Growing Older, Living Younger 

Herbs and Spices

Apr 9, 2021 | Uncategorized

Here is another guilty secret. I’m kind of addicted to watching TV Chef  competitions – not the baking ones since I’ve worked hard to train my brain to not crave cupcakes or croissants and other carb-rich foods. But I have this fascination with the awesome flavour profiles in the savoury dishes that these top chefs create. Hearing them talk about the herbs or spices they are adding, and the judges’ glowing responses to these dishes, I can almost smell the aromas and taste the flavour coming from the TV screen.  

Generally speaking herbs come from the leafy parts of the plants whereas spices come from the non-leafy part like seeds, roots or flowers. I have long been interested in the genetic predisposition to hate the herb, cilantro – I am one of the 15% or so of the population to whom cilantro tastes like soap and just a sprinkle of cilantro can destroy my enjoyment of a dish.  However, I enjoy the spicy flavour of coriander seeds from the same plant. 

Many herbs and spices have been prized throughout history for their medicinal qualities as much as for their taste. Today we hear a lot about the anti-inflammatory effect of curcumin, the active ingredient from the turmeric root, or the value of ginger tea infusions in calming digestive upsets. 

What are the favorite herbs and spices you use to make your cooking burst with flavour? 

By the way, one of my coffee table books that I treasure is  called SPICE Health Heroes. You can read my review here. 

If you are enjoying my A to Z blogging journey leave a comment below and sign up to get  upcoming blog posts. After the challenge is done at the end of April, new posts will come out weekly on Mondays so no need to fear a barrage of emails. 


  1. I’m hopping around the list, and you were next 🙂 I’m one of the fortunate ones, lol, that can taste the cilantro. Good thing too, because I live in New Mexico, and it’s in a LOT of food. I’m wondering if the Puerto Rican herb Culantro (sort of super-cilantro, but not) causes the same reaction in the soap-tasting folks? The Puerto Rican condiment Recaito (found at well-stocked grocers, Goya makes it) has culantro as one of its main ingredients. I’m on about this, because I made empanadas last night that had this as one of the ingredients. I think I shall sign up for your emails. As a late 50s woman, sounds interesting. Visit my blog if you’d like at

    • Just hopped over to your blog and I love the Winnie the Pooh quote. Rather appropriate for my J blog.

  2. Dear You and Yourself. I am happy that you landed here and I shall head off to your blog very shortly. I’m just getting used to my wordpress website and the commenting. . I have not allowed commenting on my other lifestyle website that has been running more more than 12 years, but maybe when I get back to my travel writing and reviewing, I will change that.

  3. I’m not in the soap tasting cilantro camp, but I find foods like broccoli rabe way too bitter, while my husband (of Italian heritage) doesn’t perceive the bitterness the way I do. But one of his cousins has the same reaction to brocolli rabe as I do. She has tried so hard to eat it, and just can’t, no matter how she prepares it. I also find certain lettuce too bitter to eat (I suspect it’s lettuce that has been picked a little too old.) I’ve read there is a bitter gene test and maybe I should take it, just out of curiosity. I’m a senior citizen, by the way, and found you through A to Z.

    • Hi Alana, I would love to chat to you about the bitter gene test. I’m still working my way through understanding the various tests on my foray into DNA testing.

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