Unlike herbs, which come from the leaves
of plants, highly aromatic spices are
derived from the roots, seeds, bark or fruit
of various plants. Whole and ground
spices are often used for different
applications. Take cumin, for example:
when ground, it’s often sprinkled on a
dish; when used whole, it can be toasted
and used for tempering (see below).
While the convenience of buying ground
spices can’t be beat, we recommend
purchasing whole spices whenever
possible and grinding them yourself;
you’ll get superior flavor, and the spices
themselves will last longer.