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HomeFoodSeasonings & Spices

Spices by letter


Add a Latin flair to your favorite dish with this savory seasoning. Adobo is typically a mixture of turmeric, black pepper, garlic and oregano. It's commonly used to flavor fish, chicken and meat, either as a dry rub or mixed with citrus juice, onions and herbs to create a wet paste. In Latin and Caribbean cuisines, adobo seasoning is an absolute must!


It may sound generic, but allspice is anything but. Also known as Jamaica pepper or pimenta, allspice is a staple in Jamaican cooking, especially for jerk seasoning. It has a complex taste that is reminiscent of a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, which is why early explorers dubbed it "allspice." It pairs well with beef, lamb, carrots, cabbage and sweet potatoes.


Love the taste of sweet licorice? Grab some anise seeds, crush with a mortar and pestle and use the resulting fine powder in baked goods, cakes and sweet breads. Anise is native to the Mediterranean region - in Europe, it's a popular ingredient in desserts and candies, while in India and the Middle East, it's usually added to more savory dishes.


The strong smell of basil usually brings to mind fresh Italian food, but it's also a popular herb in French cooking. With a sweet and subtly spicy flavor, basil is the perfect addition to tomato-based recipes, such as sauces, soups and fresh salads - it's also a popular ingredient in pesto. Crushed, dried basil is available year-round, but the fragrant flavor of fresh basil is hard to beat.

Bay Leaf

Emperors and heroes wore crowns made from laurel (bay) leaves in ancient Greece, where they were revered as symbols of honor. Today, bay leaves are best known for their culinary powers, offering a slightly bitter taste and pungent aroma. They are typically used in dried form for savory dishes, such as stews, soups and sauces, as well as seasoning for meat and fish.

Black Pepper

When it comes to seasoning, it's important not to skip out on the basics. Black pepper, made from a plant known as Piper nigrum, was once so highly regarded, it was traded as currency. Today, you'd be hard-pressed to find a recipe that didn't call for at least a pinch of black pepper. Even this miniscule amount is enough to impart an unmistakable "punch" of spicy flavor.

Black Sesame Seed

Rich in minerals such as copper and calcium, sesame seeds are widely known for their use in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. These tiny oval-shaped seeds come in a variety of colors (including black) and have a slight nutty flavor and a satisfying crunch, making them a welcome addition to baked goods, steamed vegetables and pasta. Crushed sesame seeds are used to make tahini, an ingredient in many Middle Eastern recipes (including hummus).

Blackened Seasoning

Spice up a simple fish or chicken recipe with blackened seasoning, a combination of several different spices such as salt, pepper (both black and white), garlic, onion, paprika, cayenne, oregano and thyme. Use blackened seasoning as a rub before grilling or searing - it adds a crisp sweet and smoky flavor to your favorite dish.


In French cooking, buillon simply refers to a "broth" made by simmering meat or vegetables in boiling water with seasoning. Bouillon cubes are made by dehydrating and compressing the broth. To quickly and conveniently flavor your favorite homemade soup, toss in one of these concentrated cubes.


Before the prickly Capparis spinosa plant blossoms, the small, unripened flower buds are hand-picked, dried and pickled. The resulting product is known as a caper, a popular ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine. You'll find sour-tasting capers in many dressings, sauces and other condiments. They also work well as a garnish for meats and vegetables. Because they're usually packed in brine, be sure to rinse capers before using to remove excess salt.


These pods are commonly referred to as "caraway seeds," but they're actually a type of fruit. Cultivated mainly in Europe, caraway has a sharp flavor that resembles anise. The fruits are commonly used in breads (much like rye), desserts, liquors, curry and casseroles. Go ahead and get carried away – try adding caraway to your coleslaw, lentil soup or savory muffin recipe.


Native to the Middle East, cardamom is found in three different varieties (green, black, Madagascar). Although this spice can be pricy, a little bit goes a long way in curries, rice dishes and even drinks. Cardamom is derived from a ginger-like plant, providing a taste that is described as both spicy and sweet. Look for whole pods and keep them intact until use - they can be split or ground to reveal a strong, fresh flavor.


It looks a bit like chocolate, it tastes a bit like chocolate, but it isn't chocolate at all. It's carob, a pod with a sweet, edible pulp that is dried, ground and often used as a substitute for chocolate. Although it rivals chocolate's sweetness, it can't evenly match the flavor and texture. Even so, carob is popular for those who cannot eat chocolate, as it contains no caffeine or other stimulants. Use carob powder or chips as you would chocolate, but be careful when cooking at high temperatures, as carob burns more easily than chocolate.

Cayenne Pepper

Prefer your food to have a kick? Then you'll love cayenne – this slender red pepper carries a fiery taste that can turn up the temperature of any dish. Once ground, the pepper is made into cayenne powder, a popular ingredient used sparingly in hot sauces, meat marinades, dips and more. Along with intense heat, cayenne also provides a source of "capsaicin," a compound that may offer health benefits.

Celery Seed

They may be tiny in size and stature, but celery seeds pack plenty of flavor and aroma. In addition to a strong celery taste, they also offer an interesting texture for sauces, stews, gravies, eggs and vegetable dishes. If you're fresh out of celery stalks, you can also sub a small amount of celery seed in your recipe to provide the same flavor.

Chili Pepper

Chili or chile? Regardless of how you spell it, chili peppers are a flavorful addition to any dish. There are many different varieties, ranging from sweet and mild to blisteringly hot. Depending on your personal preference and type of meal, you can use chili peppers in fresh, dried or pickled form. Consider adding diced chilies to your favorite salsa recipe to turn up the heat.

Chili Powder

Not to be confused with chile powder, this common seasoning is typically a blend of several different ingredients, including ground chili pepper (usually from cayenne or red peppers), garlic, oregano, cumin and salt. The ideal chili powder has a bold, yet complex and smoky flavor that makes it a perfect addition to a pot of stew, soup or – well, chili of course!


This bulbous herb belongs to the same family as garlic, leeks and onions. Used fresh or freeze dried (to preserve taste), chives provide a mild, sweet flavor similar to that of its kin. Often used as both a garnish and flavor enhancer for eggs, baked potatoes and garlic bread, chives can also act as a colorful substitute for onions in dips, spreads and salads.


Also known as coriander, cilantro is widely used in Caribbean, Asian and Mexican cuisines. This small, leafy green is sometimes confused with flat parsley, and although the two are related, cilantro offers a very different and distinct odor and flavor. Cilantro and coriander are most often used in chutney, curry, salsa, salad and burritos. Essential oil derived from cilantro is said to have cleansing properties.


This aromatic spice was once so highly prized, it was given as a gift to both gods and monarchs. Although there are several types of cinnamon, you're most likely to encounter Cassia, an Indonesian relative of the true spice. With its sharp, slightly bitter flavor, cinnamon is a perfect complement to sweet foods and beverages such as pies, cakes, coffees and teas.


Capture the taste of autumn with the sweet, warm flavor of cloves - a common addition to pumpkin pie, gingerbread and other seasonal treats, as well as savory dishes such as curry and meat. Clove spice comes from the unopened buds of a tree native to Indonesia. Due to the strong taste and odor of cloves, a small bit goes a very long way. In fact, in certain quantities, cloves are said to have a numbing effect on the mouth.


The dried seed of the cilantro plant, coriander is one of the world’s oldest spices, known for bringing a delicate, citrusy flavor to both savory and sweet dishes. Stir into soups, stews and marinades or sauté with veggies for an exotic Middle Eastern taste.

Cream of Tartar

For fluffier soufflés and springier cakes, count on cream of tartar - a baking essential that gives volume to beaten eggs and creates a creamier consistency in frostings. It also works magic on stains and faded copper, brass or aluminum items when made into a household cleaning paste.


Curries and chili often get their kick from cumin, a bold spice with rich, earthy overtones, popular in Indian, Mexican, Middle Eastern and North African cuisines. Available whole or ground, cumin adds warmth and zest without overpowering. Blend it into meat or veggie dishes, or sprinkle some into hummus for a southwest spin.


In the mood for Indian food? Create authentic curries and other traditional Indian-style dishes with curry powder. Typically a blend of herbs and spices with vibrant, sometimes spicy flavor and an unmistakable aroma, curry powder is a versatile, kitchen pantry must-have that can be used in everything from simple soups to daring desserts.


Pickle lovers, you’re in luck. Your favorite flavor can be easily added to salads, dressings, dips or any dish with dried dill weed or whole dill seeds. Mainly used for pickling, this classic herb has a sharp, tangy taste sometimes compared to anise or caraway. Dill pairs exceptionally well with seafood and creamy sauces.


Sweet and spicy, fennel seeds are known for their licorice-like flavor and the light crunchy texture they lend to breads, cakes and sausages. In some countries, fennel is chewed after meals to freshen breath and calm the stomach. But you’ll mostly find these small, brown, crescent-shaped seeds in Italian, French and German cuisine.

Fenugreek Seed

With a long history of use as a health-supportive herb, fenugreek is a favorite of new moms, who use it to rev up milk production. In the culinary world, fenugreek seeds are toasted to tone down their bitter flavor and cooked into curries, churned into chutneys or used by food manufacturers to flavor artificial maple syrup.


A little garlic goes a long way, so skip the whole-clove approach and sprinkle on some powder instead. A bulb-cousin of the onion, garlic’s intense flavor and fragrance banish bland from any meat, veggie or pasta dish. Mix the powder into melted butter, spread on a baguette and broil for a toasty, flavorful garlic bread.


A holiday staple, ginger is a gift that gives warmth and spice to cookies, muffins and gingerbreads. Made from the underground stem of the ginger plant, this pale-yellow powder also brings zest to stir-fry dishes, curries, dressings and sauces. In traditional herbal health practices, ginger has a reputation for quashing queasiness. Make a simple soothing tea with a dash of ginger powder in your favorite brew.

Hot Sauce

Keep a glass (or two!) of water nearby and kick up the heat with ready-made hot sauces featuring jalapeno, cayenne, chipotle and more of the world’s spiciest peppers. Blended into tangy tomato or smoky barbecue bases, these tear jerkers contain a compound called capsaicin, which not only fires up flavor in Mexican, southwestern and Cajun cuisine, but may also be good for your health.

Italian Seasonings

Traditional Italian dishes - rich, tomato gravies, oil-drizzled focaccia, seafood stews-all rely on fresh herbs for the distinct, irresistible flavor that makes them famous worldwide. Capture the authentic taste of Italy in your home cooking with Italian seasoning, which blends together basil, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, thyme and other popular Italian herbs.

Lemon Peel

They say it’s what’s inside that counts, but when it comes to lemons, the outer layer has a lot to offer. Besides being packed with pectin, fiber and vitamins, lemon peel adds a tantalizing, tangy flavor to teas and sweets. Forgot to buy fresh lemons? Granulated lemon peel is a handy substitute in recipes, or try sprinkling it on already-made foods for a hint of citrus flavor.

Lemon Pepper

Why sprinkle separately when you can add both zesty lemon and lively pepper flavor with a single shake? Lemon-pepper seasoning is a tart-peppery spice blend that livens up fish and chicken dishes and adds a burst of flavor to dressings, sauces and marinades. Or, switch up your ordinary salt-and-pepper routine with lemon-pepper instead. It’s great on salads, veggies, pasta and even scrambled eggs.


As its name suggests, lemongrass is a type of grass with a crisp, lemony fragrance, used mainly in Thai cooking but also steeped into a refreshing herbal tea. Malaysian legend has it that lemongrass served as a symbolic protective shield for warriors. Herbalists today recommend it for its cleansing, comforting and mood-lifting properties.


If you like oregano, you’ll find its slightly sweeter cousin, marjoram, a pleasant alternative in Italian dishes, dressings, soups and more. Often part of Italian-herb blends, marjoram’s mild flavor can get a little lost in the mix. On its own, this mild, delicate herb adds a hint of richness with minty, citrusy undertones. Heat destroys the flavor, so be sure to add it as an end-step in the cooking process.

Mint Flavoring

First used as a fragrance, mint is an herb with a fresh, clean scent and a slightly sweet, mouth-tingling taste. As a flavoring, mint is cool and refreshing, complementing chocolate candy and desserts while adding depth to savory meat dishes, such as lamb. Try liquid mint flavoring in your cookie and cake batters, frosting, candy concoctions, milkshakes, coffee or tea.

Mulling Spice

Warm your belly with a mug of hot, spiced cider, made easy with mulling spice - an aromatic blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove and orange peel. Traditionally warmed with apple cider, red wine or beer for a spicy autumn or winter drink, mulling spice can also be simply simmered in water on your stovetop to fill the air with holiday cheer.

Mustard Powder

Get the same zing and zip a squiggly line of mustard brings to hotdogs with a sprinkle of mustard powder in your potato salads, deviled eggs, marinades and dressings. Known as a potent and pungent spice, mustard has added warmth and tang to foods since ancient times. The powder, made from crushed mustard seeds, is a convenient way to get creative with this popular condiment.

Mustard Seed

They may be small, but their flavor is bold. Mustard seeds, one of the world’s oldest and most widely used spices, come from plants belonging to the Brassica family, which includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. They range in flavor from tangy (yellow) to sharp (black), but always add a distinctive bite when added to roasted meats, potato dishes or pickle relishes.


Pumpkin pie and eggnog wouldn’t be the same without this warm, sweet spice. Actually the seed of a small fruit that grows on tropical evergreen trees, nutmeg brings a characteristic spicy flavor to desserts and savory dishes. It’s best when freshly ground from the kernel just before use, but nutmeg powder is an easy and less-expensive way to incorporate this much-loved spice into your cooking.

Onion Powder

Chopped onions can be chunky, and their flavor often overpowers. When recipes call for this bold, bulbous veggie, sprinkle in some onion powder for a smoother, subtler taste. From tuna salad to meatballs and everything in between, onion powder seasons without stealing the show, for balanced flavor every time.

Orange Peel

True, they’re loved mainly for their juice. But oranges have appeal on the outside, too. Grated or granulized, orange peel adds a hint of citrus to baked goods and candies, while also delivering nutrients missed when the valuable outer layer of the fruit is tossed in the trash. Orange peel granules mix well into batters but also make a colorful garnish sprinkled on cocktails or whipped-cream-topped drinks.


One small pinch of this pungent dried herb will fill your kitchen with the aroma of an authentic pizza parlor. That’s because oregano, derived from a small shrub cultivated in the Mediterranean, abounds in Italian cuisine. Dried oregano, which is available year-round, can add a depth of flavor to beans, chicken, vegetables, pasta, pizza and potatoes.


There’s no mistaking the rich, orange-red color of this flavorful spice. Paprika is made from dried, ground sweet red peppers, although the exact taste can vary from mild to spicy. This seasoning is unique in that the flavor is released when heated, so be sure to add paprika to your chicken, fish, pasta or potatoes before cooking.


There are more than 30 different varieties of parsley, including curly-leaf, flat-leaf and Italian. Fresh flat-leaf parsley is said to have the most flavor and is preferred for cooking - chewing on a sprig can also help banish bad breath. Sprinkle dried parsley flakes on eggs, veggies and in soups, dressings and sauces.


Peppercorns are actually small fruits of the Piper nigrum flower. For years, freshly ground peppercorns have been used for medicinal purposes. So, it’s no wonder they make an easy remedy to bland meats, vegetables, pasta dishes and soups.


Those Europeans know their tea. And it’s probably because peppermint originated in their soil. For a fresh cup of tummy-taming tea, pour boiling water over dried, cut and sifted leaves.


A blend of basil, olive oil, salt and pepper makes presto pesto! Stir into your favorite pasta, add grated Parmesan cheese, and you’ve got an instant crowd pleaser.

Poppy Seeds

Poppy seeds pop in a lemon-flavored muffin because of their unique shade of steel blue and crisp, nutty flavor. Make salad dressings, homemade breads and rice dishes crunch and pop with a sprinkle of the pebbly seeds.

Poultry Seasoning

It’s not your average Thanksgiving turkey when the bird is rubbed in poultry seasoning. This blend is blessed with hints of thyme, sage and cayenne, making a great feast for the senses.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Pumpkin pie spice is everything nice. With warm flavors like cinnamon and clove, you’ll cozy up to a slice of sweet comfort.

Red Chilies

No dish will go cold on your plate with the heat and flavor of red chilies. Roasted and ground into a paste, they add kick to a barbecue sauce and spice to a simple stir-fry.

Red Pepper

Caution: This product is hot. Made from either crushed cayenne or crushed chili peppers, this spice packs a potent punch in pizza and pasta sauces. A little goes a long way.


The needle-like herb is usually found as a whole leaf, fresh or dried. Rosemary’s woody flavor is best for breads, meats and tomato-based sauces.


Harvested from a fall-flowering plant in the Iris family, saffron is the "golden" spice, adding a distinct sparkle to fish and egg-based dishes. Though Spain is its largest importer, saffron pairs best with Arabian, Mediterranean and Indian cuisine.


Sage is more than a wise old man. It’s a warm, earthy herb used for its medicinal properties as well as its savory addition to poultry, homemade dinner rolls and traditional stuffing.


What’s better than being the salt of the Earth? Using the salt of the Earth. With options like black lava, Himalayan pink and mineral crystals, it’s no surprise that sea salt is the most popular seasoning. Plus, some salts provide necessary nutrients that help balance the body’s electrolyte levels. Use salt to cure meats, sauté veggies and so much more - just a dash will do.

Seasoning Blends

Stumped for a way to spice up your fish filet? Pre-mixed seasoning blends are the answer. These blends are composed of multiple spices that work together like a synchronized swimming team. You’ll find "all purpose" seasonings, salt-free varieties and blends made for specific dishes, like pizza or tacos.

Sesame Seed

Americans are fond of sesame seeds sitting atop their hamburger buns. The rest of the world, however, is more accustomed to sprinkling them onto sushi rolls or salads. Roasted, toasted or coated - no matter how you enjoy them, sesame seeds add a nice, nutty flavor.


Mentha spicata is a species of mint that was first discovered in North America in the wet soils of the Great Lakes region. It tolerates most climates, including the temperatures of your windowsill. The leaves lose their aromatic quality once the plant flowers, so cut them right as the flowers begin to open. Then, use fresh, dried, even frozen. Mojitos, anyone?


Bon appétit! Tarragon is a popular spice in French cooking. When used in sauces or dressings, tarragon actually accents other herbs, bringing on a more pungent burst of flavor. Use fresh leaves in your best imitation of Julia Child’s Béarnaise sauce. Or, for the not-so-gourmet, try tarragon leaf flakes in your own egg, fish and poultry creations.


Becoming a master in the kitchen takes “thyme.” Thyme is a major component of bouquet garni, a bundle of herbs used to season soup, stock and stews. Once you can whip up a delicious bowl of French onion, move on to new conquests. Hit the high seas and explore Mediterranean recipes using dried or fresh sprigs of thyme.


Responsible for curry dishes' sunshine color, turmeric was once called the "Indian saffron." It’s as common as salt and pepper in Indian, Persian and Thai kitchens. Turmeric has a ginger-like flavor, can be used in powder or whole root form and, of course, imparts a bright yellow hue to baked goods, dairy products, popcorn and sauces.

Vanilla Bean

Vanilla beans come from the only fruit-bearing orchid, making it a prized possession in any pantry. But don’t be afraid to break out the beans for sweet sensations, like ice cream, cakes and cookies. Though the entire bean is edible, get creative transforming it into a perfume or aromatherapy blend. No matter how you use vanilla beans, the warm, sweet aroma will hug your whole house.


The Japanese horseradish, as wasabi is sometimes called, is not made from horseradish at all. It’s the root of the Wasabia japonica plant. At the sushi bar, you’ll see the grounded root made into a green paste. You can also find wasabi as a powder, which lets you control the kick you’ll get by adding more or less water to make your own sauces, dips or dressings.

White Pepper

Though less "peppery" than its black counterpart, white pepper has its place. It’s like the “white wine” of pepper, which means white pepper is best sprinkled into a creamy clam chowder, Alfredo sauce or on top of fish.

Yellow Mustard Seed

Perhaps because of its warm color and subtle hint of spice, yellow mustard seed has been used for centuries in countless cultures across the globe. Plus, it plays well with others. Pair yellow mustard seed with garlic or red chilies for dynamic deliciousness in every bite.

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