Do you know all about Herbs and Spices? Quiz

J.P. Naomi

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About This Quiz

Executive chef or aspiring home chef - herbs and spices are important for getting it just right! Take this quiz to see if your info is up to par, or to learn more about these culinary additives for sweet, spicy, aromatics, and others!

___________ are obtained from the leaves of herbaceous (non-woody) plants.

Often used in larger amounts than spices, herbs are used in cooking and also for medicinal purposes.

___________ are obtained from roots, flowers, fruits, seeds or bark.

Spices are generally used in smaller portions than herbs because of the stronger flavors and higher potency.

The main herb in pesto is:

Ocimum basilicum is also called great basil and comes from the family Lamiaceae.

Most cooks think of this curly or flat-leaf herb as a garnish:

Parsley is bright green and is great for garnish, but it also enhances the flavors for many foods including meat, stews, soups, stocks and sauces.

Which of the following colors will you NOT find in a selection of peppercorns?

Each of these pepper varieties come from the Piper nigrum vine, and the differences are determined by the ripeness and the processing.

Anyone with an herb garder will know that the many varieties of this herb should be planted in pots, or it can grow out of control:

The cool property of mint comes from menthol oil.

This herb is commonly used to add flavour to pickles:

The old Norse word "dilla", which means "to soothe or lull", is the origin of dill's name because it was thought that the seeds have a sedative effect.

Originally from the Mediterranean, this herb is used on pizza (among other things!), and belongs to the same family as marjoram:

Mexican oregano has a citrus flavor because it comes from the verbena family, in comparison to the typical Mediterranean variety.

Which spice, often found in Jamaican jerk recipes, is made from the dried berries of the pimento tree native to Jamaica and other Caribbean countries?

Some people think that allspice has the flavors of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg, thus its name allspice.

Which seeds are the main ingredient of Tahini?

Tahini is made from sesame seeds, and this paste is added to chickpeas and other ingredients to make hummus!

China is historically the largest consumer of this root, thought to have aphrodisiac and stimulant effects:

The English word ginseng comes from the Chinese term rénshēn, meaning "Person" and "plant root". The name refers to the forked shape of the ginseng root thought to resemble the legs of a person.

Which rhizome spice most commonly gives curry a yellow color, and is also known as 'Indian saffron'?

The 'active ingredient' in turmeric is curcumin, which allows the tumeric to turn yellow or red in acidic or alkaline food, respectively.

This herb is a delicate herb characterized as a mild parsley; sometimes called French parsley:

A bouquet of fine fresh herbs from France might include a blend of parsley, tarragon, chives, and chervil.

In most cases this herb is usually removed before serving:

A bay leaf comes from the Lauraceae or Myrtaceae family of trees or shrubs.

The spice known as the "date of India" is produced from this pod of a tree native to Africa:

Across cultures, tamarind is used in condiments, chutneys, soups, sauces, or eaten whole.

The measurement of ______________ describes how spicy different peppers are on the Scoville Scale.

In the early 1900s, Wilber Scoville invented the Scoville Scale to describe the spiciness of peppers which is determined by measuring the amount of capsaicin in the pepper..

Which of the following herbs comes from the coriander plant, and is frequently used in Latin American cuisine?

Cilantro is the Spanish word for coriander, with word origins of coriander dating back to very ancient Greece.

"Basturma" is an air-dried cured beef covered in a cumin paste containing garlic, hot paprika, and this spice:

The name 'fenugreek' comes from the Latin 'faenugraecum', meaning 'Greek hay' because it was used as cow fodder.

This herb is related to Oregano, but its flavor is more mild:

Marjoram is indigenous to Cyprus and southern Turkey.

This spice ranges from mild to hot, and is associated with Hungarian cuisine:

Paprika made from air-dried fruits of the chili pepper Capsicum annuum, and is used to add color and flavor to many dishes.

Which spice has also been called "Japanese horseradish"?

Sometimes horseradish is used as a substitute for wasabi because it is not abundantly found. is in the Brassicaceae family which includes cabbages and mustard.

This herb is used to flavor Italian biscotti, Sambuca, and Greek Ouzo:

Even though it tastes similar to licorice and fennel, anise is sweeter and more delicate than either one. It's used in liqueurs such as Sambuca and Greek Ouzo, but it also flavors candies and chocolates.

What herb that appears red but makes a golden yellow dye, is considered to be the most expensive herb?

Saffron comes from the saffron crocus, which contains three red stigmata in each flower - which are the 'threads' of saffron - you would need about 100,000 threads to get a pound of saffron!

The Naga Jolokia pepper is the hottest pepper known, as rated by the Scoville scale. It is more commonly called a(n):

On the Scoville Scale, the ghost pepper rates up to 1 million whereas habaneros are up to about 500,000. Jalapenos score less than 10,000.

Which herb is the predominant flavor of gin?

Juniper has been reported to strengthen immune systems and while it does make a mean Gin, you should be careful using it around the BBQ grill or near gas stoves as juniper is flammable.

This herb is an essential ingredient of Béarnaise sauce, and has a delicate, anise-like flavor:

Tarragon, also called estragon, has long, narrow, smooth leaves and is used not only in the kitchen, but also for medicinal purposes.

This herb is a member of the Allum (onion) family and has a mild onion flavor:

Chives, like garlic and onion, are said to have beneficial effects on inflammation and blood pressure.

This is one of the few spices that comes from the bark of a tree, and is often mixed with sugar:

Cinnamon is made when the inner bark is cut from the tree and laid out to dry.

This reddish-brown spice is used in Middle Eastern cuisine to add a tart, lemony taste to many types of food:

Sumacs are shrubs and small trees from which the stone fruits, called sumac bobs, are dried and ground to produce the crimson spice known as sumac.

This is the second-most expensive spice after saffron:

Across the world, there are three major types of vanilla: from Madagascar and the Indian Ocean; the South Pacific; and the West Indies, and Central and South America. Each type is derived from a single species originating in Mesoamerica.

Grinding and mixing these seeds with water, vinegar, or other liquids, creates the yellow condiment known as:

Mustard plants are any of several plant species in the genera Brassica and Sinapis.

Flavors from this plant were used in traditional root beers:

Banned by the FDA in 1960, sassafras roots were used to make traditional root beer.

To crush and grind your spices (or even to make Pesto!), use this heavy bowl and heavy and blunt club-shaped object:

All types of spices, nuts, or seeds can be crushed by hand using a mortar and pestle to grind.

Known as the "Spice Islands", the Moluku Islands -part of Indonesia - are home to the tree that produces this spice:

Though nutmeg only came from the Maluku Islands, it is now also produced in other tropical areas of the world.

Which herb is thought to aid in sleeping?

Chamomile is traditionally served as tea, thought to relax and sooth.

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