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Common Cooking Questions about Herbs and Spices

We are asked many common cooking questions every day regarding herbs and spices, so we thought we’d put them on the blog. This way everyone who wants to know gets the answer, too. If you have a question you’ve always wondered about, let us know. We will satisfy your curiosity.

Common Cooking Questions

Today’s common cooking questions are about spices and herbs and their use.

Why are we supposed to throw away the bay leaf after cooking? Is it poisonous to eat?

There is nothing poisonous about bay leaves. The problem is that they are hard leaves that can splinter when cooked. Those splinters can do some damage to the mouth or throat and land someone in the emergency room to have it removed. So, be a safe cook and fish them out and throw them away when your sauce is cooked.

What is an herb and what is a spice? Aren’t they the same thing?

While both herbs and spices flavor food and are sometimes used in high doses as medicines, they are technically not the same thing. Herbs are the leafy parts of the plant and spices are the berries, flowers, twigs, roots and barks.

Do I have to peel garlic? It is so difficult.

Yes, you don’t want the little papery garlic wrapper floating around in your red sauce. But there is an effortless way to peel it. Smash the clove of garlic to flatten it by using the side of a chef knife or drinking glass. Hit it hard. Then lift off the garlic peel, throw it away and mince your garlic. Easy!

How much dry herb do I use as a substitution when the recipe calls for fresh herbs?

You will use 1/3rd of the fresh herb amount.

What is Your Question?

What is the common cooking question you’ve always had about herbs and spices? Email it to us and we’ll answer it here on this blog. We’re always happy to help you spice things up.

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