Title: A To Z of Spices (Part 1)
Categories: Info/tips, Spices
Yield: 1 Servings
ALLSPICE: These small dark, reddish-brown berries are so called because
their aroma and flavor resemble a combination of cinnamon, cloves and
nutmeg. Use berries whole in marinades; for boiling and pot roasting meats
and poultry; in fish dishes, pickles and chutneys. Also available ground
and excellent for flavoring soups, sauces and desserts.
ANISE: Commonly called asniseed, these small, brown oval seeds have the
sweet, pungent flavor of licorice. Also available ground. Use seeds in
stews and vegetable dishes, or sprinkle over loaves and rolls before
baking. Try ground anise for flavoring fish dishes and pastries for fruit
CARAWAY: Small brown, crescent-shaped seeds with a strong liquorice flavor
and especially delicious as a flavoring in braised cabbage and sauerkraut
recipes, breads (particularly rye), cakes and cheeses.
CARDAMOM: Small, triangular-shaped pods containing numerous small black
seeds which have a warm, highly aeromatic flavor. You can buy green or
black cardamoms although the smaller green type is more widely available.
CAYENNE: Orangey-red in color, this ground pepper is extremely hot and
pungent. Not to be confused with paprika which, although related, is mild
CHILI POWDER: Made from dried red chilies. This red powder varies in flavor
and hotness, from mild to hot. A less fiery type is found in chili
CINNAMON & CASSIA: Shavings of bark from the cinnamon tree are processed
and curled to form cinnamon sticks. Also available in ground form. Spicy,
fragrant and sweet, it is used widely in savory and sweet dishes. Cassia
(from the dried bark of the cassia tree) is similar to cinnamon, but less
delicate in flavor with a slight pungent ‘bite’.
CLOVES: These dried, unopened flower buds give a warm aroma and pungency to
foods, but should be used with care as the flavor can become overpowering.
Available in ground form. Cloves are added to soups, sauces, mulled drinks,
stewed fruits and apple pies.
CORIANDER: Available in seed and ground form. These tiny, pale brown seeds
have a mild, spicy flavor with a slight orange peel fragrance. An essential
spice in curry dishes, but also extremely good in many cake and cookie
CUMIN: Sold in seed or ground. Cumin has a warm, pungent aromatic flavor
and is used extensively in flavor curries and many Middle Eastern and
Mexican dishes. Popular in Germany for flavoring sauerkraut and pork
dishes. Use ground or whole in meat dishes and stuffed vegetables.
All spices should be stored in small airtight jars in a cool, dark place,
as heat, moisture and sunlight reduce their flavor.
From Gemini’s MASSIVE MealMaster collection at www.synapse.com/~gemini