love with the city). One of our stops included the original Public Market where the very first stall upon opening the doors was a flower seller. I purchased a bright pink Gerbera daisy that had glitter painted on its leaves and a rosemary plant. I don't know that I had ever smelled fresh rosemary before, but was instantly mesmerized by its scent. Since then I've always felt quite tender towards the herb (despite being indoors and well maintained, that original plant died one particularly cold winter). About a month ago I was at the Saturday morning Farmers' Market in Deering Oaks Park and many vendors were selling herbs. I found a rosemary plant for two dollars and decided I was going to attempt to grow one again, this time into a small tree if possible.

So again, I ask you... what's your favorite herb (or spice)? Perhaps it's basil? A classically Italian herb that has a distinct smell, especially when being cooked in a sauce or on a pizza. Maybe it's lavender - it's (aroma)therapeutic properties help to relax and soothe (and promote sleep), but more and more it's showing up in cakes and cookies now, too. Or maybe you love cinnamon, black pepper, cumin, curry, nutmeg, parsley, or saffron?

Whichever one you love the most, I wish you a....

Happy National Herbs and Spices Day!