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Notes from Aug. 19

by: Meghan Shah

Notes from Aug. 19 HORT 3440

Meghan Shah
GPA 3.78

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In class notes
Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants
James Affecter
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Meghan Shah on Monday September 12, 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 2 views. For similar materials see Herbs, Spices, and Medicinal Plants in Biology/Anthropology at University of Georgia.

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Date Created: 09/12/16
Notes from Aug. 22 – New World Spices Key: Vocab Word Family/Genus/Species Name Compound/Component Part(s) Used  Frankincense  ○ Gum Resin from Frankincense trees is harvested ○ Harvested in the spring and fall; Autumn is the best ▪ If too much is taken, the trees will bleed to death. ○ White frankincense is the finest ▪ Frankincense quality depends on how high up on the tree it was taken from ○ Incense was very profitable in the past (BCE [BC]) ▪ Trade prospered for centuries ▪ Ancient Egyptians viewed frankincense the sweat of the Gods  Spices from the Old World: ○ Cinnamon ○ Ginger ○ Cloves ○ Black pepper ○ Nutmeg/Mace  New World Spices ○ Vanilla – Vanilla planifolia ▪ Orchid family  It’s the only crop plant in the Orchid fam  Orchid fam has over 18,000 different species member ▪ Vanilla is a tropical vine native to Central and South America ▪ Flavor comes from the fruit  Vanilla “beans” each contain millions of tiny seeds  The fruits look like green beans ▪ The Aztecs used vanilla as a flavoring for chocolate  The Spanish introduced vanilla to the rest of Europe for the same purpose ▪ Vanillan – main flavor comes from this compound ▪ Getting the vanilla flavor requires 2 to 6 months of post­harvest processing.  Beans are put in the sun every day in order for them to sweat and grow  vanilla crystals ▪ Vanilla needs to be pollinated by hand, otherwise there won’t be any seeds  (or fruit)  The flowers are extremely small ▪ A lot of vanilla is grown in Madagascar  Madagascar is the main commercial producer  75% of vanilla product is used by ice cream and chocolate companies ▪ Vanilla Extract is made with vanilla beans  It’s made by chopping the fermented beans and extracting vanillan with a  water­ethanol solution  Artificial Vanilla is made from wood pulp, clove oil, or coal tar   It’s not as good as the real thing ○ Allspice – Pimenta dioica ▪ Myrtle Family ▪ We use the dried fruit ▪ It’s kind of a combination of the flavors of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg ▪ Evergreen trees, native to Central America and the West Indies ▪ The Mayans used its berries to embalm royalty ▪ It has good preservative qualities  Sailors used it to preserve meat ▪ Eugenol is the dominant oil  It’s also found in cloves and cinnamon ▪ Almost all horticultural development is in Jamaica, but it’s also collected from  the wild in Guatemala ▪ It’s an important ingredient in Caribbean cuisine ○ Capsicum Peppers – Capsicum spp  ▪ (Several different species are used) ▪ In the potato family  Tomatoes are also in the potato fam ▪ C. annuum includes sweet peppers and many of the pungent varieties  Most widely grown in temperate climates ▪ C. frutescens varieties are smaller and hotter  They’re most widely grown in tropical climates  The “burning heat” comes from a compound called Capsaicin  Birds seem to not be affected by capsaicin, while most mammals find  the burning sensation unpleasant  Capsaicin triggers some of the same heat­sensitive pain nerves as  high temperatures, so it’s perceived to us as heat  It’s an analgesic—a pain killer  The placenta is the sterile tissues that the seeds grow on.  It’s the pepper part ▪ The Scoville Heat Unit Scale is a super subjective evaluation of spiciness   It’s an Organoleptic test   It’s tested by using your sense ▪ Some commercial pepper products:  Paprika – dried and powdered fruits of C. annuum  Tabasco sauce – fruits of C. frutescens  Ground pepper flakes – mixture of Capsicum species  Chili powder – mix of dried red peppers, cumin, oregano, and garlic  powder


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