To each his own
Recently I was involved in a discussion regarding the difference between herbs and spices - in my mind, spices are seeds and herbs are leaves – but what about other plant parts and even dried vegetables like onion and garlic powder? And how does one categorize saffron, zest, bark, extracts? (Using my definition, bay leaves would be herbs, but I’ve always considered them to be spices). My favorite procurement palace, The Spice House, groups them all together as “spices” but does have an “herb” category that includes all the typical leafy things as well as lavender (but not saffron or bay leaves which are listed as spices).
I decided to do what I love to do and research it. As with previous entries, the more I dug into the topic, the more questions I had.
And, just to further confuse the issue: Spice- (verb) to season with spices
Cookbook after cookbook, article after article - even the McCormick website lists them ALL as spices - oh, and every expert has their own opinion - but all seemed to come to the same conclusion. There is no single, all-encompassing conclusion. Apparently there are clear cut spices and clear cut herbs and a huge gray area in between. So, I guess I’ll call my seeds spices and my leaves herbs but truly, these categories - I've concluded - are ultimately best left to the opinion of the cooker.