Top 10 Spices

15 Sep

I’m borrowing today’s topic from Lindsay over at the Happy Herbivore.

I am an avid spice user. I like food with lots of flavor and heat, and I’m never shy about experimenting. Defining a spice as anything that lives in one of those shakers in my pantry, here are my top 10, more or less in order:

1. Black pepper. We have a bond.

2. Crushed red pepper. I love to throw this on plain veggies, but it’s especially good on anything Italian or tomato-y.

3. Cinnamon. I rarely bake anything without it.

4. Cumin. It’s the perfect complement to so many cuisines: Indian, Mexican, Thai, etc. Add some to beans and salad dressings for something special.

5. Cayenne pepper. As I said, I love spicy food.

6. Basil. It’s my favorite dried herb. It jazzes up pasta dishes and veggies.

7. Chipotle powder. It can completely change the flavor of a bland dish and goes great with anything Mexican or Southwestern.

8. Curry powder. It’s the chipotle of Indian food. I like the red stuff best in a shaker.

9. Ginger. The fresh stuff is great, but my laziness usually wins out. I love ginger on stir-fried veggies.

10. Rosemary. I don’t use it a ton, but when it’s the right thing to add, nothing can beat it. It is delicious on roasted potatoes.

What are your favorite and most frequently used spices?

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One Response to “Top 10 Spices”

  1. Rose September 15, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    Great list! Herbs and spices are really such an essential part of culinary life!

    I love all the ones you listed, but the ones that I use most on a daily basis are red pepper flakes, cumin, oregano, and fresh thyme (can’t stand the dried stuff for some reason), cayenne, and turmeric….not all at once of course.

    I lurve cinnamon too, but my other half doesn’t, so it doesn’t make it out of the cupboard very often. 😦

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