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Week 3 Herb Notes

by: Bailey Dickinson

Week 3 Herb Notes HORT 3440

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Bailey Dickinson
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Week 3 Herb Notes
Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants
James Affecter
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Bailey Dickinson on Friday August 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HORT 3440 at University of Georgia taught by James Affecter in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 9 views.


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Date Created: 08/26/16
Week 3 Notes for HORT 3440 CRN10344 (8/22/2016 -8/26/2016) Monday: We watched a clip about a man harvesting frankincense in the desert. He must be careful not to extract too much from the tree, or it will die. It’s not in as high demand as it once was. The Egyptians believed the drops of frankincense were drops of their God’s sweat A good smell means spiritual wealth and breathing it in means trust. Old world spices: Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, black pepper Most herbs and spices originate from three main geographic regions: • Europe and Mediterranean region • Old World tropics (Particularly India and the Far East) • New World tropics New World: Vanilla, Vanilla planifolia, Orchid Family (one of the biggest families) (Vine like black pepper) (only orchid that’s expensive) • Tropical vine, native to Central and South America • Aztecs used vanilla as a flavoring for chocolate; Spanish introduced it to Europe for same purpose; only later was it used as a spice in its own right • Flavor comes from the fruit, called a vanilla “bean”, contains millions of tiny seeds • Only crop plant in large Orchid family • Vanellin is the main compound responsible for the flavor. The vanillin doesn’t form until it goes through a long process. Laid out on a blanket in the sun every morning (for 2 to 6 months) It takes that long for those vanillin crystals to form and to taste that flavor • Orchid’s pollen is in backpacks and they stick it onto some part of a pollinator • The flowers have to be pollenated by hand (because most of the production now takes place in Madagascar and there aren’t native pollenating bugs there) • Vanilla extract is made by chopping fermented beans and extracting vanillin with a water-ethanol solution • Artificial vanilla is made from wood pulp, clove oil, or coal tar • Are they indistinguishable? When you’re extracting the vanilla bean, you’re getting hundreds of more flavors and more complexity in the natural vanilla extract. The chocolate and ice cream industries make up about 75% of the market for vanilla To cook with it, cut the bean open and scrape the inside, put the chopped up bean and seed into the recipe and then take out the big vanilla chunks The vanilla flower is too small for normal honey bees to fit in. There are tiny bees that can pollenate them, but there aren’t enough tiny bees to do all of the farms’ work. Allspice, Pimenta dioca, Myrtle Family • Evergreen tree, native to Central America and the West Indies • Combines the flavors of cinnamon nutmeg, and cloves • Mayans used the berries to embalm the bodies of royalty • Spanish explorers names the plant “pimiento” because the poppers looked like black pepper • Good preservative properties (used by sailors during long voyages) • Eugenol is the dominant oil, also found in cloves and cinnamon • Almost all horticultureal production is in Jamica, but also collected from the wild in Guatamala • Important ingredient in Caribbean cuisine; used in jerk rubs and mole sauces • In Europe used in sausages, curries, and cakes Capsicum Peppers, Capsicum, Potato Family • Native to Central and South America • Capsicum annuum includes the sweet peppers and many of the pungent varieties; most widely grown in temperate climates • Capsicum frutescens varieties are smaller and hotter; more widely grown in tropical climates • Most cuisines that feature hot dishes owe the heat sensation to Capsicum peppers • The heat comes from the Capsaicin molecule • The part of the pepper in the center that the seeds grow on is called the placenta (sterile tissue) • A lot of the heat is concentrated in the seeds and in the placenta • Most mammals find the burning sensation of capsaicin unpleasant, but not birds are not affected; seems to be an adaptation to deter herbivory but encourage dispersal. Birds are attracted to bright colors • Capsaicin is used as an analgesic (pain killer); it triggers some of the same heat-sensitive pain nerves as high temperatures, so it is perceived as heat. • The Scoville Scale is an organileptic test (test using your senses) for the ranking of different peppers based on heat units • Tasters would take samples of the diluted fruit. It’s diluted 10 fold each time until the taster says they can’t taste any more heat. Parts pepper to sugar water determines the ranking. • Now there are other ways to test it (High Performance Liquid Chomatography) Paprika= dried, powdered fruits of Capsicum annuum Tabasco sauce= from fruits of C. frutescens Cayenne= generic term for dried hot peppers (regardless of pepper family) Ground pepper flakes= a mixture of Capsicum species Chili powder= a mixture of dried red peppers, oregano, cumin, and garlic powder. Spiciness isn’t a taste- it’s a response from heat sensitive receptors Why do chili peppers burn your mouth, but wasabi burns your nose?? Wednesday: “Write down the names of these herbs. Samples will be passed around in class for you to examine and sniff” • Lemon thyme • Rosemary • Mountain mint • Oregano • Lime basil • Parsley • Sage marjoram • Tulsi • Lamb’s ear • Spearmint • Lemon balm • Thai basil • Lavender • Japanese field mint • Savory • Fennel • Horse radish • Cat whiskers Mint Family (Lamiaceae) Vegetative Characteristics • Herbs and shrubs • Square stems, opposite leaves • Aromatic oils • Cosmopolitan distribution but a center of diversity in the Mediterranean region • Cosmopolitan- found all around the world • Vegetative characteristics- characteristics that don’t have to do with reproduction • Leaves are opposite on the stem • Labiati- lip • Flowers often in whorls around the stem • Flowers bilaterally symmetric with a lip • Fruit of 4 nutlets Essential Oils • Responsible for aroma and taste • Volatile (easily evaporated at normal temperature) • Soluble in alcohol and fats, less soluble in water • Usually stored in special cells or hairs (trichomes) Peppermint- menthe • Easy to grow, but needs a lot of water • It’s hard to grow mints in your garden because they spread fast • Main compound valuable in peppermint oil- valued for its scent, taste, and healing properties. Used in modern herbal medicine for stomach and intestinal discomfort; to relieve headaches and muscle pains.’ Rosemary • Symbolizes remembrance. • Lots of culinary uses Basil • Lots of sun • Annual plant • Used to make pesto Oregano and Marjoram are also in the mint family. Oregano has a stronger, more robust flavor. People were exposed to these in WWII and wanted them when they got back. Sage- salvia • Thought to be a good cure-all for a long time • Goes well with meats Thyme • You can roast vegetables on a low temperature for 2 hours with thyme Parsley Family (Apiaceae) Vegetable Characteristics • Herbs • Alternate leaves (as opposed to opposite leaves)- often with a sheath • Leaves are often dissected • Aromatic oils present • Widely distributed in temperate zones, with a center of diversity in the Mediterranean region • Flowers arranged in “umbels” (old name for the family is Umbelliferae) • Flowers usually small and inconspicuous individually, but often arranged in clusters • Dry fruit composed of two one-seeded “mericarps” Cilantro is the plant and coriander is its seed Parsley- has a lot of vitamins in it. Good for breath Dill- dill seeds provide flavor for dill pickles Chervil- used in French cooking Anise- contain anathol (strong licorice flavor) Cumin Mustard Family (Brassicaceae) Reproductive characteristics • Flowers have 4 petals arranged in a cross (old name for the family is Cruciferae) • Fruit: a long or short pod that opens along two sides Some familiar members of the Mustard family All these vegetables have been derived from one species, Brassica oleracea, by methodically selecting pants in cultivation that had the desired characteristics Leaves- kale, collard greens Terminal bud- cabbage Axillary (lateral) buds- brussel sprouts Stem- kohlrabi Inflorescences- broccoli and cauliflower Money plant (lunaria annua) Fruit type is a “silicle” Mustard Horseradish Wasabi Friday: What characteristics of spices made them good trade commodities? • They could be transported in a dried state and they had a long “shelf” life • They were chemically potent and could be used in small quantifies • They were in high demand, and the supply could be tightly controlled (like diamonds) Why are spices less expensive today? • Improved transportation • They have been brought into large scale commercial cultivation • They are grown in many different parts of the world- global competition • Some are available as synthetic compounds (e.g. vanilla) Video about wasabi farmers: How do they use the knowledge of how it grows in the wild to figure out how to grow is under agricultural conditions? • They mimck a stream bed (which is where wasabi naturally grows in Japan) • Their methods of wasabi farming wouldn’t work in GA because it’s too hot Antioxidants Donate electrons to free radicals to make them less reactive What are the health benefits of the flavonoid phytochemicals in parsley? • Provides a higher concentration of flavonoids (antioxidants) than any other food • Anti cancer Oregano is a great source of antioxidants Why is it important to use fresh, raw garlic? • Heat can denature some proteins in garlic, ruin enzyme What is the health benefit of turmeric? • Percumin- reduces inflammation Chile peppers and wasabi trigger the release of what mood-boostinf chemicals in our body? • Endorphins (morphine-like chemicals) New Mexican Chile Powder: Combine and toast in a skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes: • 5 tablespoons of ground mild chile peppers such as New Mexico, pasilla, or ancho • 2 tablespoons of dried oregano (Mediterranean, mint family) • 1.5 tablespoons ground cumin (Mediterranean, use seeds, parsley/carrot family) • .5 teaspoons ground red pepper, or to taste Madras Curry Powder Toast in a heated skillet over medium heat until a shade darker and fragrent; about 4 minutes • 6 tablespoons coriander seeds (Mediterranean, parsley (also cilantro is from same plant)) • 4 tablespoons whole cumin seeds • 4 tablespoons yellow split seeds (chana dal) • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns (old world) • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds (Mediterranean) • 5 dried red chile peppers (new world) • 10 curry leaves (form the kari palnt, Murraya koenigii) Combine the toasted spices with 2 tablespoons fenugreek seeds (burnt sugar taste) (used for imitation maple sugar) Grind the mixture to a powder ina spice mill or coffee grinder and mix well with 3 tablespoons turmeric Garam Masala (warming spice) Put in a plastic bag and lightly crush with a rolling pin • ½ cup cardamom pods (ginger family) Discard the pods and combine the seeds with: • 1/3 cup whole cloves • ¼ cup cumin seeds • ¼ cup black peppercorns


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