The word spice describes any aromatic plant or part of a plant used to flavor or season food; spices are also used to add scent or flavor to manufactured products (Table A3.6). Although spices have no nutritional value, they add a plea surable zest to meals, and before food preservation was possible, they helped make palatable food that was still edible but unappealing.
The value placed on spice plants was responsible for changing the course of Western civilization as a principal motive behind the voyages of discovery.
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