An herb that is part of the mint family, is native to India (and possibly Africa as well), and is known as the tomato's best friend, basil (Ocimum basilicum = O. americanum) comes in many types - and more than a few colors - that are now distributed worldwide.
Its flower buds, which are picked and pickled in vinegar, are the capers that have been used since at least the time of the ancient Greeks as a condiment to add a salty-sour flavor to sauces, cheeses, salad dressings, stews, and various other meat and fish dishes.
The dried fruit of a perennial bush, Elettaria cardamomum, belonging to the ginger family, consisting of green or bleached pods (5 to 10 mm long) containing loose black seeds with an aromatic flavour and smell.
Cumin (Cuminum cyminum) seems to be a Mediterranean plant - as are most other members of the carrot family - although some think it originated in Asia, and it apparently has been cultivated in India, Egypt, and the Mediterranean region since time immemorial.
Old World annual or biennial plant (Anethum graveolens) of the family Umbelliferae (parsley family), cultivated since at least since 400 b.c. The pungent, aromatic leaves and seeds are used for pickling and for flavoring sauces, salads, and soups.
Common name for several perennial herbs, genus Foeniculum vulgare of the family Umbelliferae (parsley family), related to dill. The strawlike foliage and the seeds are licorice-scented and are used (especially in Italian cooking) for flavoring.
A member of the cabbage family and a relative of the radish, horseradish (Armoracia rusticana = A. lapathifolia) is sometimes called “German mustard,” perhaps because its strong, biting flavor derives from mustard oils that are released when the tissue of the root is cut.
Common name for members of the Malvaceae, a family of herbs and shrubs distributed over most of the world and especially abundant in the American tropics. Tropical species sometimes grow as small trees. The family is characterized by often mucilaginous sap and by showy, five-part flowers with a prominent column of fused stamens.
Some 600 perennial herbs of the genus Mentha, which are widely distributed throughout the world, fall under the rubric of mint - a name derived from the nymph Minthe, who was reputed to have turned into this plant.
Name for several herbs used for flavoring food. A plant of the family Labiatae (mint family), Origanum vulgare, also called Spanish thyme and wild marjoram, is the usual source for the spice sold as oregano in the Mediterranean countries and in the United States.
Common name for various members of the family Rutaceae, a large group of plants distributed throughout temperate and tropical regions and most abundant in S Africa and Australia. Most species are woody shrubs or small trees; many are evergreen and bear spines.
Any species of the large genus Salvia, aromatic herbs or shrubs of the family Labiatae (mint family). The common sage of herb gardens is S. officinalis, a strongly scented shrubby perennial, native from S Europe to Asia Minor.
Tree or bush, its leaves, and the beverage made from these leaves. The plant (Camellia sinensis,Thea sinensis, or C. thea) is an evergreen related to the camellia and indigenous to Assam (India) and probably to parts of China and Japan.