Indian, Middle Eastern, South American, Italian, Greek…
All these cuisines use various spice and herb blends to distinguish their cultural foods from one another. But there is no secret to it. Pick 1, 2, or ten varieties and concoct your own culinary taste profile.
Spices and herbs are not just for flavor enhancement. They have nutritional and medicinal benefits far reaching our modern understanding; antimicrobial, antioxidant properties as well as soothing an upset stomach or increasing circulation. Herbs and spices work with the food you add them to for flavor and health.
Regardless of ancient use and home remedies, spices and herbs, fresh and dried, come from whole foods. Have it be the roots, bark, seeds, leaves, or flowers of the plant that are used, fresh or dried and ground into a fine powder, spices are a colorful, edible, and easy to use food.
Tips for purchase and use of spices and herbs:
- Buy small amounts in bulk to make sure they are used within a year of purchase.
- Try out Savory Spice here in Bend for a wide variety of bulk spices.
- Store in air tight containers in dry, dark, temperature stable location, such as cupboard or pantry.
- Don’t worry too much about a recipe, experiment with small amounts of new spices in common dishes and meals to see what works and what flavors you most enjoy.
- It may be helpful to blend varieties in advance, in combinations you like, for easy use.
A few to get you started:
- Sweet= cinnamon, clove, all spice, vanilla, mint, anise
- Savory= parsley, rosemary, thyme, cilantro, sage
- Spicy= chili peppers, pepper, ginger, garlic, paprika, mustard seed
- Robust= cumin, coriander, turmeric, curry