Spices in food are a symphony of flavors that awakens your senses and tantalize your taste buds. Can you imagine food with no spices? Of course, not! So here are 12 Most Popular Spices in the World you must have in your kitchen pantry.
Each one of these spices brings a unique flavor to your dish. It could be earthy and warm like cumin, or pungent and peppery like black pepper. Spices add depth and balance to your meal to enjoy a delicious and satisfying experience.
The Beauty of Color Says it All
Spices are plant-based flavoring ingredients used to enhance the taste, aroma, and color of food. They derive from seeds, leaves, roots, fruits, flowers, or seeds. Then, they are dried, ground, or powdered.
Spices are mainly essential in different cuisines around the world. However, some may also benefit from the spices’ medicinal properties.
Black pepper, the king of spices, is one of the most popular spices in the world. It adds flavor and aroma in small doses to various dishes.
Black pepper is rich in antioxidants and it helps digestion. With other spices, you can enjoy the best Chicken Cooked on Stovetop.
Cinnamon is one of the oldest spices used in the kitchen. It has a sweet and warm flavor, so it fits both sweet and savory dishes.
They are perfect for morning toast, Caramelized Pineapple with Cinnamon and Honey.
Cardamom is a versatile spice. The green pods are used as a whole spice or can be grounded to get cardamom powder. It has a complex flavor profile. It is citrus and floral with minty notes.
Cardamom enlivens Basmati rice, baked goods, masala chai, and Turkish coffee.
Spices Are Your Star Ingredients!
Turmeric is a famous spice in Indian cuisine. It is suddenly everywhere. Turmeric has a bitter and earthy flavor. The active ingredient in Turmeric is curcumin which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Yellow turmeric adds a bright color to curry powders, cheese, and mustard. It is the star ingredient in Sfouf and gives your rice, chicken, or soups a special color.
Cumin is widely used in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Indian cuisines. It adds a strong woody, slightly bitter flavor to food.
Cumin is perfect for chili, stews, and curries. Try it with Baked Cumin Chicken and potatoes. Enjoy the taste!
Coriander spice is a group of seeds of the cilantro plant. It is better to toast and ground them before use because they are tough to chew.
You can add to savory dishes like curries, stews, and marinade. It has a citrusy and slightly sweet flavor profile.
Garlic powder is a staple spice derived from dehydrated garlic. Its subtle sweet taste is the perfect enhancement for flavors in your meal.
Another staple spice is onion powder. It is made of dried onions but keeps the pungent flavor of fresh ones. It is an asset in your kitchen that adds a special touch to your food.
The limit of onion powder is the sky. Add it to rubs and marinade. Use it to perk up casseroles and vegetables. Sprinkle some to create creamy dips and salad dressings. It is perfect for soups and stews. A must-have indeed!
Nutmeg is sweet, warm, and slightly spicy. We usually use it in sweet dishes like pumpkin pies. It perfectly fits with sweets that contain cinnamon as well.
Nutmeg takes béchamel sauces and cheese dishes to the next level.
Spice up your food with ginger! it is widely used in Asian, Indian, and Middles Eastern cooking. It has a strong, pungent, and spicy flavor.
Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits. You can grate, mince, or chop it. Check How to Peel, Grate, and Chop Fresh Ginger for more details. Add it to soups, ginger cookies, or chicken marinade.
Flavorful, Colorful, and Aromatic
Paprika is very popular for its warm red color and mild heat. It is common in Spanish and Mexican cuisine. Paprika is sweet with a slightly smoky flavor. For a stronger effect, you can use smoky paprika.
Paprika is perfect to season dishes and garnish food. It is also used to add beautiful color to a dish. So, sprinkle some on top of Hummus or add it to chicken marinade and BBQ sauces. Add a dash of paprika to roast your vegetables.
Cayenne is a fiery spice with a red hue that you can use to add heat to any dish. It originated in Central and South America.
If you like to add a hot kick to your chicken wings, cayenne pepper is the star. Cayenne pepper is perfect for adding a spicy taste to Mexican Sauces, Asian curries, and Cajun rice dishes.
These spices are a must-have in your kitchen pantry, but they are not enough especially if you like to try different tastes and flavors in your dishes, sides, sweets, and others.
Tips to Keep Spices Fresh
Store spices in a cold place. So, you have to keep them away from direct sunlight and heat.
Once you open the package, transfer spices into tightly sealed containers like food jars, glass containers, or ceramic containers.
It is better not to store it in a plastic container because it is porous and may allow small amounts of air that may weaken your spices.
Once stored, make sure you label each container and write the date you opened the package of spices.
To check the freshness of the spices, put a pinch of spice in one palm and rub it with the other. If the color is pale and the smell is weak or pale, you must shop for new spices.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, they are not. Ground cayenne pepper is spicier than chili pepper.
Well, it depends on the recipe. If you want to use whole spice, it is better to add it at the beginning of the cooking process so it can release the flavors and aroma into your food.
Though you can find an expiration date for the spices, but they don’t go bad like other food. It means that after this date, the spices will start losing some flavor or potency.
Recipes You Should Try
- Homemade Apple Pie Spice Blend
- Homemade Pumpkin Spice Blend
- Homemade Spice Blends: Garam Masala Spice Mix
- Homemade Gingerbread Spice Mix
- Seven Spices Recipe
- How to Make Taco Seasoning Mix
- Homemade Fajita Seasoning Mix
- 1 Ingredient Homemade Butter
- Chinese Garlic Sauce Recipe
- How to Peel, Grate, and Chop Fresh Ginger