How boring would food be with out spices and herbs? But which should you use when creating your culinary masterpieces? A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root or bark used to flavor, color or preserve foods. Examples of spices are nutmeg, cinnamon and saffron and were once considered some of the most expensive products available. Herbs are leafy, green plant parts used for flavoring. Examples of herbs are tarragon, basil and rosemary. Herbs are highly valued not only for cooking, but also for their scent and medicinal qualities. Depending on the dish you are making, you can use a variety of spices and herbs. Indian cuisine uses turmeric, cardamom, black pepper and mustard, while you will find ginger, garlic, fennel and star anise in many Chinese dishes. So mix it up and try something new.