Step up your spice game and cook like a professional chef! Not only do spices enhance flavor, but they also deeply affect the color and appearance of a dish. If you’ve ever felt confused about spice usage, look no further. Let’s deep dive into key spices to add to your cabinet.
Why are Spices So Important?
Adding spices to your food opens up a whole new world of flavor. With the proper seasoning, your meal can go from 0 to 100 with just a couple more steps. Understanding the flavor profile of spices and how they work together is worth the added time to ensure your meal is an experience, rather than just sustenance. Cooking is an art form, which is why there are so many different ways to season your food.
Most spices are made from all natural ingredients. They can be derived from plants, roots, leaves, bark, flowers, fruits, seeds, and more. This makes spices very healthy to consume and will not interfere with most dietary restrictions.
Key Cooking Spices
With the plethora of spices to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know where to start, especially for beginner cooks. However, there are a couple of household spices, not including salt and pepper, that every kitchen should have. These include garlic powder, oregano, cinnamon, and cumin. While this selection depends on each person’s personal preference of seasoning, the idea still stands true.
Garlic Powder is one of the most used spices in most people’s cabinets. Its adaptability allows it to be paired well with many other different spices and can be used in lots of savory dishes. Garlic has many added benefits as to why people should be consuming it, other than its great taste. It can regulate high blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and boost the immune system. Garlic powder helps strengthen the immune system and reduces the risk of colds and infections. The powder is created by drying and finely grounding dried garlic cloves.
Fun Fact: Garlic powder has early origins dating all the way back to ancient civilizations, like Egypt, where the powder was used for healing and culinary purposes.
Oregano has been a household staple for years because of its health benefits and great flavor added to meals. It can be used in anything, but it’s mostly used in salsa, tacos, and meat. The health benefits of oregano are numerous, ranging from its anti-inflammatory properties to its rich antioxidant benefits. It can also help to ward off coughs and aids in digestion. Oregano originated in the Mediterranean and remains a staple there today.
Fun fact: The word oregano actually means mountain joy, because it was used in Greek and Roman weddings to ward off sadness.
Cinnamon is a very common spice, as it can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. Because of its versatile nature and taste, it can be used in deserts and fruits, or in savory meals, like curries and meat. Cinnamon is made from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum verum tree. It is native to South Asia, specifically Sri Lanka, India, and Myanmar and was used by these cultures for its fragrant aroma, ability to amplify sweetness and for its medicinal properties. Cinnamon helps with digestion, reducing inflammation, protecting against heart disease, and boasts a healthy dose of antioxidants.
Fun fact: Cinnamon has historically been used for its warming properties.
Cumin is used in many different savory dishes around the world because of its warm flavor. It pairs well with stews, curries, soups and is also used to season vegetables and meat. Along with these benefits, cumin is also used for indigestion, inflammation, high cholesterol, and many more common health issues. Cumin originated from the Middle East, where it has been used for centuries upon centuries for its multitude of medicinal properties and was created from the dried seed of the cuminum cyminum plant.
Fun fact: Cumin is a member of the Parsley family.
What can I create with these spices?
There are a lot of different ways to blend spices to create different flavorings of seasoning, so often, it depends on how you prefer your meals to taste. If you want something stronger and spicier, you should add red pepper and cayenne flakes. For something more savory, you should add coriander, onion, garlic, and paprika. For something on the sweeter side, add cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and cardamom. As you can see, there are so many different combinations that can be crafted to create your perfect meal.
Where can I buy these spices?
Ward’s sells all of these spices and more, even in bulk! Not only is it easy to get your hands on these certain products, but you can get just enough to ensure you won’t be running out any time soon.
Here at Ward’s, we believe cooking is all about having the right ingredients at the right place, which is why we sell these items in bulk and make it as easy as possible for our customers to acquire them. Head on over to Ward’s and pick up any spice you need in just a matter of minutes!