Spices are parts of aromatic plants which usually obtained from the tropics, including seeds, flowers, leaves, bark or roots. They are often in whole or ground form, and used for imparting flavour aroma and piquancy for seasoning foods. Many spices such as Pepper, lemon grass, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, mace and others were used in large amount in the kitchens for flavouring and preserving food. Hundreds of herbs and spices were used for making drugs, medicines and cosmetics. They helped to preserved food, to make it deigestible, and at the same time provided the basis of their medicines. Spices not only flavour and improve the taste of the food, but supply us with many nutritional prophylactic substances.
Spiced have long been concerned in Thai cooking. A quantities of species are also being consumed within the country for flavouring foods and also needed in medicine, pharmaceutical, perfumery, cosmetics and other industries. The plants are planted both ornamental and agriculture. Spices played an important role both in the religions and Thai cooking since Sukhothai period. Until Ayutthaya’s territory (1350-1767), spices came from India as dried materials which were used for religious purposes such as Kritsana (Aquilaria agallocha Roxb.), Kamyan (Styrax spp.) by preparing just sticks, for food by using dried leaves and mature seeds of Krawan (Amomum testaceum Ridl.), Krawan pa (A. uliginosum Koen.) and Krawan thet (A. cardamomum Moton.). They were pounded and mixed together to brownish powder and used for medicine, perfume and seasoning food. The seeds of Krawan (Cardamon) and Camphor(Cinnamonum zeylanicum Nees) were used as aromatic plants. By the end of Ayutthaya period, Thai food were cooked by adding more spices which came from Japanese and. Malaysian, e.g. the rhizome of Khamin Daeng (Curcuma longa L.)gave the yellow colour for he soup, the powder used to maker desserts, the mixture with Indian spices used for curry. In Rattanakosin period, spices were used more for instance Yi ra ((Cuminum tenuiflorum L.) Maeng lak (Ocimum americanum L.), var. pilosum (Willd.)Pation) Sims., saranae (Mentha cordifolia Opiz ex Fresem), Ta khrai (Cymbopogon citrates Stapf.) Prik Thai (Piper nigrurn L.), Prik (Capiscum annuum L.), Kar thiam (Allium sativum L.),Ma nao (Citrus aurantifolia(Christm) Swingle ) Ma khuea thet (Cyphomandra betacea Cav.) etc. others. Nowadays spices are an accepted part of Thai dialy lives of cooking. Spices are used as a whole or grounded as powder to be the mixture in sources, curry paste etc. they are used from cooking to medicine.
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Article Added on Tuesday, January 9, 2007
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