People not seriously into cooking often mix up herbs and spices. Generally, flavorings made up of stems, leaves, and flowers are herbs; and those made of bark, roots, and seeds and dried buds are spices. An exception is saffron, which is made of flower stamens but is a spice. When no distinction is intended, the more generic term is “spice”; you have a spice cabinet, not a spice-and-herb cabinet, and you spice your food, even when you are adding herbs as well. The British pronounce the H in “herb” but Americans follow the French in dropping it.

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