We’re back to basics with today’s post. Herbs and spices — often used interchangeably, but in fact not quite the same things at all. Both come from plants and both are used to add flavor to food. Here’s how they differ.
Herbs are the leaves, stems or flowers of plants, while spices are the bark, roots, seed or berries. Herbs are available fresh or in dried form (think fresh thyme and the bottled dried thyme) and spices are almost always used dried. Now that I’ve given you the rule, here’s the exception. There are some plants that can be used as both. The leaves of cilantro or fennel plants are considered herbs, while the seeds are used as spices.