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Spice

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Spices are strongly flavoured or aromatic parts of plants used in small quantities in food as a preservative, or flavouring in cooking. Spices are distinguised from other plant products used for similar purposes, such as herbs (which are green, leafy parts of plants), aromatic vegetables, and dried fruit.

Spices were some of the most valuable items of trade in the ancient and medieval world. Many spices were formerly used in medicine, though this use has decreased somewhat in later years.

See also: List of herbs and spices

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