Celebrate Arbor Day with the Spices and Herbs That Come From Trees
We have many reasons to celebrate trees on Arbor Day. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, trees clean our air and water, provide habitat for wildlife, connect communities, and support our health and wellbeing. And at McCormick, we have even more of a reason to pay tribute to Arbor Day, as many spices and herbs come from trees!
Did you know that vanilla relies on trees to grow? Click here to learn more about McCormick planted 13,000 trees in Madagascar to support vanilla production.
Below, see how some popular herbs and spices are sourced from trees.
Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon starts as the bark of cinnamon trees, which take about 20 years to grow before harvesting. Farmers remove the cinnamon bark from the base of each tree, where the flavor is most intense. Then the tree is taken down to the stump, allowing a new crop of cinnamon trees to grow.
Bay Leaf: Bay leaves, a firm, light green leaf, come from Bay Laurel trees. When trees are ready for harvests, farmers trim and collect the branches, the crop is then gently dried to preserve natural color and flavor. After drying, the leaves are gently removed from the branches and then sent for production where they are machine- and hand-selected.
Allspice: Allspice, also known as "Jamaican pepper" or "pimento," comes from the evergreen tree of the myrtle family. The tree's berries, which are the source of the spice, are picked before they are fully ripe and then dried in the sun.
Nutmeg: Nutmeg is a seed that comes from the fruit of a nutmeg tree. The nutmeg tree reaches their prime in 25 years, yields fruit eight years after planting, and bears fruit for 60 years or longer. Once fully mature, the fruit (which closely resembles an apricot) splits in two, showing the mace and a single shiny brown seed: the nutmeg. The nutmegs are then dried in the sun for six to eight weeks, where the nutmeg shrinks away from its hard coat. The shell is then broken, and the nutmegs are picked out.