spice

(redirected from Spicy food)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal.

spice,

aromatic vegetable product used as a flavoring or condiment. The term was formerly applied also to pungent or aromatic foods (e.g., gingerbread and currants), to ingredients of incense or perfume (e.g., myrrh), and to embalming agents. Modern usage tends to limit the term to flavorings used in food or drinks, although many spices have additional commercial uses, e.g., as ingredients of medicines, perfumes, incense, and soaps.

Spices include stimulating condiments, e.g., pepper, mustard, and horseradish; aromatic spices, e.g., cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, and mace; and sweet herbs, e.g., thyme, marjoram, sage, and mint. Spices are taken from the part of the plant richest in flavor—bark, stem, flower bud, fruit, seed, or leaf. Although spices are very commonly used in the form of a powder, some are used as tinctures obtained by extracting essential oils, and many are used whole.

Garlic, chives, caraway, mustard, and many herbs grow in temperate regions, and vanilla, allspice, and red pepper are indigenous to the West Indies and South America. Most of the major spices, however, are produced in the East Indies and tropical Asia.

The Spice Trade

Spices from India, E Asia, and the East Indies were in demand from ancient times; they were carried by caravan across China and India to ports of the Mediterranean Sea or the Persian Gulf and thence to the marketplaces of Athens, Rome, and other cities, where they were sold at exorbitant prices. Certain spices were used as media of exchange; Alaric I is said to have demanded pepper as part of the ransom for raising the siege of Rome in 408. In the early Middle Ages few spices reached the markets of Europe, but trade was slowly resumed in the 9th cent. and was later greatly stimulated by the Crusades. In Western Europe the desire for spices arose in part from the monotony of the diet and from poor facilities for the preservation of food, especially of meat.

When overland trade routes from Asia were cut off by the Mongols and Turks, the European demand for spices was a major factor in motivating a search for new trade routes around Africa and across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The high price obtainable for spices was partially responsible for the bitter rivalry of European powers for the control of spice-producing areas and of trade routes. Even after adequate supplies of spices were found and means of transportation made available, the cost long remained very high in Europe and in America. This was largely because of the expenses incident to attempts to retain monopoly of markets and to deliberately limit crops in order to secure high prices.

Although spices today are still important in trade, their per capita use for flavoring food has declined in Western civilizations, and certain spices must compete with synthetic flavorings. The demand for spices has remained large in Asia, where spices have a wider social and ceremonial significance than they ever attained in the West.

Bibliography

See J. W. Parry, Spices (2 vol., 1969); F. Rosengarten, Jr., The Book of Spices (rev. ed. 1973); J. Heinerman, Complete Book of Spices (1983).; A. Dalby, Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices (2000); J. Turner, Spice (2004).

Spice

 

a dried vegetable product containing piquant and aromatic substances and used as seasonings to improve the flavor, digestibility, and assimilation of food. Spices usually contain essential oils, glycosides, and tannins. They are used by the food-processing industry (in canning and in the production of confections, baked goods, and liqueurs and spirits). Spices are also used in medicine and perfumes. The most valuable spices are obtained from tropical plants. Spices are available in many forms: seeds (nutmeg, mustard), fruits (pepper, vanilla, anise), flowers or flower parts (capers, cloves), leaves (laurel), bark (cinnamon), or roots (ginger).

REFERENCE

Pokhlebkin, V. V. Vse o prianostiakh. Moscow, 1974.

spice

[spīs]
(food engineering)
An aromatic vegetable material used for food seasoning.

SPICE

(Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis) A program widely used to simulate the performance of analog electronic systems and mixed mode analog and digital systems. SPICE solves sets of non-linear differential equations in the frequency domain, steady state and time domain and can simulate the behavior of transistor and gate designs. Developed at the University of California at Berkeley in the mid-1970s, there are enhanced versions of SPICE provided by several software companies. PSpice is a version for personal computers such as DOS, Windows and Mac.
References in periodicals archive ?
Spicy foods are preferred more than ever, and this bold new flavorful number is the perfect addition to heat up dinner that the whole family will enjoy.
Q My son's partner is Indian and she's told him that spicy foods are good for your health and protect you from disease.
Men who ate spicy food at least once a week were 10 percent less likely to die during the seven-year study period than were those with a more bland diet.
They found that regular spicy food lovers are less likely to die if they developed diabetes, cancer, heart or respiratory disease.
Compared with those who ate spicy foods less than once a week, those who consumed spicy foods six or seven days a week showed a 14 per cent relative risk reduction in total mortality," concluded Lu Qi, an associate professor at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and his co-authors in Tuesday's online issue of The BMJ, formerly the British Medical Journal.
Researchers stressed the findings were "observational" and eating lots of spicy food could be linked to other dietary habits and lifestyle choices.
Like other parts of the country, people of Balochistan including the provincial capital use Pakoras, Samosas, Kachories, Dahi Ballay and other spicy food items during Iftar and Sehar.
Janet, from Perth, claimed she was told she would be able to eat spicy food within 24 hours of having the op at Perth Royal Infirmary.
After careful management with fluids and medication to reduce the inflammation in his stomach and intestines (along with lots of ventilation in the isolation kennels), George was discharged the following day on a light diet and strict instructions to stay off the spicy food.
A CURRY fanatic has won enough of his favourite spicy food to make five Indian meals a day for a year.
In Kerala people observing Ramadan fast mostly eat spicy food.
According to information, several restaurant and hotels are involved in this business and selling substandard spicy food, which are causing abdominal diseases in customers.