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A List of Spices - A Description

Anthony Up NorthAnthony Up North Posts: 205
edited 10:02AM in EggHead Forum
Orio-Kid below asked "What is Savory?" Here is a handy spice list describing what each spcie is. Some of you may find it useful. I may post it in the recipe section too.[p]Anthony [p]Spices To Use for BBQing[p]This is a list of spices that are commonly used to season BBQ, and dishes normally associated with BBQ.

Spice Properties

Arrowroot : An edible starch known as Arrowroot Powder. Used mainly as a thickening agent.[p]Basil Also called sweet basil. With an aroma that is like mint and tea. Basil is available in leaf form. It is used as a easoning for pizza, spaghetti sauce, sausage, soup, tomato juice, dressings, salads, and any dish where oregano would be used[p]Bay Leaves They have a woody, astringent flavor with a pleasant, slightly minty aroma. Bay leaves should always be removed before food is served. Works well in soups, with fish and is also used to flavor some desserts.[p]Black Pepper Black pepper has a sharp, penetrating aroma and a characteristic woody, piney flavor. It is hot and biting to the taste.[p]Broiled Steak A unique blend of seasonings including Seasoning black pepper, onion, garlic, paprika and celery seed. Especially good flavor with beef as well as pork and lamb.[p]Caraway (Seed) With a tangy flavor similar to dill. It is used as a seasoning in potatoes,cabbage, carrots, sausages, rich meats, in breads and pastries. Caraway is available as the whole seed.[p]Cayenne (Red ) Pepper: A seasoning ground from small, red chili peppers. It has been used as a spice inpeppers. It has been used as a spice in the dishes of many countries and is also used as a table condiment. It's heat and spiciness varies.

Celery Seed (Salt) Celery seed tastes like celery and is aromatic with a slight bitterness which enhances other flavors. Celery seed is available whole, ground, or mixed with salt. Celery salt is a blend of ground celery seed and fine salt. It is used primarily as a flavoring in salads (especially potato), sauces, pickling, soup, tomato juice, and meat. It is also an integral part of the flavoring of traditionally prepared crabs and other seafood.[p]Chervil An essential spice in French cuisine, it used like parsley and provides an herbal taste with the slight flavor of anise. Chervil is used much like parsley, but is more delicate. It is most commonly used on fish, egg dishes, salads and as a glaze on vegetables such as carrots.[p]Chili Powder Made from dried chilies, usually blended with garlic, onion, cumin, oregano, chili peppers, allspice, garlic, and salt. Color and spiciness varies. It has an earthy, slightly sweet, and sometimes hot flavor. This spice blend usually dominates food rather than enhancing it. Mexican and other Latin American dishes depend on chili powder for their characteristic flavor.[p]Chinese 5 Spice Powder A blend of star anise, fagara (Szechwan pepper), cassia (cinnamon), fennel and clove. It is heavily used in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine.

Cilantro Cilantro has a bold flavor often described as a mixture of sage, parsley, and citrus. In Mexican dishes and salsas, cilantro is the "indescribable" flavor note that sets them apart. Cilantro adds pungent flavor to many Latin American and Asian dishes such as stews, soup, steamed fish, curries, vegetables, , salads, relishes and tomato based sauces, and noodle dishes. It is often called "Chinese parsley."[p]Cinnamon Cinnamon has a characteristic woody, musty, earthy, and sweet flavor. It is warming to taste. It is available whole, as cinnamon sticks, and ground. Used in spiced vegetable dishes, also in sweet dishes such as baking, pies, compotes, and also with meats, stews, vegetables and curries.[p]Cloves The flavor of cloves is strong, fruity, and sweet almost hot. Cloves are available both whole and ground. Used for flavoring ham, pork, pickled fruit, onions, gravy, and syrup, spice cake, pumpkin pie, fruitcake, gingerbread, chili sauce, ketchup, and in combination with many other spices.[p]Coriander Coriander has sweet, slightly lemony flavor. (Coriander leaves are called cilantro.) Coriander is available as whole seed and ground and is a principal ingredient in curry powder. Middle Eastern, Indian, Russian, North African, and Mexican recipes include coriander for its distinctive flavor. Coriander seed is a pleasant addition to potato salad, rice's, bean, vegetable dishes, hot dogs, apple pie, poached fish, or bean, pea, and lentil soup.[p]Creole Spice A blend of garlic, onion, cayenne, black pepper, thyme, oregano, paprika.[p]Cuban Spice A blend of cumin, chili powder, cinnamon.[p]Cumin Cumin has a penetrating musty, earthy flavor with some green, grassy nuances. Cumin is available as whole seed and ground. It is a principal ingredient in both chili powder and curry powder. Middle Eastern, Mexican Indian, and North African recipes often include cumin. Also used in curries, stews, and chili.[p]Curry Powder Not a single spice but a blend of many spices. Usually contains turmeric, ginger, black pepper, coriander, cumin, chilies and fenugreek and can also contain cinnamon and clove. Flavors vary according to the use or the creator of the blend. All curry blends have a rich, warm, earthy, and pungent flavor with a great many overtones. The characteristic golden color comes from turmeric. Curry powder is available in mild or hot blends. Curry powder is usually intended to be the dominant flavor but it also may be used in small amounts simply to enhance the flavor of foods such as corn bread, stuffed eggs, soup, and sour cream dips.[p]Dill Dill is an annual of the parsley family and is related to anise, caraway, coriander, cumin, and fennel. The seeds are light brown in color, strongly aromatic, and warming to the taste. Dill weed has a subtle, anise like, sweet flavor. Dill is available as the whole seed and as chopped leaves, called dill weed. Dill weed is used in salads, sauces, egg dishes, and especially in seafood dishes. Dill seed is used primarily to flavor pickles and in bread, potato, and vegetable dishes. It works well with a variety of culinary dishes such as omelets, soups, stuffed grape leaves, potato salad, cucumber, veal, breads, cabbage, meat stews and rice. It is also widely used with herring, salmon and other seafood dishes.[p]English Pickling Spice A blend of mustard seed, coriander, allspice, red chilies, bay leaves, ginger.[p]Fenugreek Has a bitter, maple-like flavor. It is primarily used inIndian cuisine and is also used with curry, as a pickling spice and as imitation maple.[p]Fil'e Gumbo A blend of dried ground sassafras leaves and thyme. It is used as a thickener in and with soups, gumbo, meat, fish, stew and poultry.[p]Four-Pepper Mix A blend of black pepper, white pepper, rose pepper and green peppercorns, coarsely crushed.[p]Garam Masala A Northern Indian blend of cumin, coriander, cardamom, black peppercorn, clove, mace, bay leaf and cinnamon.[p]Garlic (Powder, Salt) It has a strong, pungent green flavor and is one of the most popular seasonings used today. Garlic can be conveniently purchased as fresh bulbs, dehydrated powder, minced flakes, and blends with salt. It adds flavor to almost any dish. Garlic is especially popular in Italian cuisine and throughout the Mediterranean region and Asia. Sprinkle to taste on hamburgers, lamb, chuck roast, steak, chicken, Italian green beans, zucchini, tomatoes and green salads. Use with sour cream or cream cheese for dips. Sprinkle on stuffed eggs. Use it sparingly tobegin with and add small amounts until it suits your taste.[p]Ginger The flavor of ginger is pungent, lemon/citrus, warm, and sweet. Ginger is available ground, whole (gingerroot), and crystallized. Used to add zest to many dishes such as gingersnaps, gingerbread, in Asian dishes and in sweets such as cakes, cookies, puddings, pumpkin pie and sweet breads.[p]Herbs De Province A Mediterranean blend containing oregano, savory, rosemary, thyme and marjoram, use to flavor stews, chicken, kabobs and tomato dishes and pizza.[p]Italian Seasoning A blend of marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, sage, oregano and basil. Add to dip, herb breads, any tomato dish, good in marinades and rubs.[p]Jamaican Jerk Ground chilies, accented heavily with thyme and allspice. Used as a spicy flavoring to meats and vegetables.[p]Jamaican Spice Allspice, caraway, black pepper, coriander, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, thyme.[p]Juniper Berries Aromatic and spicy with the slight flavor of pine. It is mostly used a spice for meats in marinades, on roasts and in sausage mixes.[p]Kosher Salt A course ground salt, with no chemicals added. Used in brines, rubs, and marinades. Also used to coat the rim of the glass for Margaritas![p]Marjoram Marjoram has a distinctly aromatic green and pleasant woody flavor, with a slightly bitter undertone. Available in both leaf and ground forms, marjoram should be used sparingly at first. It complements the flavor of chicken and turkey stuffing, vegetable and bean soup, as well as tomato sauces. Marjoram also enhances the flavor of many meat dishes.[p]Mexican Hot Chili Powder A blend of spices and chili pepper, is a U.S. invention. Similar blends were used by the Aztecs. It is usually used to dominate the flavor of a food but can be used as a background flavor. Use in Mexican dishes such as chili, tacos and enchiladas. Add to quacamole, dips and salad dressings.[p]Mexican Spice A blend of cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, coriander seeds, aniseed, cumin, chili powder.[p]Moroccan Spice A blend of saffron, cumin, ginger, paprika, cinnamon.[p]Mustard (Seed, Ground) Mustard has a clean, fresh aroma and a pungent, biting flavor. Ground mustard enhances meat, fish, poultry, sauces, salad dressings, cheese, and egg dishes. It must be moistened for about ten minutes to develop its sharp, hot, tangy lavor. The whole seed is used in pickling, boiled with beets, cabbage, or sauerkraut, and as a garnish for salads.[p]North African Spice A blend of cumin and cinnamon.

Nutmeg & Mace Nutmeg has a strong cinnamon, nutty flavor used to flavor sweets, fruit dishes, sauces and vegetables. Nutmeg is available both whole and ground. Mace is sold primarily in the ground form. Nutmeg and mace are most commonly used in flavoring sweet foods such as puddings, cakes, and cookies. They are also used in meat products such as sausage. Mace is the lacy covering of the Nutmeg which is the seed of the fruit.[p] Onion (Flakes, Powder, Salt) Onions are an important flavoring in almost every country in the world. When combined with other ingredients, onion flavor is rarely overwhelming or assertive. Onions, pungent when raw and sweet in flavor when cooked, are an extremely versatile flavoring and can be used to accent nearly any kind of dish.[p]Oregano Similar in flavor to marjoram, it is not as sweet and is slightly more pungent and bitter. Use oregano in your favorite ethnic dishes as well as in fresh garden salads, egg dishes, quick breads, rubs, and sauces.[p]Paprika The brilliant red powder is the "garnish spice" contributing color and sweet pepper flavor. Hungarian paprika is characterized by a hotter taste, achieved in recent times by adding hot, red capsicum pepper to ground paprika. Sold in ground form. Used as a garnish for light-colored food such as fish, potatoes, eggs, and cheese dishes. A popular addition to many rubs, marinades and sauces. It is the principal seasoning Hungarian goulash and often is used in French dressing. To retain its red color, paprika should be kept in the refrigerator.

Parsley Parsley has a slightly mild green taste. Parsley is available fresh or as dried flakes. It adds both flavor and visua appeal to salads, soup, pasta, butters, shellfish, meat, poultry, sauces, potatoes, omelets and soft cheeses.[p]Poultry Seasoning A mixture of ground thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, black pepper, and nutmeg. Poultry seasoning was created mainly to season stuffing but it also adds an unusual flavor to all poultry, pork, or veal dishes.

Rosemary Rosemary has a distinctive fresh, sweet, piney aroma and flavor. Rosemary is available in leaf form. Use with lamb, pork, potatoes, carrots, stews, sauces, marinades, fish, poultry, bread, on grilled or skewered meat and in roasted potato dishes.[p]Sage Comes in whole, rubbed (crushed) and ground form. The herb is distinctively aromatic and fragrant with slightly medicinal, piney, and bitter flavors. It is used to flavor pork, pork sausage, poultry stuffing, veal, stuffing, and tomato sauces.

Savory Available in ground form and gives a piquant flavor to many dishes. It has a strong, slightly peppery flavor and is used to flavor legumes, meat, fish (especially trout), sausage, stuffing, tomato sauces, bean soup, meat loaf, hamburgers, eggs, or poultry.[p]Southwestern A sweet/spicy blend of cinnamon, cumin, cloves, cayenne.[p]Szechwan Peppers Not a true pepper but a dried berry of a prickly ash tree. It has a woody aroma with a spicy, tingly taste. It is an essential ingredient in Chinese 5 Spice.[p]Tarragon It is rich and sweet with a faint anise-like flavor. It is an excellent seasoning for sauces, dressings, and with meat, poultry and fish.

Thyme It has a pungent and sweetly herbal fragrant. It can be used to improve the flavor of most dishes, especially slow cooked dishes.[p]Turbinado Sugar Also known as "Sugar in the Raw". Used in many rubs and sauces because it can take higher temperatures without carmelizing.[p]White Pepper: White pepper has a similar but more earthy flavor than black pepper. Used in many dishes, sauces, rubs, and marinades.


  • SmokeySmokey Posts: 2,468
    Anthony Up North,[p]Great reference! I've printed it out and added to other printed material (recipies, etc)![p]Thanks[p]Smokey
  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,407
    Anthony Up North,
    Thanks. that is a great summary of often used spices. My printer is chugging along.[p]Don't forget to add this link to your bookmarks for a more exhaustive reference.[p]Merry Christmas

    [ul][li]Spice Encyclopedia[/ul]
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
  • GfwGfw Posts: 1,598
    Nature Boy, Great link! Thanks :~]

  • Chris,
    I was finally able to open the Spice Encyclopedia address you listed the other day! Thanks! Between that and what "Anthony Up North" listed, It sure does give me and the Missus some answers! I finally got the Smoke & Spice book too! Man! There are some killer recipes in it! I'm itchin' to try some of them out! It's a good thing I've got family and friends that enjoy being my "guinea pigs"! :-))) I hope their stomachs can take some of those ingredients! A couple of Jamacian Jerk recipes will be the first ones to try![p]Have a good one and a safe New Year![p]Dr. Chicken

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