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?


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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