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Spice Up Your Rice

It was 1785 when English poet William Cowper wrote his famous, multi-volume poem, "The Task," and announced to the world that "Variety's the spice of life, That gives it all its flavour." (This quote comes specifically from Book II, "The Timepiece.") And while no one can argue that variety and diversity may be the spice of life, it is specifically the spice that makes life most memorable.

Even the slightest contact with a rosemary bush and the permeating aroma inspires the possibility of rosemary roasted potatoes or a plump chicken lovingly rubbed with copious amounts of rosemary-lemon-garlic-butter and roasted to perfection.

It's almost impossible to cook without herbs and spices. Imagine making spaghetti sauce without oregano or basil? Chili without the mandatory hint of cumin? And I can't even fathom huevos rancheros without an accent of cilantro. Herbs and spices give food an immediate sense of place, build flavor and enhance the nutrition…

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