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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
ALLSPICE
Berries of the allspice tree Pimenta dioica
Like a mix of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon
Freshly ground
Virtually anything, from salads to desserts
ANISE
Seeds of the anise plant Pimpinella anisum
Sweet, similar to licorice
Dried seeds
As flavoring in cookies, candies and pastries; also in poultry dishes
BASIL
Leaves and stems of the basil plant Ocimum basilicum vars
Pungent, somewhat sweet
Fresh
Tomato dishes, with eggplant, for pesto, in Thai and Vietnamese foods, addition to salads and many cooked vegetables
BAY
Leaves of the sweet bay tree Laurus nobilis
Mild
Dried
In soups, stews and tomato sauces, and in shellfish boils. Remove leaf before serving
BLACK PEPPER
Berries of the pepper tree Piper nigrum. Not related to the species of plants that include bell or other types of peppers.
Pungent, somewhat hot
Dried, freshly ground
As condiment, in any dish you wish to make mildly hot
Herb or Spice
Source
Flavor
Best Used
Cooking Use
BORAGE
Leaves and flowers of the borage plant Borago officinalis
Mild
Fresh
Flowers as garnish or in salads; leaves in salads or in herbal tea mixtures. Either can be candied.
CAPERS
Unopened flower buds from the caperbush Capparis spinosa
Pungent
Pickled in brine
In sauces, as a garnish, and as a flavoring when pickling other foods
CARAWAY
Seeds of the caraway plant Carum carvi
Sweet, nutty
Whole
Hungarian goulash, cookies and cakes, apple sauce, herbal vinegars
CARDAMOM
Seeds from the cardamom tree Elettaria cardamomum, a member of the ginger family
Sweetly spicy
Whole or ground
Stews, curries. Use sparingly, as it has a strong taste.
CAYENNE PEPPER
Ground dried fruit or seeds of the cayenne pepper plant Capiscum annum
Fiery hot
Dried and ground or fresh and finely chopped
Use sparingly -- it's very hot -- in anything you want to taste hot. Warning: as in all hot peppers, the seeds are extremely hot, so wash your hands thoroughly after handling.
CELERY SEED
Seeds of the celery plant Apium graveolens
Strong, pungent celery flavor
Dried whole seed
As a replacement for celery stalks in cooking; as a flavoring in tomato juice, sauces and soups
CHERVIL
Leaves and stems of the chervil plant Anthriscus cerefolium
Light, similar to parsley
Fresh or frozen
Flavoring in soups, casseroles, salads, and in omelettes.
Herb or Spice
Source
Flavor
Best Used
Cooking Use
CHILE POWDER
Dried, ground chili peppers Capiscum annum
Spicy, hot (heat depends on variety of chili pepper used)
Ground
In chili or other spicy dishes
CHIVES
Leaves of the chive plant, a member of the Allium family
Sharp, onion or garlic flavor
Fresh; frozen if fresh not available
Garnish, blended with soft cheeses, added to salads
CILANTRO
Leaves of the coriander plant Coriandrum sativum
Spicy, sweet or hot
Fresh
In Middle Eastern, southeast Asian, Chines, Latin American and Spanish cuisines; common ingredient in Mexican salsas.
CINNAMON
Dried bark of the cinnamon tree Cinnamomum zeylanicum
Pungently sweet
As dried sticks or ground powder
In sweet dishes or in curries and stews
CLOVES
Dried flower bud of the clove tree Syzygium aromaticum
Sweet or bittersweet
Dried and ground
Add to sweet dishes or as a contrast in stews and curries.
CORIANDER
Seeds of the coriander plant Coriandrum sativum
Spicy, sweet or hot
Ground or whole
In cakes, cookies, breads, as a pickling spice or in curry mixtures
Herb or Spice
Source
Flavor
Best Used
Cooking Use
CUMIN
Seed of the cumin plant Cuminum cyminum
Peppery
Whole or ground
Soups, stews, sauces. Use sparingly.
CURRY POWDER
Combination of several ground spices
Hot
Sparingly -- taste the dish in which you're using to gauge heat level
Curries
HERBS:
A-C
D-N
O-Z
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