Herbs and Spices

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Dried Herbs & Spices

Asafoetida – Used as a digestive aid in Indian cooking, asafoetida has a strong odor that mellows out into a garlic-onion flavor.

Achiote – Reddish-brown paste or powder ground from annatto seeds with an earthy flavor. Used primarily in Latin American dishes like mole sauce, cochinita pibil, and tamales.

Allspice – Similar to cloves, but more pungent and deeply flavored. Best used in spice mixes.

Bay Leaf – Adds a woodsy background note to soups and sauces.

Caraway Seed – These anise-tasting seeds are essential for soda bread, sauerkraut, and potato salad.

Cardamom – This warm, aromatic spice is widely used in Indian cuisine. It’s also great in baked goods when used in combination with spices like clove and cinnamon.

Cayenne Pepper – Made from dried and ground red chili peppers. Adds a sweet heat to soups, braises, and spice mixes.

Chia Seeds – No, these seeds aren’t just for growing crazy terracotta sculptures! Nearly flavorless, they can be ground into smoothies, cereals, and baked goods for extra nutrition and
texture, or even used as a vegan egg substitute.

 

Cinnamon – Found in almost every world cuisine, cinnamon serves double duty as spice in both sweet and savory dishes.

Cloves – Sweet and warming spice. Used most often in baking, but also good with braised meat.

Coriander Seed – Earthy, lemony flavor. Used in a lot of Mexican and Indian dishes.

Cumin – Smoky and earthy. Used in a lot of Southwestern U.S. and Mexican cuisine, as well as North African, Middle Eastern, and Indian.

Fennel Seed – Lightly sweet and licorice flavored. It’s excellent with meat dishes, or even chewed on its own as a breath freshener and digestion

Fenugreek – Although this herb smells like maple syrup while cooking, it has a rather bitter, burnt sugar flavor. Found in a lot of Indian and Middle Eastern dishes.

Garlic Powder – Garlic powder is made from dehydrated garlic cloves and can be used to give dishes a sweeter, softer garlic flavor.

Ginger – Ground ginger is made from dehydrated fresh ginger and has a spicy, zesty bite.

Gochugaru – This Korean red pepper spice is hot, sweet, and ever-so-slightly smoky.

Grains of Paradise – These taste like a cross between cardamom, citrus, and black pepper. They add a warming note to many North African dishes.

Kaffir Lime Leaves – Used to flavor curries and many Thai dishes. Can be sold fresh, dry, or frozen.

Loomi – Also called black lime, this is ground from dried limes. Adds a sour kick to many Middle Eastern dishes.

Mace – From the same plant as nutmeg, but tastes more subtle and delicate. Great in savory dishes, especially stews and homemade sausages.

Mahlab – Ground from sour cherry pits, this spice has a nutty and somewhat sour flavor. It’s used in a lot of sweet breads throughout the Middle East.

Nutmeg – Sweet and pungent. Great in baked goods, but also adds a warm note to savory dishes.

Nutritional Yeast – Very different from bread yeast, this can be sprinkled onto or into sauces, pastas, and other dishes to add a nutty, cheesy, savory flavor.

Oregano – Robust, somewhat lemony flavor. Used in a lot of Mexican and Mediterranean dishes.

Paprika – Adds a sweet note and a red color. Used in stews and spice blends. There is also a spicy version labeled hot paprika.

Peppercorns – Peppercorns come in a variety of colors (black, white, pink, and green being the most popular). These are pungent and pack a mild heat.

Rosemary – Strong and piney. Great with eggs, beans, and potatoes, as well as grilled meats.

Saffron – Saffron has a subtle but distinct floral flavor and aroma, and it also gives foods a bright yellow color.

Sage – Pine-like flavor, with more lemony and eucalyptus notes than rosemary. Found in a lot of northern Italian cooking.

Smoked Paprika – Adds sweet smokiness to dishes, as well as a red color.

Star Anise – Whole star anise can be used to add a sweet licorice flavor to sauces and soups.

Sumac – Zingy and lemony, sumac is a Middle Eastern spice that’s great in marinades and spice rubs.

Turmeric – Sometimes used more for its yellow color than its flavor, turmeric has a mild woodsy flavor. Can be used in place of saffron in a pinch or for those of us on a budget.

Thyme – Adds a pungent, woodsy flavor. Great as an all-purpose seasoning.

Vietnamese Cassia Cinnamon – Sweet and spicy. Can be used in both sweet baked goods and to add depth to savory dishes.

 

Fresh Herbs

Basil – Highly aromatic with a robust licorice flavor. Excellent in pestos, as a finishing touch on pasta dishes, or stuffed into sandwiches.

Chervil – Delicate anise flavor. Great raw in salads or as a finishing garnish.

Chives – Delicate onion flavor, great as a garnish.

Cilantro – From the coriander plant, cilantro leaves and stems have a pungent, herbaceous flavor. Used in Caribbean, Latin American, and Asian cooking.

Curry Leaves – These pungent leaves are not related to curry powder but impart a similar flavor. Used in Indian, Malaysian, Sri Lankan, Singaporean, and Pakistani cuisine. Used to flavor
curries, soups, stews, and chutneys.

Dill – Light and feathery herb with a pungent herb flavor. Use it for pickling, with fish, and over potatoes.

Fenugreek – Although this herb smells like maple syrup while cooking, it has a rather bitter, burnt sugar flavor. Found in a lot of Indian and Middle Eastern dishes.

Lemon Thyme – Sweet lemon aroma and a fresh lemony-herbal flavor. This is excellent with poultry and in vinaigrettes.

Lovage – Tastes like a cross between celery and parsley. Great with seafood or to flavor stocks and soups.

Marjoram – Floral and woodsy. Try it in sauces, vinaigrettes, and marinades.

Mint – Surprisingly versatile for such an intensely flavored herb. Try it paired with lamb, peas, potatoes, and of course, with chocolate!

Oregano – Robust, somewhat lemony flavor. Used in a lot of Mexican and Mediterranean dishes.

Parsley – Available in flat-leaf (Italian) or curly varieties, this very popular herb is light and grassy in flavor.

Pink Pepper – Small and sweet, these berries are fantastic when marinated with olives or simply sprinkled on shortbread.

Rosemary – Strong and piney. Great with eggs, beans, and potatoes, as well as grilled meats.

Sage – Pine-like flavor, with more lemony and eucalyptus notes than rosemary. Found in a lot of northern Italian cooking.

Summer Savory – Peppery green flavor similar to thyme. Mostly used in roasted meat dishes and stuffing, but also goes well with beans.

Shiso – A member of the mint family, this herb is used extensively in Japanese, Korean, and Southeast Asian cooking as a wrap for steaming fish and vegetables, in soups, and as a general
seasoning.

Tarragon – Strong anise flavor. Can be eaten raw in salads or used to flavor tomato dishes, chicken, seafood, or eggs.

Thai Basil – A spicy, edgier cousin to sweet Italian basil. A must-have for Thai stir-fries, Vietnamese pho, spring rolls, and other South Asian dishes.

Thyme  – Adds a pungent, woodsy flavor. Great as an all-purpose seasoning.

 

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