What Spices To Use
Spices are the basis for flavoring your barbecue. They are many and are
everywhere in the world. In days of old they were a sign of wealth. They were
traded, and the quest for them has spawned new nations and caused wars. Once
you learn how to work with spices, you can make your own spice mixtures, to
season your barbecue, and even serve at the table instead of or in addition to,
salt and pepper.
Arrowroot An edible starch known as Arrowroot Powder. Used mainly as
a thickening agent.
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 seasoning
for pizza, spaghetti sauce, sausage, soup, tomato juice,
dressings, salads, and any dish where oregano would be
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 meat and
poultry dishes, pasta sauces, fish and is also used to flavor
Black Pepper Black pepper has a sharp, penetrating aroma and a
characteristic woody, piney flavor. It is hot and biting to the
Broiled Steak A unique blend of seasonings including black pepper, onion,
Seasoning garlic, paprika and celery seed. Especially good flavor with
beef as well as pork and lamb.
Caraway With a tangy flavor similar to dill. It is used as a seasoning in
(Seed) potatoes, cabbage, carrots, sausages, rich meats, in breads
and pastries. Caraway is available as the whole seed.
Cayenne A seasoning ground from small, red chili peppers. It has
(Red ) Pepper been used as a spice in the dishes of many countries and is
also used as a table condiment. It's heat and spiciness
Celery Seed Celery seed tastes like celery and is aromatic with a slight
(Salt) 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
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.
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
Chinese 5 A blend of star anise, fagara (Szechwan pepper), cassia
Spice Powder (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."
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.
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.
Coriander Coriander has a 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.
Creole Spice A blend of garlic, onion, cayenne, black pepper, thyme,
Cuban Spice A blend of cumin, chili powder, cinnamon
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.
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.
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
English A blend of mustard seed, coriander, allspice, red chilies, bay
Pickling Spice leaves, ginger.
Fenugreek Has a bitter, maple-like flavor. It is primarily used in Indian
cuisine and is also used with curry, as a pickling spice and as
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.
Four-Pepper A blend of black pepper, white pepper, rose pepper and
Mix green peppercorns, coarsely crushed.
Garam Masala A Northern Indian blend of cumin, coriander, cardamom,
black peppercorn, clove, mace, bay leaf and cinnamon.
Garlic It has a strong, pungent green flavor and is one of the most
(Powder, popular seasonings used today. Garlic can be conveniently
Salt) 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 to begin with and add small amounts until it
suits your taste.
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.
Herbs De A Mediterranean blend containing oregano, savory,
Province rosemary, thyme and marjoram, use to flavor stews,
chicken, kabobs and tomato dishes and pizza.
Italian A blend of marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, sage,
Seasoning oregano and basil. Add to dip, herb breads, any tomato dish,
good in marinades and rubs.
Jamaican Jerk Ground chilies, accented heavily with thyme and allspice.
Used as a spicy flavoring to meats and vegetables.
Jamaican Allspice, caraway, black pepper, coriander, garlic, ginger,
Spice nutmeg, thyme.
Juniper Aromatic and spicy with the slight flavor of pine. It is mostly
Berries used a spice for meats in marinades, on roasts and in
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!
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
Mexican Hot A blend of spices and chili pepper, is a U.S. invention.
Chili Powder 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.
Mexican Spice A blend of cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, coriander seeds,
aniseed, cumin, chili powder.
A blend of saffron, cumin, ginger, paprika, cinnamon.
Mustard Mustard has a clean, fresh aroma and a pungent, biting
(Seed, flavor. Ground mustard enhances meat, fish, poultry, sauces,
Ground) salad dressings, cheese, and egg dishes. It must be
moistened for about ten minutes to develop its sharp, hot,
tangy flavor. The whole seed is used in pickling, boiled with
beets, cabbage, or sauerkraut, and as a garnish for salads.
A blend of cumin and cinnamon.
Nutmeg & Nutmeg has a strong cinnamon, nutty flavor used to flavor
Mace 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.
Onion (Flakes, Onions are an important flavoring in almost every country in
Powder, Salt) 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.
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.
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 in Hungarian goulash and often is used in French
dressing. To retain its red color, paprika should be kept in
Parsley Parsley has a slightly mild green taste. Parsley is available
fresh or as dried flakes. It adds both flavor and visual appeal
to salads, soup, pasta, butters, shellfish, meat, poultry,
sauces, potatoes, omelets and soft cheeses.
Poultry A mixture of ground thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary,
Seasoning 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
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
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.
Southwestern A sweet/spicy blend of cinnamon, cumin, cloves, cayenne.
Szechwan Not a true pepper but a dried berry of a prickly ash tree. It
Peppers has a woody aroma with a spicy, tingly taste. It is an
essential ingredient in Chinese 5 Spice.
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
Turbinado Also known as "Sugar in the Raw". Used in many rubs and
Sugar sauces because it can take higher temperatures without
White Pepper White pepper has a similar but more earthy flavor than black
pepper. Used in many dishes, sauces, rubs, and marinades.
Experiment to decide how much you like.
Whole Mixed A blend of whole and broken spices, herbs and seeds. In it
Pickling Spice you find cinnamon, allspice, mustard seed, coriander, bay
leaves, ginger, chilies, black pepper, mace and cardamom.
Used by some as a rub.