There is a great piece about the history of spices on NPR – how they were brought around the world and contributed to the discovery of the Americas. Columbus was really looking for spices, not the new world. Most of what he took back were not actually spices, but he did manage to bring one — the chili pepper.
I love to use spices in my cooking, and I frequently experiment with different flavors. I don’t really like using recipes when I cook – I prefer to imagine what flavors would go with whatever it is that I’m making. Most of the time, my dishes come out pretty good.
Many spices have amazing healing properties. If you cook with a variety of them regularly, you can greatly improve your health. I will start posting short articles about health benefits of different herbs and spices, and maybe you, too, will be inspired to spice up your dishes.