From Academic Kids
Template:Cuisine Spices are strongly flavored or aromatic parts of plants used in small quantities in food as a preservative, or flavouring in cooking. Spices are often used in perfumes and cosmetics, and many have been used in medicine and religious ritual as well. Spices are distinguished from other plant products used for similar purposes, such as herbs (which are green, leafy parts of plants), aromatic vegetables, and dried fruits.
Spices have been prominent in human history virtually since its inception. Spices were some of the most valuable items of trade in the ancient and medieval world. In the story of Genesis, Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers to spice merchants. In the biblical poem Song of Solomon, the male speaker compares his beloved to many forms of spices.
Spices were the primary reason that Portuguese navigator Vasco Da Gama sailed to India, which eventually led to the British Imperialist rule for more than four centuries. Around that same time, when Christopher Columbus happened upon the New World, he was quick to describe to investors the many new spices available there.