Spices

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Spices are any number of strongly scented and flavored vegetative substances, used in cooking, traditional medicine, perfume, and household uses.

Medieval cooking is known (by modern Western standards at least) for its unusual and heavy-handed use of spices. Spices, many of which are only found in tropical climates, were highly-prized and expensive. Contrary to popular belief, medieval cooks did not use spices to cover up the taste of rotting food! Rotting food would sicken a medieval person the same as it would to a person now. There are even sections in medieval cookbooks going back to the 13th century that address how to preserve food, and how to deal with the rotten areas of meat in a way that might conserve the untainted parts.