If you need to add flavour to your food … think about using herbs. Herbs come from the fragrant leaves of a plant and can be used either fresh or dried. Geography and climate are important factors that determine the herbs that can be found in the cooking of a region or country. Fresh or dried? Chopped fresh herbs can be added to a dish just before serving. However, dried herbs need time to rehydrate. Use sparingly until you know the impact a flavour a particular herb can have on a dish.


The majority of spices come from dried roots, bark, buds, fruit, and seeds of the plants. Regional tradition and history often determines the spices or spice mixes that will be used in food. They are often dried, because many spices travel halfway around the world before they are used. Spices usually need some preparation before use. Bruising, cutting or grinding releases the oils and perfume of the spice being used.

Dewey Numbers

On our shelves: Herbs 641.357

Spices 641.3383

Keyword Searching

If you want to find how herbs have been used ... often beyond the kitchen ... you need to do a keyword search using the term "herbs".

Use the term "spices" as a keyword search to extend your searching for how spices have been used around the world.

Subject Headings

Encyclopaedia Britannica online

Log onto Encyclopedia Britainnica to find out about the history of herbs, how to grow them and a long list with illustrations of common and more exotic herbs.

The Encyclopaedia also has an extensive coverage of spices. You can also search for information about the spice trade with links to the history of spices and the East India Company.


Web Resources



Herbs & Spices

666 [ABC Canberra] The A to Z of herbs and spices

McCormick Australia - Herbs & Spices A-Z; includes recipes