These spices and herbs have been chosen more for practical reasons, what you will probably have in your cupboard and actually use, as opposed to another exhaustive list.
Allspice This is not a combination of spices at all. Actually it is a dried fruit of the Pimenta Dioica plant. The fruit is picked when green and sundried. When dried the fruit resembles a brown peppercorn. As with all spices, the whole spice keeps better and stays fresher longer than the powdered.
Uses Many of us associate allspice with baking, especially around the holidays, pumpkin pie and hot toddies come to mind. However, allspice is a very important ingredient in the preparation of Caribbean jerk seasoning, popular throughout that part of the world. It’s also used in pickling spice, mole sauce and curry powders.
Uses In India anise seeds are used as a digestive and why you may notice a small bowl of them near the cashier of many Indian restaurants. Also used in the Greek drink Ouzo or the Arab drink Arak. The French use this wonderful seed to flavor their liquors Absinthe, Anisette and Pastis, as well as Chartreuse. Italians use it in Sambuca, Germans in Jagermeister the Turkish in Raki.
Arrowroot Used as a great thickening agent, in my opinion, it is superior to cornstarch or potato flour. Arrowroot comes from a tuber that contains about 23% starch. After processing, it comes to us in a fine white powder.
Uses – It is a great starch for binding soups and sauces; and like all starches, should be first mixed in a small quantity of cold liquid before adding to hot liquid for thickening.
Basil – This could be one of my favorite herbs. Ocimum Basilicum, that gorgeously leafed plant that not only looks wonderful but smells delightful and tastes divine. There are many varieties of basil other than that favorite we have come to know as sweet basil, other varieties include Thai basil and lemon basil both of which have the distinctive basil flavor profile but with their own twist.
Uses – Most everyone enjoys a bit of basil in their pasta. What is important to remember is to always add it at the end of your cooking time, as it’s wonderful properties dissipate rather quickly once chopped and heated. Also, with basil be careful, it is fragile, when you cut it to chop, try cutting the leaf only once. Some people use a scissor to assure this; but if you are using a knife, don’t chop like you would parsley for example, just one thin cut will do. Bunch it up (removing the stem, use only the leaves) roll them up together and then cut through as thin as you possibly can. Also, basil doesn’t like to be cold and will darken or die very quickly when exposed to cold temperatures. When storing in your fridge, wrap some dry paper towels around the basil before putting it into your fridge drawer.
Dried basil is wonderful in soups and tomato sauces. Dried basil won’t lose its perfume when cooked for long periods, unlike fresh.
Bay Leaf A great aromatic leaf of the Bay Laurel tree. Fresh or dried, bay leaves are a great way of developing a wonderful base flavor throughout stocks, soups, stews and braised items. One of the main ingredients found in any good herb cabinet.
Capers – These piquant little berries we buy in jars are the pickled bud of a perennial spiny bush called Capparis Spinosa. They grow in rocky coastal areas. The caper berry can be prepared by pickling as said above, which is most common or prepared by salting.
Uses – These wonderful berries are often used to garnish smoked salmon and found as a prime ingredient in tartar sauce. Other uses can be seen in salads to give a bit of zest, pasta and of course chicken piccata where the berries are mixed with chicken stock and lemon for a wonderful flavor.
Caraway Seeds – These seeds are used primarily in the flavoring of breads. Their anise-like flavor and aroma adds a wonderful old home aroma and taste to breads. Rye bread often has caraway added to it and rye with caraway tends to be a bit denser than those without because the essential oil in caraway, Limonene, tends to slow yeast-building properties.
Uses Caraway is used in to flavor liquors, casseroles and curries. Also, it is a common ingredient in the making of sauerkraut. One can also find this lovely seed speckled throughout certain cheeses for added flavor.
Cardamom – Strong and unique describe this wonderful spice coming often from the southern section of India. It is used in many Eastern Indian dishes and sauces. Indian Chi often has cardamom as a flavoring and Garam Masala used in curries also has this delightful spice. Cardamom is also found in the West on baker’s shelves and flavors many cakes we love. Nordic countries also love their cardamom, Fins use it to flavor their sweet bread Pull or in Scandinavia, cardamom will be found in their bread Julekake.
Cayenne Pepper Hot is what comes to mind when we think Cayenne and rightfully so. It is a hot chili pepper named after the city of Cayenne in French Guiana. These days, Cayenne can refer to a number of hot peppers that have been dried, made into a paste and then ground. Therefore, understand that when choosing Cayenne pepper from a spice shelf there are different degrees of heat and only through tasting and testing can you find this out. Always use a reputable brand when purchasing any spice or herb and buy organic when possible. Use Cayenne sparingly, especially till you get used to it. Remember the golden rule You can never take away a spice once added to a dish but can always add more.
Celery Seed This is the seed from the leaves of the celery plant. The stalks we all know so well, crisp, delicious and a staple in French and Creole Cuisines are the stalk of the plant. The upper part of the plant is leafy and contains the seeds.
Uses – Celery seed is often mixed with salt and there you have Celery Salt. Celery seed is found in Old Bay seasoning, great for many seafood stews and boils. We also taste celery seed in Bloody Mary cocktails and Chicago-style hot-dogs
Chervil Very similar to parsley in its use, it even looks similar but is much more delicate than parsley. When dried, Chervil is used in the French herb mixture called Fine Herbs. French cookery utilizes Chervil more than cooks in the West do. It has a subtle licorice flavor.
Uses- Being such a wonderfully delicate herb, Chervil can be used to enhance a salad by just picking off its leaves and tossing. It also goes well freshly cut and put into an omelet at the last moment. Also a great herb to season sauted vegetables, seafood or poultry.
Chili Powder Created by grinding hot chili peppers into a powder, Chili powder can be made from just about any hot pepper by drying and grinding. This pure type of Chili powder is often used in Indian cuisine.
American Chili powder is a mixture of dried Chili with the addition of various other spice and herbs, and is primarily used in the preparation of Chili Con Carne. The Chili mixture contains some or all of the following spices and herbs: cumin, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves and turmeric. Because Chili is a mixture of several spices and herbs its hotness is variable, some mixtures are very hot while others can be quite mild.
Uses: Chili Con Carne is a primary use for this mixture. Hot Chili powder is often used in Indian Curries and dishes. It can also be used in egg dishes, omelets, Huevos Rancheros and Chili Rolleneos.
Chipotle Pepper This is a Jalapeno pepper that has been dried and smoked. Often it is found packed in a can, with adobo, a Mexican marinade made with a base of tomato sauce. The Chipotle pepper, with its wonderful smoky hot flavor is an excellent source of flavor in any kitchen.
Uses Chipotles have many uses, traditionally, they are used in marinades for chicken, beef and fish. Other uses are in mayonnaise-flavored sauces, stews and as an unusual heat source in a dish.
Chives The smallest members of the onion family, their long green leaves look like very thin green tubes. They can be found either dried or fresh and as with many herbs, I would stay away from the dry, especially with Chives, as they are just not the same as fresh.
Uses Chives are fantastic in so many things. One common place to find chopped chives is on top of a baked potato. They are great at flavoring salads, omelets, sandwiches, fish and are great in sauces both cold and hot. Because of its bright green color, chives can be used to color many sauces and give them a bright green look and subtle flavor.
Cilantro Also known as Coriander this is a great fresh herb that looks very similar to Italian Parsley and is often mistaken for such. Its leaves have a taste distinctive in that some people perceive a soapy flavor and stay away. However, when used properly, Cilantro enhances many, many dishes with its uniqueness and makes many dishes step over into outstanding. Used throughout many Asian cuisines it can also be found prominently in many Mexican dishes.
Coriander, the seeds from the same plant are very different in taste. They are widely used in India in garam masala and many curries. These little seeds are also used in pickling spice and can be found flavoring breads and are also used in brewing certain Belgian wheat beers.
Uses The leaves are often used to flavor many Asian dishes, such as stir fries, chutneys and sauces. Mexican cuisine uses cilantro to flavor many of its salsas and guacamole. Use cilantro leaves fresh only and keep in mind that their flavor diminishes quickly with heat.
Cinnamon – A must in anyone’s kitchen, her uses are enormous and broad. Known primarily in its powdered form, cinnamon bark is where that powder comes from and has many useful applications. Cultivated originally in Sri Lanka, it is now cultivated throughout India and Southeast Asia. True cinnamon is a fine powder and well suited to cakes and desserts. It is still cultivated in Sri Lanka while Saigon Cinnamon or Cassia is grown in Indonesia, Vietnam and China. Cassia is a bit stronger in taste and a bit sharper in flavor then true cinnamon.
Uses Known primarily for flavoring desserts such as apple pie, cinnamon buns, coffee cakes, fillings and frostings. Cereals are often flavored with this exotic spice, as are fruits, especially apples and certain creams. Middle Eastern dishes use cinnamon to flavor many chicken and lamb dishes. Oriental sauces use the bark to flavor sauces. Cinnamon is used widely in Mexico to produce its chocolate. Hot Toddies cannot be made properly without its bark.
Uses One little known use for cloves is to put some in the mouth next to the gum line when a tooth aches, it will subdue the pain. Cloves are a great way to flavor a roasted ham. Indian Chai uses cloves as an important ingredient in preparing this lovely tea. Place the pointy end of the clove into and throughout an orange and hang it in your home to smell the beauty of this wonderful spice.
Cumin This is an underrated spice that at one time ruled in the countries of Europe and points East. Cumin seeds are used a great deal in cuisines of India, Pakistan, the Middle East, Sri Lanka, Cuba and Mexico. Western China often uses its flavoring capabilities as well.
Uses Hummus of Middle Eastern origin has cumin as one of its intrinsic ingredients. Chili Powder has cumin as one of its main ingredients in its mix. Curries often have cumin in its dishes.
Dill – Although dill can be found on a supermarket spice rack, I strongly urge you not to have it on yours and to buy only fresh. Dill is one of those few herbs that just are not the same dry. Dill is an herb often associated with smoked salmon and Scandinavian dishes.
Uses When garnishing smoked salmon, Dill is indispensible. Also in curing salmon, as in Gravlox, Dill is a main ingredient. Further, Dill is often used in flavoring breads and is great with cucumbers and salads.
Fenugreek Amber in color, the Fenugreek seed is often a distinguishing taste in curries and pickling spice. It is used frequently in Indian Cuisine. Jews use Fenugreek on Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year, as a symbol that one’s merit increases, as its Aramaic name sounds like the word increase. Egyptians use the seed as a sweetened tea.
Uses – Used largely in Indian curries, Fenugreek can also be used to flavor artificial Maple syrup and is used in its processing.
Garlic Chives Often found in Oriental sections of a supermarket, the garlic chive is a very popular herb in China and used for centuries. Fairly new to North America, garlic chives are finding an increasing role as a flavoring agent. It is neither too garlicky nor too oniony. It kind of sits in a delightful middle ground and adds a subtle yet distinctive flavor to many dishes.
Uses Many stir-fried dishes use this wonderful herb. It can boost a salad’s flavor profile. It’s great in omelets and breads too. Use it to garnish any dish, especially fish and chicken.
Garlic Ah, sweet perfume dost my kitchen evoke. Love garlic, it adds so much to so many things. We often associate garlic with Italian cooking and rightfully so; it is used with gusto in that extraordinary cuisine. However garlic is found throughout the world and in just about every cuisine around the globe. Upon digestion, garlic has a tendency to get into the blood stream, resulting in a smell that permeates a body. Some people are more susceptible than others. Cooking garlic lowers its strength and gives it that sweet aroma most of us love. Medicinally, garlic is alleged to help regulate blood sugar levels and is thought to be a good antiseptic and to help cure infections.
Uses Tomato sauce would not be the same without garlic. What about garlic bread, come on. Great in just about everything, sauces, steaks, stews, chicken dishes, pasta, breads, even vegetables. Use in stews, sauted, stir fried, with a roast. Garlic bulbs can be slow roasted with a bit of extra virgin olive oil to give a wonderful spread for bread or used as an appetizer.
Ginger A very fragrant and tasty root used in many dishes around the globe. It can be found dried in the spice rack, which, with ginger, can be ok when used in some baking applications, however, nothing beats fresh ginger. Asian cuisine uses ginger in great volumes. Japanese sushi would be lost without pickled ginger. Chinese use it in many of their dishes. Known for its ability to kill harmful bacteria such as salmonella it is also used as a preservative. Gingeris a rhizome (stem of a plant that grows horizontal underground).
Uses Japanese serve pickled ginger; know as Gari, with sushi. Chinese cuisine uses ginger for flavor in seafood, meat and vegetarian dishes. Powdered ginger is used to flavor cakes, such as gingerbread, cookies and crackers. Also Ginger Ale and Ginger Beer are made from this versatile root.
Horseradish Most of us know horseradish as the stuff that comes in jars and is either red or white. From the ground, horseradish comes to us as a tapered white root. When cut or grated this root gives off a very strong irritant to both eyes and sinuses. It is what gives that punch to many dishes we love. The irritant in horseradish is released when cut or grated and dissipates soon afterwards; therefore it is important to get the grated or cut horseradish into vinegar as soon as possible in order to stop this degradation and keep that punch we all know and love.
Uses Horseradish is rarely used grated fresh, although by grating the root fresh we are able to gain its most strength. If you do use fresh horseradish root, be prepared for some tears and sinuses’ release. Most people use horseradish that comes to us in bottles from the supermarket, prepared in vinegar, the red variety, mixed with beetroot. Prepared Horseradish is often used to garnish prime rib and other roasted meat. Horseradish is also a vital ingredient in a true Bloody Mary.
Juniper Berry This spice is not a berry at all but looks like one. It comes from a pine tree and looks similar to a blueberry while on the tree. While not the most widely used spice on a rack, it holds an indispensible place for flavoring game and in the preparation of Gin.
Uses Juniper Berries are the main ingredient in the preparation of gin, giving gin its distinctive flavor profile. Also used in abundance in Scandinavian cuisine to impart a sharp, clear flavor to meats and game birds such as duck and venison. Also found to flavor most sauerkrauts and is an added flavor to many marinades and brining mixtures.
Lavender Wonderful lavender, with its 39 species and hypnotic scent, each species has its own distinctive scent, all as wonderful as the next. It is often used in potpourris, pouches of dried herbs and spices and put in drawers to freshen clothing and keep moths away.
Uses Lavender is used primarily dried but its fresh flowers often find their way into goat cheese as a flavor enhancer. Dried lavender is often candied and used as a cake decoration. Also, dried lavender is one of the primary ingredients of Herbes de Provence. Because of lavenders large flower, bees love it and lavender honey is a prized find. Lavender can also be found to flavor herbal teas and adds a relaxing scent and flavor.
Uses Lemon balm is often used to flavor ice creams and sorbets. Also it’s used as an additional ingredient in many herbal tea blends. It works great in companion with spearmint and is great to enhance a light butter sauce for fish dishes.
Lemon Grass Widely used in Asian Cuisines, its lemony citrus flavor and aroma gives dishes a distinctive fresh and lovely quality. Lemon grass oil has proven to have anti-fungal and antiseptic properties. It has also been known to be used as a pesticide and preservative.
Uses Many Asian sauces and soups contain lemon grass. It adds a distinctive flavor and aroma and is wonderful in coconut sauces, especially to flavor fish. Also great in teas and in Ayruvedic medicine it is believed to relieve coughs and nasal congestion.
Uses It is used to add a lemony flavor to fish and poultry dishes. Also, a great addition to marinades, especially for fish. Good in salad dressings and as an excellent addition to herbal tea. When one has a cold, mix lemon verbena with fresh ginger and honey.
Licorice Root It is not to be confused with anise, star anise or fennel, all of which have a similar taste but are very different nonetheless. The root of licorice can be chewed on as a mouth freshener. In Ayurvedic medicine, licorice is used as an expectorant and made into cough syrups and throat lozenges, often in the form of cough drops.
Uses Licorice is used in the production of candy, from sweet licorice found in England and the Americas to the salty found in the Netherlands and other parts of Europe. Chinese use licorice to flavor broths and foods cooked with soy sauce.
Mace Red in color, mace comes from the outer shell of the nutmeg seed. It is subtler in taste than nutmeg and imparts a sort of saffron like color when cooked.
Uses Mace is used in baking and to spice ciders used during holiday times such as Christmas and Easter.
Uses As with its cousin, oregano, marjoram goes very well with Italian foods, especially tomato sauces. It is used as the main ingredients in the French herb mixture Herbes de Provence as well as the Middle Eastern herbal mix Za’atar.
Uses Nutmeg is used extensively in baking, to flavor culled cider and wine and as a definitive ingredient in eggnog. Potatoes also go well together with nutmeg; a pinch in mashed potatoes adds a lovely distinction. Cheese sauces such as Mornay uses nutmeg to add a subtle flavor. Dutch cuisine uses nutmeg to flavor vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and string beans. In the Caribbean nutmeg is an essential ingredient in preparing jerk seasoning
Oregano In North America oregano is often associated with pizza and the shaker on the pizza counter full of this dry, wonderful herb. Used dried or fresh, oregano lends a particularly distinctive flavor to many dishes. It has a warm, yet slightly bitter quality to it and is one of the few herbs that are a bit more pungent dried than fresh.
Uses Italian food, especially tomato sauces take well to oregano. Actually a good Italian tomato sauce would not be the same without this herb. But Italian cuisine is not the only cuisine to covet this herb. Greek’s use oregano to flavor their salads and is often added to flavor their fish and meat dishes. Turks use it for flavoring mutton and lamb.
Paprika This herb can vary in both heat strength and color depending on its country of origin. Typically it is the result of drying and grinding red bell peppers. Hungarian paprika is considered a very high grade of paprika and is a deep bright red color. In Spain, it is known as pimenton and has a distinctive smokey flavor and aroma due to their method of drying the peppers through a smoking process.
Uses Hungarian Goulash would not be the same without paprika. Moms throughout North America use it to add color to chicken before roasting. It is used in the preparation of many sausages, giving them their reddish hue.
Parsley There are two kinds of this wonderfully versatile herb, Italian or flat leaf parsley and curly parsley. Both have that fresh, vibrant flavor and green delicious quality to them and can be used interchangeably. Parsley is easily mistaken for cilantro and vice versa, both very similar in looks but miles apart in taste.
Uses Parsley is used on oh so many dishes, chopped fine and sprinkled on just about anything to garnish. It is the one herb that does so much with so little. It adds freshness to rice and chicken dishes and is vital in preparation of stocks and soups. Great in just about everything it’s one of the most widely used and versatile herbs out there. Please, do not use this herb dried, it is just not the same and does not really work. Use only fresh with this one.
Peppercorns Ah, the spice we cannot live without or get enough of. Trade routes through the centuries have been built around this wondrous spice. Black peppercorns are most common with white and green right behind. Black peppercorns are picked from a flowering vine, its fruit, known as peppercorn is dried and then ground to form black pepper, as we know it. White pepper is the same fruit with the outer hull removed, then dried and ground as is black pepper. Because white pepper has no hull it is perceivably less spicy and subtler in flavor than black. Green peppercorns are the same fruit but picked prematurely giving the peppercorn a more piquant flavor. Pink peppercorn is not peppercorn at all but a different species entirely; they are dried berries of a Brazilian or Peruvian pepper. We often see pink peppercorns in a peppercorn mix as they are the same shape and contribute a sweet flavor.
Uses Whether ground or whole, peppercorns lend a terrific spice to just about any dish and are used throughout the entire culinary world. Whole peppercorns go in stocks and marinades. Cracked peppercorns are great on sauted steak. Powdered peppercorns, black or white, go in just about anything. White is better suited than black in dishes such as chicken or cheese sauces. Black pepper goes in just about everything else.
Peppermint One of the oldest recorded herbs in our history, it’s been in use as far back as ten thousand years. Medicinally, it is known to reduce irritable bowel syndrome and also relaxes the gastro-esophageal sphincter, thus promoting a good belch; a plus for those who feel tight in the belt and are looking for release after a meal. Thus was created the after dinner mint.
Uses Tea is a common use for any mint and peppermint is no exception. Also widely used in ice creams and candy especially hard candy, after dinner mints, candy canes and other confections.
Poppy Seeds They originate from the poppy flower, those beautiful bright red flowers found in flowing fields around the globe. The poppy plant is also known for its narcotic production of opiates such as opium from which heroin, morphine and codeine are refined.
Uses Poppy seeds are used much of the time in baking. Sprinkled on top of many bread and rolls the toasted poppy seed has a taste uniquely its own, giving a wonderful flavor to everything it tops. Also poppy seed cakes are very popular in Eastern Europe and Southern Russia.
Rosemary This herb can be used either dry or fresh. In this case either way is fine. A strong flavored herb with a distinctive flavor, Rosemary, used sparingly, is wonderful in many dishes. Rosemary has an astringent taste, lending itself to compliment many foods.
Uses Chopped fresh, Rosemary goes great when roasting potatoes. As a topping for Foccacia, either fresh or dry Rosemary works great. Rosemary compliments lamb in a wonderful way, especially when roasted.
Saffron Grown throughout Southeast Asia and India, it is the most expensive herb by weight in the world and has been so throughout history, going for about $300 an ounce. This is due to the care needed in picking of the stigma from the flower; it is a very slow and tedious process that requires many hands and many hours to accumulate even a small amount. A pound of saffron requires 50,000 – 75,000 flowers to be gone through. The gorgeous, vibrant golden yellow color saffron imparts to sauces is unique unto itself and its subtle flavor is fit for kings.
Uses Saffron is a must ingredient for Spanish paella. Some sweet breads are colored and flavored with saffron. Also well suited in fish stews such as Ciopinno.
Uses Great in stuffing, it is a familiar taste for people at a U.S. Thanksgiving table. It also goes well with fatty meats and marinades. Known too for seasoning some chesses, it is also used in sausage making.
Sassafras Another herb not often found on a spice rack but a delicious herb nevertheless.
Uses Saffafras has been used as a fragrance in perfumes and soaps for many years and is also used in aromatherapy. Its culinary use is most widely known for flavoring Root Beer.
Sesame Seeds Widely used throughout Southeast Asian cuisine, they create excitement is just about everything they are added to. Raw sesame seeds are fairly bland but when toasted golden their flavor bursts in the mouth with a crunchy nutty flavor profile.
Uses – They are pressed into making sesame oil, ground to make Tahina, a staple Middle Eastern sauce. It is a terrific addition to salads, fish and pasta dishes.
Uses Spearmint is used in a Moroccan tea known as Nana, which is wonderfully refreshing with a touch of sugar added. Also an important ingredient in bar beverages such as Mojito and Mint Julep. Sweet iced tea made from spearmint is a Southern U.S. favorite. Further, spearmint flavors many types of toothpaste.
Uses One of the major ingredients in Chinese Five Spice, star anise is widely used throughout China and Southeast Asia.
Tamarind It comes from a bushy tree with the fruit of the tree used for cooking. The fruit pod contains between 3-12 shiny brown seeds, which are often used by children in board games like Chinese checkers. Its flavor profile is that of sweet and sour, lending a unique taste and depth to many dishes.
Uses Used largely in Indian Cuisine, the fruit is made into a paste and is used in many jams, ice creams and even sorbets. Also used in Chutney’s, it gives that sweet and sour flavor we love. It is also a prevalent ingredient in Worcestershire sauce, and HP sauce.
Tarragon Another herb that can be used either dry or fresh with fresh always being better, as I’ve said dozens of times. Tarragon is one of four herbs that make up the French mix Fines Herbes. It has its own distinctive flavor that cannot be mistaken for anything else.
Uses Tarragon is the flavor ingredient in Barnaise sauce that wonderful sauce so well suited for grilled steaks. Tarragon also works well in steeping into vinegar as it imparts its flavor masterfully giving us great vinegar for salads and marinades.
Thyme This is one of the few exceptions where either dry or fresh work, with again, fresh being my first choice. Thyme is a very versatile herb that is well suited for a large array of dishes. Greeks used it as incense, believing it brought courage. Romans used it to purify their rooms and to flavor cheeses and liquors. In the Middle Ages, thyme was put under a pillow to induce sleep and ward off nightmares.
Uses Thyme is one of those herbs that go into just about anything. It is used in all stocks and many sauces. It goes well with meat just as well as it does fish, poultry, dairy or vegetables. It is a delicate herb yet releases it’s beauty slowly and steadily adding that distinctive background flavor. It goes great with omelets, cheeses and is also great as an all around garnish.
Turmeric A root that is dried and then ground, yielding a golden yellow powder, it is often called the poor man’s saffron as it is very affordable and gives a similar color to dishes, in the way saffron does.
Uses Turmeric is widely used in Indian Cuisine; curries often have turmeric at its base. Southeast Asia uses large amounts of turmeric in many dishes such as, ice cream, yogurts, cakes, biscuits and even popcorn.
Vanilla A very tasty pod that comes from an orchid, it is grown upon another tree in a shady section of forest. Madagascar produces most of the quality vanilla in the world today. Due to the very time consuming and tedious agriculture challenges in its growth, vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world, right under saffron.
Uses Vanilla’s primary use is in baked products and desserts although many chefs today have introduced vanilla infused sauces into their repertoire. The vanilla pod averages 4-6 inches in length and is graded by its density and plumpness. Split open, lengthwise, one will discover many small seeds within the pod, which give vanilla its marvelous qualities of taste and smell, a very exotic spice indeed.
Wasabe known as Japanese horseradish, it is very strong, producing vapors that clean out nasal passages in an instant. One can sometimes find Wasabe root in a supermarket, but rarely. It is usually sold as a powder (where one would add water to make a paste) or as a prepared paste, often sold in a toothpaste-like container.
Uses – Wasabi is that green blob found on all sushi and sashimi plates. Mixed with soy sauce it becomes this explosive and delicious accompaniment to sushi and sashimi in particular. It is also used in mashed potatoes and is suited well for light butter sauces.
White Mustard These little white seeds and range in color form yellow to light brown.
Uses White mustard works well in marinades and pickling spice.Share