Some foods that are not really part of the tradition have nevertheless entered our pantry in a stable way. However, rarely seeing them grow, we often have no idea what form they originally took before being harvested or processed; in some cases, we don’t even know if a particular food is growing on a tree, shrub or on the ground! In this article, we show you what some of the spices we regularly use in the kitchen look like .
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The sesame seeds you brush the slices of tuna with to get the delicious crust look like this: they grow inside a husk which is harvested when it turns brown. The seeds inside are dried.
Did you know that cinnamon, which we often use in powder form to flavor desserts, is nothing more than the bark of different types of trees ? To be harvested, the trees are felled and the bark is removed.
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Nutmeg is the kernel of the fruit of the Muristica fragrans plant . When the fruit ripens, it splits open, revealing a bright red core. The nutmeg used as a spice is the inner part of the kernel , the one that is below the red layer.
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It is an expensive spice, widely used in oriental cuisine. Cardamom seeds, the form in which they are most commonly seen, are enclosed in the pods that the plant produces. The plant also bears beautiful white flowers with purple veins, which bloom in spring in all their beauty.
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How many times have you eaten sushi with the inevitable wasabi? Well, this green paste is made from the root of a plant that has heart-shaped leaves and white flowers. The root is finely chopped before being used in cooking.
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Vanilla comes from a plant belonging to the orchid family. The fragrance is obtained from the long pods which contain the fragrant seeds. Quality vanilla comes at a high price because much of its processing requires the use of hands!
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How many times have you stared in awe at the price of a kilo of saffron? The reason for such a cost is explained: saffron is nothing but the stigmas (the female reproductive part of the flower) of a beautiful purple flower. The plant that produces it is Crocus sativus : each bulb produces a single flower , which blooms for a few weeks a year, and inside it contains three stigmas. Imagine how many bulbs it takes to produce a substantial amount of saffron!
#8. Black pepper
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Before it ends up between the blades of the grinder to be ground into a powder, black pepper looks like this: it’s not seeds, although the consistency might suggest it, but the berries of a plant called Piper nigrum . The berries extend in long chains hanging from the stems. The same plant makes it possible to obtain the different colors of pepper , depending on the degree of maturity of the berry. Green and black pepper is obtained when the berry is unripe, while red pepper is obtained from the ripe berry. White pepper, on the other hand, is obtained from the seed alone.