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I remember being told once long ago that there are 7 different types of spicy:

-Capsaicin (chilli)
-Horseradish (Wasabi)
-Ginger
-Mustard
-Cinnamon
-Garlic
-Cloves

These make a bit of intuitive sense to me (from a taste perspective), though I can't find much to back this up.

Wikipedia breaks them up into the following 8 botanical groups:

-Fruits, such as Cayenne pepper
-Roots and rhizomes, such as turmeric, ginger and galingale
-Seeds, such as fennel, mustard, nutmeg, and black pepper
-Barks, such as cinnamon and cassia
-Flower buds, such as cloves
-Stigmas, such as saffron
-Arils, such as mace (part of nutmeg plant fruit)
-Resins, such as asafoetida

This thread mentions different chemicals for different types of spicy and their effects on hotness (such as capsaicin, gingerol (ginger) and allyl isothiocyanate (wasabi)), but its not very complete.


My Question:

  • What are the distinct chemically related spice groups?
  • How would you describe each group in terms of flavour?
  • Where do you draw the line? Would you include piperine (black pepper) for example? – Chris H Aug 8 '18 at 6:37
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    It sounds like you want us to draw consensus where there is none @Roman. – GdD Aug 8 '18 at 6:58
  • @Stephie That is a wonderful answer, thanks for linking it. I think that is pretty much the answer I was looking for. – Roman Aug 8 '18 at 15:00
  • @Roman then this question should be closed as a dupe – AGirlHasNoName Aug 8 '18 at 16:24

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