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HERBS & SPICES:
A-C
D-N
O-Z
Click on the name for a picture.
Herb or Spice
Source
Flavor
Best Used
Cooking Use
OREGANO
Leaves of the oregano plant Origanum vulgare
Similar to marjoram, but not as sweet
Fresh or dried
In Italian dishes, in chili, with vegetables, soups
PAPRIKA
Fruit from a sweet pepper plant Capiscum annum
Sweet to hot, somewhat bitter
Dried and ground
In Hungarian dishes including goulash, in soups, in potato or egg salad
PARSLEY
Leaves of the parsley plant Petroselinum crispum
Mildly peppery
Fresh; dried a very poor substitute
As a garnish, in sauces, soups and salads
POPPY SEED
Seeds from the poppy flower Papaver somniferum
Nutty
Dried, whole
In muffins and cakes, salad dressings.
ROSEMARY
Leaves of the rosemary plant Rosmarinus officinalis
Very aromatic, faintly lemony and piney
Fresh or dried
In meat (especially lamb) or fish dishes and sauces
SAFFRON
Dried stigmas and upper styles of the saffron crocus Crocus sativus
Pungent, aromatic
Dried
Flavoring and coloring in rice, stews, curries and fish. This is the world's most expensive spice
Herb or Spice
Source
Flavor
Best Used
Cooking Use
SAGE
Leaves of the sage plant Salvia officinalis
Musty, slightly bitter
Fresh or dried
Beef, fish dishes, stews, stuffings; common sausage flavoring
SALT
Salt mines, seawater
Salty
Granular
Baking, preserving, curing, as a condiment
SESAME SEED
Seeds of the sesame plant Sesamum indicum
Nutty
Whole
In breads and cookies, in salad dressings
STAR ANISE
Star-shaped fruit of a tree native to China Illicium verum
Very similar to anise
Whole
In herbal tea mixtures, in chicken or casserole dishes, or use as you would anise
SUMMER SAVORY
Leaves of the summer savory plant Satureja hortensis
Cross between thyme and mint, a bit milder than winter savory
Fresh or dried
Pates, soups, meat, fish and bean dishes. Use sparingly due to strong taste.
Herb or Spice
Source
Flavor
Best Used
Cooking Use
TARRAGON
Leaves of the French tarragon plant Artemisia dracunculus cv. 'Sativa'
Anise-like
Fresh or frozen. Russian tarragon is not considered of culinary value.
In tartar sauce, as flavoring for cream sauces, in egg dishes and seafood salads
THYME
Leaves of the thyme plant Thymus vulgaris
Minty, lemony
Fresh or dried
In omelettes, stews, bland soups, and stuffing for chicken, or as flavoring for green salads and cooked vegetables
TURMERIC
Root of the turmeric plant Curcuma domestica, a tropical plant related to ginger
Pungent, somewhat bitter
Dried and ground
Curries, East Indian recipes. This is also the primary ingredient in American-style ("ballpark") mustard.
VANILLA
Beans from the vanilla orchid Vanilla planifolia
Sweet, highly aromatic
Remove seeds from whole, dried beans; or, in extract
With coffee, in desserts including ice cream, puddings and cakes
WHITE PEPPER
Peeled and dried green peppercorns from the pepper tree, Piper nigrum
Similar to black peppercorn, but milder
Freshly ground
As a condiment
WINTER SAVORY
Leaves of the winter savory plant Satureja montana
Combination of thyme and mint
Dried or fresh
Pates, soups, meat, fish and bean dishes. Use sparingly due to strong taste.
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