Saturday, February 23, 2013

A guide to popular seasonings, spices and flavorings

English: spices: (Turkey, travel, Istanbul, sp...
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Whoever said "Variety is the spice of life", must have been a cook. With so many flavorings close at hand, it can be difficult to choose which is the right one for a particular recipe. Here is a guide to the most commonly used seasonings, spices and flavorings.
Allspice-pungent and fragrant with a warm, sweet flavor. Taste reminds many people of a mix of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Use in both sweet and savory recipes. Can be used as a substitute for cloves.
Anise-smells and tastes like black licorice. Popular in baked goods and candy recipes.
Barbecue Seasoning-zesty blend of spices that bring a smoky flavor to foods.
Basil-imparts a sweet, herby taste. Widely used in Italian dishes and commonly paired with tomatoes.
Bay Leaf-Pungent with a somewhat sharp, bitter taste. Used mainly in soups, stews and vegetable dishes.
Cajun Seasoning-traditionally contains white, black and red peppers along with onion, salt and garlic. Popular in grilled meat dishes.
Caraway-used in a lot of German cuisine such as rye bread, sauerkraut, sausage and cabbage based recipes. Has a very distinct sweet and tangy flavor.
Cardamom-bears a strong sweet, pungent taste. Used in breads, to flavor coffee and in curry powders.
Cayenne Pepper-nearly odorless but has a very hot flavor. Used in Mexican and Italian dishes.
Celery Seed-warm, slightly bitter taste. Used when a celery flavor is desired without the "crunch".
Chervil-flavor similar to parsley. Use with other herbs to enhance their flavors.
Chili Powder-hot, peppery flavor and smell. Used in soups, stews and marinades.
Chives-mild oniony flavor. Very popular in egg and potato recipes.
Cilantro-flavor is a mix of parsley and citrus. Should be crushed before it is used. Popular in Asian and Mexican cuisine.
Cinnamon-spicy-sweet flavor. Mainly used in breads, desserts and beverages.
Cloves-strong pungent flavor that is sweet. Used in baked goods, desserts, beverages.
Coriander-mild flavor similar to sage and lemon blended.Used in gin, sausage and curry.
Cumin-pungent, spicy, slightly bitter. Used extensively in Indian and Mexican recipes.
Curry Powder-fragrant blend of up to 20 spices. Flavor varies from mild to hot. Very popular in Indian and Asian dishes.
Dill Weed-used in pickling recipes and popular in German, Russian and Scandinavian dishes. Has a clean pungent flavor similar to caraway.
Fennel-mild licorice-like flavor. Used in sausage making, poultry dishes and baked goods.
Five Spice Powder-usually includes cinnamon, anise, fennel, black pepper and cloves. Popular in Chinese foods
Garlic-distinct pungent flavor. Very popular in Asian and Italian cooking.
Ginger-sweet-hot flavor with a tangy aroma. Both flavor and scent are distinct. Used in baking, beverages and Asian dishes.
Herbes de Provence-hails from the south of France. Usually contains basil, fennel,  lavender, marjoram, rosemary, sage and thyme. Popular in stuffings, cream sauces and soups.
Horseradish-hot and pungent. Very distinct. Popular on roast beef and in condiments.
Italian Seasoning-combination of basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme.
Lemon Extract-provides a bright, bold citrus flavor. Popular in baking and candy making recipes.
Lemon Pepper-blend of salt, black pepper and dried lemon peel. Popular in vegetable and chicken dishes.
Marjoram-similar to oregano but sweeter and milder. Very popular in vegetable recipes and Mediterranean cuisine.
Mint-strong sweet taste with a smooth, cool aftertaste. Popular in drinks, marinades and with lamb.
Mustard Seed-hot spicy flavor. Enhances the flavor of meats. May be used in pickling recipes.
Nutmeg-slightly sweet and spicy. Used extensively in baked goods, desserts and white sauces.
Onion-pungent with a sharp bite. When cooked, the bite is replaced with a rich sweetness. Onions can be used in almost all recipes with the exception of sweets.
Orange Extract-provide a fresh, sweet burst to baked goods and desserts. Also popular in sauces and marinades.
Oregano-robust flavor. Very popular in pizza and pasta recipes.
Paprika-pungent-can be either sweet or hot. Popular in vegetable, egg and chicken dishes.
Parsley-mild and fresh tasting. Used in recipes and on the side as a garnish. Popular in soups, meats and vegetable recipes.
Pepper-pungent and warm. White pepper is milder in flavor than black. Also available in pink and green varieties. Used in savory recipes.
Poppy Seeds-slightly nutty aroma and taste. Very popular in European and Mediterranean baked goods.
Rosemary-a bold, pine-like flavor. Enjoyed in fish and pork recipes and in herb breads.
Saffron-spicy, pungent, bitter flavor. Used widely in Indian cuisine. A little goes a long way.
Sage-subtly musty-minty flavor. Used to season poultry, pork and stuffings.
Sesame Seed-mild nut-like flavor. Popular in cookie doughs, yeast breads and pie crusts.
Tarragon-aromatic,licorice-like flavor. Very popular in French recipes. Excellent with poultry, fish and grilled meats.
Thyme-slightly minty, slightly lemony. Works well with chicken, vegetables and sauces.
Turmeric-necessary ingredient of curry powder. Posses a pungent, bitter flavor.
Vanilla-sweet, woody, perfumey scent and flavor. Very popular in baking and dessert making.

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