Herbs and spices are essential elements in many cooking recipes. They are the key element to give a unique flavor to the dish. An expert’s house, many are never missing. These are, in experts’ opinion, the 10 spices that will give a special touch to your dishes. People will not say that they are essential in the kitchen because, in the end, it comes down to a matter of taste. But if they are ingredients capable of changing the personality of a recipe and that is why it is worth knowing and taking them into account.
Today it is the spices that concern Flavours of the World. They are not all that is, but they are all that is.
1. Chilli Pepper
Fresh or dry, the chili pepper adds a spicy point to the recipes of which it is part. There are different varieties of chili, each with a spicy power and different flavor nuances. If you have a very good palate, you cook almost every day and you love spicy, having several varieties in your kitchen is not crazy.
In Spain some of the most common are dried cayenne chilies, pickled Ibarra / piparrak or Basque chilies) and canned Riojan chili peppers. The first ones are great for stews, the second ones for salads and skewers or to accompany legume dishes, and the third ones for preparing delicious sandwiches of roasted chorizo with fried marinated loin, among many other preparations.
Having a cayenne pepper plant is a good idea. It is decorative, it is easy to maintain and it will give a special touch to your dishes fresh.
2. Smoked Paprika; Sweet, Spicy, And Tangy
There are different types of paprika but the most favorite is the La Vera smoked one. It is a matter of taste. Within the peppers, different types are depending on the kind of pepper that has been used to make it: sweet, hot, or sour.
Most people usually make their mix of sweet and spicy smoked paprika depending on the recipe in which they are going to use it. Soups, stews, and legume dishes are part of the preparations in which they often use these spices.
3. Mustard Seeds
It is still difficult to find this spice in seed form. Much easier is to buy it in the form of a sauce or dressing; There are a wide variety of commercial brands of different qualities on the market, some of them made with other ingredients that give it a unique personality, such as orange or honey. If you like these types of sauces, experts encourage you to include fresh mustard seeds in your spice rack with the rest of your spices. In addition to preparing your dressings, dressings, and sauces, you will know how to take advantage of it in stews and marinades, among other dishes.
Nutmeg is an essential spice. People do not use it too much but there are preparations, such as béchamel or potato cake, that they cannot conceive without its unique touch of flavor. It is the encouragement you to try it if you have not already done so, always in moderation so that its personality does not ruin any recipe.
5. Star Anise
Star anise is also a very rich species, a precious element that, although it is not eaten directly, adds a lot of flavor to the recipes of which it is part. It is widely used in Asian cuisine and also to add an aniseed flavor to desserts such as cooked pears or roasted peaches. Go ahead and include it in your soups, but remember that it adds a lot of flavors. You should start with one unit until you have good control of the flavor contribution it provides.
It is a spice with a lot of personalities. A single clove gives great power of aroma and flavor to a dish. It’s hard to be unbiased with this spice; usually either you love it or you can’t stand it. It is used in many dishes of traditional gastronomy such as some pickles.
7. Pepper; Black, White, Pink, Green, and Sichuan
It is essential in many kitchens of one type or another if not all of them. Pepper is one of the all-terrain spices that add a unique touch to countless dishes. Black pepper and white pepper are the most common. Green pepper had its peak a few years ago but it still has its audience, especially for making the famous sauce for meat and fish. Pink pepper is gaining followers for both savory dishes and desserts. And Sichuan pepper is almost a newcomer to our western pantries, although it is surely here to stay.
What would a good part of our traditional pastries be without that unique and special touch of cinnamon? This highly valued spice adds flavor and aroma to dishes with as much history as rice pudding or custard. Ancestral flavors of our grandmother’s thanks to a species brought from distant lands. Although it can be found both as a branch (the name given to pieces of cinnamon bark ready to be used in the kitchen) and as a powder, a good idea is to grind the cinnamon stick yourself. Currently, they sell very good graters that will make the task easier and allow you to enjoy a more intense aroma thanks to the freshly ground.
Another essential spice for a multitude of traditional and current dishes, especially desserts. If you like to innovate in the kitchen or prepare classic desserts such as vanilla custard, you cannot miss having some vanilla bean at home. Its extract or paste versions are also good options for cooking.
The red gold of La Mancha is a worldwide appreciated spice. It is not as expensive as it looks, because very little is needed to give the precise touch of flavor and aroma to a dish. Forget about dyes and substitutes that are worthless in the kitchen and treat you to really good saffron. With rice, in fish soups in chicken stews. The flavours of the world recipes that you can prepare with this species are many and varied from both classic and avant-garde cuisine.