Uses in Cooking



Combinations with other Spices

History and fun facts

My Favorite Use


Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg

Used whole and ground

Common as a baking spice in pies, cakes and puddings


Though allspice berry has fragrances of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg, it is its own spice

Apple Nut Tart with vanilla cinnamon cream


Slight sweet licorice

Used as a seed in baking cookies, cakes and breads

Caraway seed

From an annual plant in the parsley family; used to make anisette, a sweet liqueur

Spicy hot fruit

Caraway Seed

Nutty, delicate dill flavor

Cheese, bread, vegetables

Cumin, anise

In the parsley family; Candy coated seeds are called comfits; good to mask alcoholic breath

Pork roast with sauerkraut, caramelized onions and potatoes




Spicy sweet

Use freshly ground to give more flavor in stews and curries

The whole pod can be ground as it will disintegrate during cooking

Use conservatively as it can overpower the dish


A member of the ginger family, native to India; seeds are inside a pod, about 20/pod

Moroccan-Spiced Crab Cakes with Cilantro Orange Dressing


Marinated Beef Stew

Cayenne pepper

Hot pungent

Use dried or ground to add heat to any dish to add heat to any dish especially chili, a classic tomato, bean and meat stew


Curry, other peppers, chili powder

There are thousands of varieties of capsicum, cayenne chile, being one of them; originating most likely in Texas; it is most popular in the ground form (powder) and often has several other peppers blended in for more flavor

Beef Chili

Celery seed

Strong celery flavor

Used whole in brines, salads, soups, vegetables and breads; it is often blended with table salt; too much can create a hot spice effect


Seed of wild celery, not the celery we eat

Creamy Potato Salad


Chili Pepper

Different species have different heat quotients ranging from mild to blistering hot

Used dried or ground in chili powder, cayenne, Tabasco sauce,

and dry rubs

Use with any herb or spice

A member of the capsicum genus; originated in America; over 200 varieties; the heat is largely in the seeds and membranes with the smaller chiles usually being hotter. Always use gloves when seeding to avoid burning skin and eyes

Western Dry Rub



Used as sticks or ground; in drinks, stews, baked goods, custards, fruit dishes

Studies are showing that Cinnamon has many health benefits; it may improve blood glucose and cholesterol levels

Often mixed with sugar; allspice, cloves, nutmeg

Is the inner bark of a tropical evergreen tree; two kinds: cassia which is pungently sweet and Ceylon being lighter colored and mild; cassia is native to China; mentioned in the bible as an anointing oil; once used in love potions

½ teaspoon cinnamon to 1 cup fresh or frozen whipped cream

Sprinkle cinnamon on toast with a little sugar, add to tea coffee, hot chocolate, sprinkle on fruit or cereal


Cinnamon cream cheese frosting


Are among the most pungent

Ground or whole, can be used in sweet or savory dishes

Can be used as a great breath freshener

Nutmeg, cinnamon

Dried, unopened flower bud of a beautiful tropical evergreen tree and when in bloom are breath-takingly lovely with each tree carrying 30,000 to 50,000 buds

Fruit chutney


A mixture of sage, lemon peel, caraway and cumin

Used for generations in candies know as comfits; mulled wine, baked goods, curry, and soups

Cumin, sage, caraway

The small seed produced from the same plant that produces the green leaves known as cilantro

Valencia & Ginger Carrot Soup



What do you think? Please tell me. Maybe a little nutty, peppery, wonderful

Use seed or ground into powder for soups and stews, meats and vegetables, curry, dry rubs


In Germany the bride and groom carried cumin, dill and salt in their pockets during the marriage ceremony to ensure faithfulness, originated in Egypt; is the dried fruit of a plant in the parsley family

Memphis Dry rub for meats , fish and poultry


Cilantro Lime Rice Salad


Combination of many herbs and spices, ranging from mild to hot

There is a curry leaf used as an herb but most common is the powder that is most widely used in curry dishes

Store for only 2 months as it loses its pungency quickly

A variety of herbs and spices

From the Indian word kari, meaning sauce, in the powder form it is a blend of up to 20 herbs and spices such as cumin, fennel, cinnamon, clove, chiles, red and black pepper and turmeric which gives it the yellow color

Chicken Curry


Curried Turkey and Rice Salad


Carrot Pachadi





Sweeter version of anise

Seeds used in pasta, sauces, salads and vinaigrettes

The seed is from a different plant than the one that produces fennel bulb

Cumin, curry or tarragon

Believed to stop hiccups, seed of a perennial herb of the parsley family, rich in vitamin A


Add to soups, meats or any Italian dish for an anise flavor


See full size image

Pungent and peppery

The cloves of the bulb are encased in a parchment-like membrane that is removed. Use raw, dried, roasted, dehydrated, and powder in rubs, sauces, pesto, meats, seafood, vegetables and breads

Just about any herb or spice

Medicinal properties and many health benefits such as a powerful natural antibiotic

Roasted garlic for bread, pasta or mashed potatoes


Peppery and slightly sweet

Use the root fresh in baked dishes, soups and vegetables ground ginger is used in rubs, and desserts

Pickled ginger is used as a garnish

Garlic, nutmeg, cloves

Was considered a rich manŐs spice as it was often worth its weight in gold; the fresh form and the dried ground form are very different and do not substitute for one another

Asian Orange and Ginger Sauce

Gingerbread cake with Blueberry Sauce


Stronger version of nutmeg with slight hints of pine and citrus

Used to flavor sweet and savory dishes

Allspice, nutmeg

the bright red membrane covering the nutmeg seed and is dried and ground

Caramelized Pumpkin and Ginger Trifle



Use seeds or ground powder in sauces, meats, and vegetables;

The popular prepared mustard has many flavors and combinations and the leaves are used as greens steamed or sautŽed


Mustard mixing became an art in French cooking leading to a large variety of sauces such as truffle mustard, caper mustard and hot mustard

Mustard Potato Salad;

Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Bourbon rub


Beef Tenderloin Bruschetta with Mango and Butter




Spicy and sweet

Use freshly grated for best flavor in savory and sweet dishes, especially baked cream and eggs

Cinnamon, allspice, cloves, pepper

Seed from the nutmeg tree, a tropical evergreen with beautiful fruit

Grate fresh nutmeg over ice cream


Vegetable Frittata







Black or White Pepper

See full size image


Use whole or freshly ground peppercorns in a wide array of dishes

Used widely with many other spices

A thousand years ago peppercorns were so valuable that they were used in trading as a substitute for money; believed to be a favorite spice in India over 4,000 years ago; the white berries are fully ripe while the black are picked before they are ripe

Peppercorn sauce

Poppy seeds

Nutlike and very high in oil

Used as seeds in sweet baked dishes, vegetables, and fish

Nutmeg, cinnamon

The fluid present in the plant is known as opium. When the seed is harvested the fluid in the bud has completely dried leaving the seeds totally narcotic free. It takes 900,000 of the tiny seeds to make a pound.

Poppy seed crepes with cream cheese and apricot sauce


Some say like the sea and some say pungent with hints of honey; you will have to be the judge

While it is marketed in the powdered form it is best to use the threads for the best flavor.


It takes the stigmas from 75,000 Crocus sativus blossoms to make one single pound when dried, making it the WorldŐs most costly spice. But a little goes a long way. Was also used to dye clothes a deep yellow

Spanish Paella

Sesame seed

Delicate almonds when baked

Seeds used in baking, to top casseroles, stirred into dough, for salads and dressing

Versatile enough to be used with many spices and herbs

One of the worldŐs oldest spice and oil seed crops.

Middle Eastern Meatballs with Toasted Sesame seeds


Bitter and pungent

Always used in the powder form

One of the ingredients in curry powder

The root of a tropical plant in the same family as the ginger. Used to give mustard its yellow color

Beef Burgers with Turmeric Raisins & Onions



Slightly bitter but enhances food

Used to flavor desserts, drinks, and chocolate

Always buy Mexican vanilla from a reliable source, it could contain coumarin which has been banned by the FDA.

Madagascar vanilla has the richest flavor

Use pure vanilla extract since it is regulated to contain 13.35 ounces of vanilla/gallon

Imitation is entirely from artificial flavorings

After scraping the seeds from the pod, add the remaining pod to a jar of sugar, use the sugar to sweeten pies, drinks and cookies.

Delicious with cinnamon and/or ginger

Vanilla is from the pod of a celadon-colored orchid, the only orchid that bears anything edible. At one time it was considered an aphrodisiac and reserved for royalty. The blossom opens only one day a year, so it must be hand pollinated, thus the reason it is so expensive. The flavor depends greatly on where it is grown

Vanilla Bean Shortbread cookies

á       All spices should be stored in a cool dark place for no more than 6 months

á       Sesame and poppy seeds should be refrigerated or frozen for no longer than 3 months

á       Spices can be refrigerated or even frozen

á       Most spices have great health benefits ranging protecting against certain chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease to containing disease fighting antioxidants