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In the culinary arts, the word spices refer to any dried part of a plant, other than the leaves, used for seasoning and flavoring a recipe, but not used as the main ingredient. Every other part of the plant, except the green leafy part is considered a spice. This includes dried bark, roots, berries, seeds, twigs or anything else but the leaf.  The green leafy parts of plants used in this way are considered herbs. They don’t actually spoil or rot, they tend to lose their flavor over time. Generally, whole dry spices can last for up to two years if stored properly. On the other hand, ground spices that are older than six months should be replaced. The best way to store them to last longer is in a cool, dry location. They are used in small quantities to flavor dishes which means they add few calories to meals.