Throughout recorded history, spices and herbs have been valued for their culinary properties and curative powers. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture projects that consumption of these dried, aromatic plant parts in the United States in 2007 will exceed 1.05 billion lb (about 3.5 lb/person), an approximately 5% increase over 2004.

The United States is the largest importer of these food flavor and texture modifiers. Vanilla beans, black and white pepper, capsicums, sesame seed, cinnamon, mustard, and or…

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