Different Uses of Spices in Dishes in Some Countries

Cooking methods and cuisines are constantly being improved in different countries and the use of spices are among those changes. There are endless ways and reasons to use spices in cooking besides flavor. Spices are used to combat bacteria, preserve food, as well as adding immense flavor and color. Learning about different ways to cook dishes and use spices can help people to innovate cooking techniques, overall health and improve the quality of food.

Although the presumption is that spices are only used for contributing flavor and color to dishes, spices actually have the ability to fight off bacteria making food safer to eat.

The preparation of food centuries ago was inferior compared to the methods that are used today, which caused people to preserve their food with spices. “Spices were in high demand because they of the poor quality of the food and the lack of a means to preserve meat, other than salt (pg:8).” When there were no ways of preserving food besides salt people discovered that spices was an effective way to keep meat and other foods safe.

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Tests were performed in order to determine which spices had the best results when it came to combating bacteria. Scientists tested different bacteria against numerous spices in order to determine whether or not spices had the ability to fight off bacteria. “All 30 spices for which we located laboratory test results were found at some concentration to kill or inhibit at least 25% of the bacterial species on which they had been tested, and 15 of these spices inhibited at least 75% of bacterial species.

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Garlic, onion, allspice, and oregano were found to be the most potent spices: They inhibited or killed every bacterium they were tested on (pg 13).” Scientists have found that spices contain chemical components that can help prevent food from containing bacteria.

There are other factors that contribute to how well a spice can combat bacteria such as the environment and the temperature at which the spices grow. It has been found that there is a positive relationship with temperature and spices. The components that spices contain also protect the spice plants themself from other things that harm it such has animals. The ability of spices to preserve food not only improves the quality of the food but can actually allow the meat to have more flavor because the spices seasoned the food. This lead to people seasoning their food with the spices that were available at the time. There are many ways to use spices; however one of the ways that spices was introduced into cuisine was through food preservation.

Spain is well known for their use of paprika and saffron in their dishes. One of the most well known dishes made in Spain is called Paella. It is a rice dish made with chicken. The spices used in this dish include: paprika, saffron, garlic and olive oil. “Paprika has been part of Spain’s go-to trifecta of flavor (which also includes olive oil and garlic) for centuries. It is made from a variety of ground-up peppers, some of which Columbus brought to Spain from the Americas in the 15th century (pg:6).” Paprika and saffron are very popular spices used in Spanish cuisine. Paprika is dried, ground chill. It can be spicy, sweet, smoked or unsmoked.

It’s various flavors make it easy to incorporate it in different meals. When using saffron in this dish it is very important to prepare it correctly or the spice will not be as potent as it could be. “To use saffron, soak in warm water/stock/wine for about 30 minutes, and then add the liquid to your dish. Many make the mistake of just throwing a few threads into a dish, but saffron needs time to infuse its flavor into a liquid(pg:10).” Allowing the spice to soak gives the dish a bolder amount flavor and color. Saffron is known for giving rice that orange-yellow color. Spanish cooking uses many different spices that gives their cuisine its distinct taste. The method of soaking the rice exemplifies the idea that spices are extremely important in adding flavor and color. Using the right combination of spices in a dish is important because they need to not only complement each other but build off of each other.

When learning a new technique it is often believed that there is only one right way to do something. Cooking is not one of those skills. There are infinite ways to make a dish. Italian cuisine is known for their amazing pizza and pasta. Italians believed that the simpler the better rather than adding so many different spices you can not appreciate all the flavors already in the dish. They only use a few ingredients such as tomato sauce from Marzano tomatoes, oregano or basil, a little garlic, salt, and olive oil. However when Americans make pizza they have piled on the toppings such as the meat lovers pizza, which includes many different types of meat. They have come up with different ways to cooking the pizza, thin crust, thick crust, stuffed crust and deep dish. Being able to observe the differences between how two different countries make the same food demonstrates how there is in fact many different techniques that can yield the same result. Misconceptions about how there is only one way to cook a meal will lead people to believe that they are not able to learn how to cook for themselves. It is important to express creativity in the kitchen through the use of different spices and ingredients.

The vast majority of spices and their uses is really important for the the innovation of cooking and learning new techniques. It is important for people to know that there are multiple ways and styles to cook and that just because someone cookes a specific dish one way does not mean you can not use the influences of different cultures. Look at the way Italians make pizza or pasta and compare it to the way americans make it. People are constantly coming up with new topping combinations and different style crusts or different methods of cooking it, such as deep dish.

The misconception that you have to go to culinary school to learn how to cook for yourself is a reason that people get discouraged and do not think they have the ability to learn something that requires a lot of technique. Another reason to learn how to cook is because it can lead to a healthier lifestyle. A positive effect of cooking is becoming a more independent person and being able to know your body and exactly what it needs. The benefits of cooking vary from fighting off bacteria to being able to have higher quality food. Cooking is a very inclusive activity and for this reason cultures are continuously incorporating different aspects of cultures cuisines in their own food.

The use of spices throughout the centuries has drastically improved not only the quality of food but the taste, flavor and the level of health. There are extensive ways to use spices in cooking and as shown above spices have the ability to kill bacteria, preserve food and add flavor and color to all dishes. Demonstrating the different uses of spices in dishes proves that there are multiple ways to execute a technique or skill without the fear of doing it wrong or improperly. Spices have allowed people to use cooking to express themselves by coming up with new recipes every day.

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Different Uses of Spices in Dishes in Some Countries. (2022, Mar 28). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/different-uses-of-spices-in-dishes-in-some-countries-essay

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