When a part of plant apart from its leaves, flower or stem is used for preserving, adding flavor or coloring the food, it is called a spice.
There are innumerable such options available to us. They not only add to the taste of the delicacy being used in but are often also responsible for the addition of some nutritional value and aroma to the food.
Sometimes we consume a food item just for its aroma and the whole credit, in this case, can be given to the spices being used in the dish. Some spices also find their use in medical and cosmetic purposes.
It is tough to gauge the exact number of spices known and being used on the planet today. But we have tried our best to enlist and characterize as many spices as we can to help you make your favorite delicacy with the exact taste that you wish.
The Various Types Of Spices Known to us are:
These are highly aromatic crystals which are also used for filtration.
It is a grayish green seed belonging to the parsley family. It has a bold licorice flavor to it.
• Annatto Seed
Majorly used in cheese and butter for their coloring ability.
This spice has its natives in the Caribbean. Its taste and aroma are a blend of those from clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Thus, it is called allspice.
• Arrowroot Powder
It is usually used to make a base for various sauces and creams.
• Black Pepper
Black pepper originated in India. For its best flavor, it needs to be toasted before you blend it in the dish.
• Cassia Bark
It can be called a lighter alternative to cinnamon, which has a similar flavor but the taste is not as bold as cinnamon.
This has a unique spicy taste and a beautiful aroma to it.
Cayenne pepper is first dried and then grounded to get this hot spice.
Cardamoms are known to add their aromatic sweetness to all the dishes they are added to.
These are tangy tasting buds which are often pickled and used.
It is the bark of laurel trees. This is a highly aromatic bark and can be bought ground or whole. Its flavor is a mix of spicy and sweet.
Cloves are usually seen in East Africa. They have a rich aroma to them and can be used in adding flavor to any delicacy.
The seeds of the coriander plant are often used for their sweet yet spicy flavor. It is available either ground or whole.
Cumin is majorly found in the middle east and is accompanied by a not so mild dusky and strong flavor and a similar aroma.
A sweet tasting gum which is used in making
The seeds are used as a spice due to their mildly sweet flavor with a crisp to it.
• Fenugreek Seed
These seed are yellow and have characteristic earthy fragrance and have also found their place in traditional medicines.
A popular spice of Kerala used in the preparation of fishes.
It belongs to the family of onions and has a bold and strong taste. It is also available fresh, dried or powdered.
Ginger is a root of the plant and is often sold fresh, dried or ground.
• Indian Bedellium Tree
It is a religiously valued flavorful spice which is highly aromatic.
It has a spicy medicinal flavor.
• Jalapeno Pepper
Jalapenos are first dried and then ground to receive this tangy hot spice.
Toasting these seeds gets their earthy crunchy flavor; otherwise, they are bland and odorless.
• Juniper Berries
Have you ever had flavored gin? Well, the flavor might just be from these berries.
Licorice is a root which has a mild savory flavor to it. The unique flavor cannot be described in a word.
The nutmeg has a dark red covering called the mace. Both the covering and the meg have a delicate flavor to it.
Mustard can be bought in two forms, i.e., seeds or powdered. They have a smoked nutty flavor to them.
• Nigella Seed
Its aroma is very much like oregano and has a peppery flavor to it.
It can be bought ground or whole and is used in baking. The whole off it adds a fresher flavor than the grounded powder.
• Pepper Corns
The black, green and pink pepper come from berries called the peppercorns. These also have medicinal qualities.
• Pomegranate Seeds (Dried)
Pomegranate is first dried then ground to get this spice, which has the sweet tartness of the pomegranate to it.
• Pine Nuts
These nuts are received from Pine trees and are white. They add a mild resinous flavor.
• Poppy Seeds
It is very popular in India by the name of Khus Khus. Have a unique earthy flavor.
• Red Chili
Red chilies are ground after being dried to get this hot and spicey powder.
• Sesame Seed
These seeds have a nutty flavor to them with a hint of sweetness.
Also popular as Chinese Pepper, It is known for its bold and robust taste.
It is very popular in India for religious purposes, otherwise used to add aroma and color to the food. It is one of the most expensive spices.
• Sour Dried Mango Powder
Mangoes are dried and ground to receive this sour and tart tasting spice.
• Star Anise
Similar in taste and flavor to anise, star anise resembles the shape of a star.
Sumac has a sour flavor & was included in the preparation of sour drinks in earlier times.
The fruit of the tamarind tree. It has a tangy and tart like sour flavor and taste.
• Thymol Seed
These seeds are stout and shorter than anise and have an earthy-spicey taste.
Turmeric is popular for its color & medicinal properties. It should be used in limited quantities only.
It is a flavoring agent which originated in the Atlantic coast.
Known for its unique taste & heat, it’s often used as a garnishing for beef, fish & avocado.
This refers to the thin peel of citrus fruit. It is tangy to taste an adds the same tart flavor.
Though already the list seems pretty long and never-ending, yet the list might as well be longer, and we will be glad if you could help us add the local spices available in your region which we might have missed.
These spices not only add to the aroma and the deliciousness of the dishes but also help us indigestion at times. Each of these further have their benefits and effects on our overall health. They look like just powders but change the whole taste & aroma of the delicacy.