The seeds and skin of plants - berries, bark, fruits, unopened flowers - used to flavor foods. Unlike herbs, spices are almost always dried. See Chinese five-spice.
Spices are seasonings obtained from the bark, buds, fruit or flower parts, roots, seeds or stems of various aromatic plants and trees. Herbs and spices should be stored in air tight glass jars. They should be stored in a cool, dark place for no more than six months.
Pepper, green cardamon, fennel and curry have now replaced the coarser aromas used by the Aztecs although these spices are not always used. Vanilla and cinnamon are now the top favourites. In the past spices were used to hide the acidity of the cocoa, and it is worth noting that in Latin America, Italy and Spain chocolate is actually considered to be a spice.