Top 10 Spices No Kitchen Should Be Without
No cook’s toolkit is complete without the essential spices the know-how to use them effectively. Experienced chefs know that adding the perfect seasoning is just as important as choosing the best ingredients when it comes to creating world-class dishes. For aspiring culinary experts looking to launch a career in the kitchen, getting familiar with these 10 basic spices is a must.
Pepper: Popular but powerful, a little pepper can go a long way in flavoring a dish. Each variety – white pepper, black pepper, red pepper, cayenne – adds a distinctive type of heat.
Cinnamon: The warmth and spice of cinnamon make it ideal for desserts and hearty, savory main courses, such as stews.
Coriander: The seeds of the cilantro plant are what make up coriander, a citrus-noted spice that can help round out curries, in addition to flavoring vegetable dishes and meats.
Ginger: Another spice that can lean either sweet or savory, ginger is known for its earthy, floral taste and is much-used in Asian cuisines.
Chili Powder: When pepper doesn’t pack a sufficient punch, ground chilis can do the trick. The heat they lend a dish also helps avoid over-salting.
Nutmeg: The spicy sweetness of nutmeg is a core component in Middle Eastern and Indian dishes, and it’s also featured in many of the signature plates of fall and winter.
Cardamom: With floral aromas reminiscent of ginger, cardamom also offers smoky, minty notes and is highly versatile, though it’s particularly useful for scenting rice.
Cloves: The high-toned aromas of these dried flower buds make them a distinguishing component of many drinks and broths, including the popular Vietnamese pho.
Paprika: With a range of different levels of intensity, these ground peppers lend both heat and a distinctive red color to dishes. The smoky flavors of pimenton, or smoked paprika, are characteristic of Spanish cuisine.
Cumin: Best known in Asian and North African cooking, cumin is also used frequently in Mexican and Cuban dishes for its warmth and earthiness.