スパイスとハーブは何が違うの?

今日は、スパイスとハーブの違いのお話です。

昨今、ハーブがブームになっているので、もしかすると、スパイスよりもハーブという言葉の方が耳馴染みがあるかもしれません。
また、危険ドラッグに脱法ハーブなんて言葉が一人歩きしているせいか、危ないものと考える人もいるかもしれませんし、カフェなどのメニューにあるハーブティーのイメージを持っている方も多いのではないでしょうか。

知っ得スパイス情報

さて、本題のスパイスとハーブの違いですが、正直なところ、コレが答えです!という明確な正解はありません。
しかし、学術的に分類すると、

◆ ハーブは、植物の葉や花の部分をさし
◆ スパイスは、木、実を含めた全てのことをさす

と、説明されています。wikipediaなどを見ると割と曖昧な説明なのですが、私にはこの分類が一番しっくりきています。

面白い話には、このように分類していたりもします。

  • ヨーロッパでとれるのはハーブ、熱帯・亜熱帯地方でとれるのがスパイス
  • よい香りを持つ草がハーブ
  • 有用な草がハーブ

いずれにせよ、何らかの基準でスパイスとハーブは分けて考えられているみたいです。

なぜ、明確な正解がないのでしょうか。自分なりに考えてみると、スパイスやハーブは、植物学、医学、農学、薬学、栄養学など、多くの学問から研究されていたり、用途も、料理、薬、香りと多岐に渡るからなのかな、と思います。





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