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List of Spices and Herbs: Their uses and Description

Name

Image

Description

Flavor

Uses

Allspice

Allspice

It is a dark-brown, pea-size berry. Comes from the evergreen pimento tree.

Pungent, sweet mixture of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg flavors

Breads, cakes, cookies, fruit sauce recipes.

Basil

Basil

Member of the mint family. It has green leaves.

Sweet clove-like flavor, pungent

Mostly used in Italian and Mediteranean cuisine. Best with chicken, eggs, fish, pasta, tomatoes.

Bay Leaf

Bay Leaf

Leaves from the evergreen bay laurel tree. Also called laurel leaf.

Woodsy, pungent

Meats, pickling, sauces, soups, stews, vegetables.

Bouket
Garni

Bouket Garni

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).

Herb blend

Soups, stews

Cayenne
Pepper

Cayenne Peper

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.

Hot, pungent

Eggs, cheese, Cajun recipes.

Celery
Seed

Celery seeds

Comes from wild Indian celery called lovage.

celery flavor, slightly bitter

For pickling, salads (potato and cole slaw), soups.

Chili
Powder

Chili Powder

A mixture of different seasonings (ground dried chiles, coriander, cumin, garlic, oregano and other herbs and spices).

Mild to hot

Chili, eggs and cheese, soups, stews.

Chives

Chives

Belongs to the onion and leek family. Source of vitamin A.

Onion or garlic flavor

Appetizers, shellfish, cream soups, salads, sauces.

Cilantro

Cilantro

Bright-green stems and leaves from the coriander plant.

Pungent, soapy fragrance

Very popular in Italian, Latin American and Mexican recipes (Fish, rice, salsas, salads).

Cinnamon

Cinnamon

Bark from the Ceylon or Cassia tree Comes in buff color or dark reddish color.

Cinnamon sticks are added to dishes during the cooking process to add flavor. It is very aromatic and sweet.

Sweets, hot drinks, vegetables (carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes).

Clove

Clove

Reddish-brown budds from the tropical evergreen clove tree.

Aromatic, pungent and sweet. They give a very strong flavor so use with care.

spice cakes and cookies baked beans, pickling, sauces.

Coriander

Coriander

Related to the parsley family. Seeds from the coriander plant.

Mixture of lemon, sage and caraway flavors.

Mostly in Mexican and Spanish recipes, pickling, sausages

Cumin

cumin

Dried fruit from a plant in the parsley family.

Slightly bitter, pungent, hot

Middle Eastern, Asian and Mediterranean cuisine (Chili and curry powder blends, fish, lamb, pickling).

Dill Seed

dill seeds

Dried seed from the dill plant

Tangy and pungent flavor

salads,meats, sauces, vegetables

Dill Weed

dill

Green leaves from the dill plant

Pungent, tangy

fish, pickling, salads, sauces, eggs, vegetables, breads.

Fennel
Seeds

funnel seeds

Oval, greenish-brown seeds from the fennel plant

Aromatic, slight licorice flavor

Breads, fish, sauces, sausage, soups, Italian recipes.

Ginger

ginger

The root from the ginger plant

slightly sweet, slightly pungent and spicy aroma

Chinese, Jamaican and German recipes, (cakes, cookies, marinades).

Marjoram

marjoram

Member of the mint and oregano family. Oval, pale green leaves.

Aromatic, slightly bitter and pungent

Fish, meat, poultry, sausages, stuffing, vegetables

Mint

mint

One of the most popular spice used.

Strong, sweet, cool

Refreshing beverages, desserts, lamb, sauces, soups

Mustard
Seed

mustard seeds

Comes in white, yellow, and brown seeds.

Hot, pungent

Meats, pickling, relishes. Powdered mustard (finely ground) is used in sauces.

Nutmeg

nutmeg

Oval seeds from the nutmeg tree. Dark grey color. Mace is the spice obtained from the membrane of the seeds.

Nutty, warm, spicy

Beverages, cakes, cookies, white sauces, sweet potatoes

Oregano

oregano

Member of the mint family, related to marjoram and thyme

Strong, aromatic with a pungent marjoram flavor

Fish, meat, poultry, tomatoes; Greek, Italian and Mexican recipes

Paprika

paprika

Powdered dried red peppers

Slightly bitter, sweet to hot

Dips, fish, poultry, salads (potato and egg), soups; important ingredient in goulash

Parsley

parsley

Curly leaf and Italian (flat-leaf) parsley are two of the more popular spices that exist.

Slightly peppery

Sprigs used as garnish, herb mixtures, sauces, soups, stews

Peppercorn

peppercorn

Berries from the pepper plant. Black, white and green peppercorns are three kinds processed from the this plant.

Hot, peppery

Enhances flavor of most meats, eggs and poultry

Poppy
Seeds

poppy seeds

Very small gray, white seeds from the poppy plant

Deep nutty flavor with crunchy texture

pastries, breads, cakes, salad dressings, vegetables, meat

Rosemary

rosemary

Silver-green leaves; member of the mint family

Sweet, hint of lemon

Casseroles, fish, fruit salads, lamb, soups, stuffing, potatoes

Saffron

safron

Dried yellow-orange stigmas from the crocus plant.

Pungent, aromatic

Rice, poultry, sauces, stews (bouillabaisse), Spanish recipes (paella), Swedish cakes and breads

Sage

sage

Narrow, oval, gray-green leaves.

Musty, minty, slightly bitter

Chicken, duck, goose, pork, sausages, stuffing

Sesame
Seed

sesame seeds

Tiny, flat seeds, brown, red or black

Nutty, slightly sweet

Breads, cakes, cookies, salad dressings, seafood

Tarragon

tarragon

Narrow, pointed, dark-green leaves

Slightly licorice flavor

Eggs, meats, pickling, poultry, salads, sauces

Thyme

thyme

Member of the mint family. It is a bush with gray-green leaves.

Pungent, tea-like

Fish, meats, poultry, soups, vegetables, potatoes

Turmeric

turmeric

Yellow-orange root of a plant related to ginger; used to flavor and color food.

Pungent, earthy, slightly bitter flavor

Curries, East Indian cuisine, primary ingredient in American-style mustard

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