One of my favourite quotes of all time on spice is definitely not “Spice Is The Variety Of Life” You probably thought that was what I was going to write. I find that quote a bit cliché but my heart always resonates with Live Life With A Little Spice. This statement right here is at the core of constantly unfolding new adventures and seeking deeper truth into self.
This is not farfetched from your favourite spices and herbs used in cooking. Have you ever wandered down the herb and spice aisle at your grocery store and wonder what people do with all those powders and seeds. Maybe you have. But have you ever wondered where they came from, why we use them? what their unique stories are?
Then get ready because I am about to help you unlock the mysteries behind one or more of your most favourite herbs and spice of all time.
It’s actually interesting to know that your recipes can take on a whole new dimension when you consider the meanings of the spice and herbs used. Let’s explore a few:
• Basil = good wishes Rose = love
• Marjoram = happiness Cumin = engagement
• Bay = victory Rosemary = remembrance
• Mugwort = happy travels Hyssop = cleanliness
• Borage = courage Rue = protection
• Myrtle = true love Dill = power against witchcraft
• Caraway = remembrance Sage = wisdom
• Oregano = joy Fennel = strength
• Chamomile = comfort Thyme = courage
• Parsley = festive Juniper = protection
• Cloves = dignity Violet = faithfulness
• Peppermint = affection Lavender = luck
• Coriander = hidden worth Yarrow = everlasting love
• Rose = love Lemon verbena = unity
Just imagine if you wanted to create a meal for someone special. You would definitely be considering Rose which means love or Yarrow which means everlasting love. Once you have discovered all the pleasures spices and herbs can add to your everyday life, I’m certain you will share them with friends. I’m certain gifts made from herbs and spices are especially cherished when they’re made with love. You can even choose herbs with special meanings to personalize your gifts just like cooking for that special someone.
Basil is a sacred plant in India. it is a symbol of love, faithfulness, and eternal life. It is said that basil is associated with the scorpion, thought to protect against them in some cultures and attract them in others. Early Christians believe basil grew at the sight of the Crucifixion and is, therefore, found on the altar and in the Holy Water at the Greek Orthodox Church. Interesting, isn’t it?
Thyme is known as a Mediterranean native spread throughout Europe by the Romans. It is believed that Thyme is associated with the word courage. Soldiers added thyme to their bathwater to increase bravery. Thyme was used by the Ancient Greek to embalm their dead bodies and was used as an incense to drive away evil and also as a treatment for shyness or depression.
It is said that Parsley sprung from the blood of Archemorus, whose name meant “Forerunner of Death.” And that only witches can germinate the seeds of parsley. The ancient Greeks associated parsley with death, because the herb was spread over graves and used to make funeral wreaths. This was what gave rise to the phrase “He has need now of nothing but a little parsley,” meaning a person that had just died or was about to die. After death, their corpses were then garnished with parsley to help give a pleasant smell.
Dill is believed to have magical powers and can destroy evil spells in the middles ages. If anyone believed they had been cast with a spell by a witch, then a drink of dill leaves was a remedy. People also wore charms made from dill leaves to protect themselves against evil spells.
In both ancient Greece and Rome, couples were crowned with wreaths of oregano at weddings as a charm to ensure their future joy. If oregano grew on a grave, it was an indication that the departed was happy in the afterlife.
I hope you enjoyed these stories as much as I did and when thinking of a creative way to tell food stories, you should put these into consideration.