Familiar situation when you pass by the section of spices in a grocery store, thinking what delicious stuff you could cook with them, but unfortunately do not know what majority of them are? Neither the name is familiar nor the look of it. As a result you just walk away. If you’ve been in this situation, no worries because we’ve all felt that way.
There’s no such restaurant that doesn’t smell spices. Spices are what make those restaurants profitable and always crowded because they know what each spice is used for, while most of the customers might not even know the names. For example, everyone cooks macaroni at home, but the macaroni itself doesn’t taste right unless you add some flavor to it. Restaurants “take advantage” of people misknowledge and use their skills to make that same macaroni in hundred ways, simply using spices and dressings. So, why not to learn how each spice looks like and what they are mainly used for? EZHealthyWay provides a list of spices, that NLBM would like to share with you, so that you can cook proudly.
Description: It is a dark-brown, pea-size berry. Comes from the evergreen pimento tree.
Flavor: Pungent, sweet mixture of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg flavors
Uses: Breads, cakes, cookies, fruit sauce recipes.
Description: Member of the mint family. It has green leaves.
Flavor: Sweet clove-like flavor, pungent.
Uses: Mostly used in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. Best with chicken, eggs, fish, pasta, tomatoes.
Description: Leaves from the evergreen bay laurel tree. Also called laurel leaf.
Flavor: Woodsy, pungent.
Uses: Meats, pickling, sauces, soups, stews, vegetables.
Description: Small bundle of herbs wrapped in a cheesecloth bag or tied together and added in soups to add flavor (parsley, thyme, and bay leaves is the classic combination).
Flavor: Herb blend.
Uses: Soups, stews.
Description: A mixture of seasoning made from different tropical chiles, including red cayenne peppers. It is very hot and spicy, so use in moderation if you don’t like spicy foods. Also called red pepper.
Flavor: Hot, pungent.
Uses: Eggs, cheese, Cajun recipes.
Description: Comes from wild Indian celery called lovage.
Flavor: Celery flavor, slightly bitter.
Uses: For pickling, salads (potato and cole slaw), soups.
Description: A mixture of different seasonings (ground dried chiles, coriander, cumin, garlic, oregano and other herbs and spices).
Flavor: Mild to hot.
Uses: Chili, eggs and cheese, soups, stews.
Description: Belongs to the onion and leek family. Source of vitamin A.
Flavor: Onion or garlic flavor.
Uses: Appetizers, shellfish, cream soups, salads, sauces.
Description: Bright-green stems and leaves from the coriander plant.
Flavor: Pungent, soapy fragrance.
Uses: Very popular in Italian, Latin American and Mexican recipes, also added in salads for flavor.
Description: Bark from the Ceylon or Cassia tree Comes in buff color or dark reddish color.
Flavor: Cinnamon sticks are added to dishes during the cooking process to add flavor. It is very aromatic and sweet.
Uses: Sweets, hot drinks, vegetables (carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes), cakes.
Description: Reddish-brown buds from the tropical evergreen clove tree.
Flavor: Aromatic, pungent and sweet. They give a very strong flavor, so use it with care.
Uses: Spice cakes, cookies, tea, pickling, preserves.
Description: Related to the parsley family. Seeds from the coriander plant.
Flavor: Mixture of lemon, sage and caraway flavors.
Uses: Mostly Mexican and Spanish recipes, pickling, sausages.
Description: Dried fruit from a plant in the parsley family.
Flavor: Slightly bitter, pungent, hot.
Uses: Middle Eastern, Asian, and Mediterranean cuisine (used for fish, lamb, chicken, and curry powder blends).
Description: Dried seed from the dill plant.
Flavor: Tangy, pungent.
Uses: Salads,meats, sauces, vegetables.
Description: Green leaves from the dill plant.
Flavor: Pungent, tangy.
Uses: Fish, pickling, salads, sauces, eggs, vegetables, breads.
Description: Oval, greenish-brown seeds from the fennel plant.
Flavor: Aromatic, slight licorice flavor.
Uses: Breads, fish, sauces, sausage, soups, Italian recipes.
Description: The root from the ginger plant.
Flavor: Slightly sweet, slightly pungent and spicy aroma.
Uses: Chinese, Jamaican and German recipes, (cakes, cookies, marinades), tea.
Description: Member of the mint and oregano family. Oval, pale green leaves.
Flavor: Aromatic, slightly bitter and pungent.
Uses: Fish, meat, poultry, sausages, stuffing, vegetables.
Description: One of the most popular spice used.
Flavor: Strong, sweet, cool.
Uses: Refreshing beverages, desserts, lamb, sauces, soups.
Description: Comes in white, yellow, and brown seeds.
Flavor: Hot, pungent.
Uses: Meats, pickling, relishes. Powdered mustard (finely ground) is used in sauces.
Description: Oval seeds from the nutmeg tree. Dark grey color. Mace is the spice obtained from the membrane of the seeds.
Flavor: Nutty, warm, spicy.
Uses: Beverages, cakes, cookies, white sauces, sweet potatoes.
Description: Member of the mint family, related to marjoram and thyme.
Flavor: Strong, aromatic with a pungent marjoram flavor.
Uses: Fish, meat, poultry, tomatoes; Greek, Italian and Mexican recipes.
Description: Powdered dried red peppers.
Flavor: Slightly bitter, sweet to hot.
Uses: Dips, fish, poultry, salads (potato and egg), soups; important ingredient in goulash.
Description: Curly leaf and Italian (flat-leaf) parsley are two of the more popular spices that exist.
Flavor: Slightly peppery.
Uses: Sprigs used as garnish, herb mixtures, sauces, soups, stews.
Description: Berries from the pepper plant. Black, white and green peppercorns are three kinds processed from the this plant.
Flavor: Hot, peppery.
Uses: Enhances flavor of most meats, eggs and poultry.
Description: Very small gray, white seeds from the poppy plant.
Flavor: Deep nutty flavor with crunchy texture.
Uses: Pastries, breads, cakes, salad dressings, vegetables, meat.
Description: Silver-green leaves; member of the mint family.
Flavor: Sweet, hint of lemon.
Uses: Casseroles, fish, fruit salads, lamb, soups, stuffing, potatoes.
Description: Dried yellow-orange stigmas from the crocus plant.
Flavor: Pungent, aromatic
Uses: Rice, poultry, sauces, stews (bouillabaisse), Spanish recipes (paella), Swedish cakes and breads.
Description: Narrow, oval, gray-green leaves.
Flavor: Musty, minty, slightly bitter
Uses: Chicken, duck, goose, pork, sausages, stuffing.
Description: Tiny, flat seeds, brown, red or black.
Flavor: Nutty, slightly sweet.
Uses: Breads, cakes, cookies, salad dressings, seafood.
Description: Narrow, pointed, dark-green leaves.
Flavor: Slightly licorice flavor.
Uses: Eggs, meats, pickling, poultry, salads, sauces, fish.
Description: Member of the mint family. It is a bush with gray-green leaves.
Flavor: Pungent, tea-like.
Uses: Fish, meats, poultry, soups, vegetables, potatoes.
Description: Yellow-orange root of a plant related to ginger; used to flavor and color food.
Flavor: Pungent, earthy, slightly bitter flavor.
Uses: Curries, East Indian cuisine, primary ingredient in American-style mustard.