Herbs and spices have been used for thousands of years to add flavor and nutrition to food, as well as for their medicinal properties. The use of herbs and spices dates back to ancient civilizations, where they were used to preserve food and add flavor to dishes. In ancient Egypt, herbs and spices were used in the mummification process and as offerings to the gods. In ancient Greece, herbs and spices were used to add flavor to food and as remedies for various ailments. In the Middle Ages, spices were highly prized and were often used as a form of currency. They were also used to mask the taste of spoiled or rancid food. Today, herbs and spices continue to be an important part of cooking and medicine around the world.
Having the herb and spices you need for a particular dish already measured and mixed can save lots of time, not to mention rummaging through the cupboards, trying to find the right spices, while trying to get dinner started. After you have tried some of our signature blends, mix up some of your own, using your favorite combinations. We are sure you will find many more uses than those listed in the chart below. Start with the suggested examples uses listed for each herb and spice. And while you are at it, keep these in mind for gifts. Just put them in a pretty jar and attach a few recipes suggestions with a ribbon.
- Herbs and Spices Signature Seasoning Recipe Blends
|Allspice||Spice: whole or ground.||Small brown berry, flavor resembles a combination cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. Native to West India.||Sausages, braised meats, poached fish, cooked fruits, puddings, pies, and relishes.|
|Achiote (Annatto)||Spice: Whole, ground or paste.||It is the yellow coloring in margarine but commonly used in Latin American foods, Caribbean, and Filipino cuisines.||Used to color soups, stews, sauces, marinades, and spice rubs.|
|Anise||Spice: whole or ground. |
Herb: leaf, fresh or dried.
|Licorice flavor. Native to Spain, China, and Syria.||Cookies, pastries, and bread.|
|Basil||Herb: leaf, fresh or dried.||Aromatic green leaf. Member of mint family.||Tomato dishes, pesto, egg dished, salads, marinades, fish, and compound butters.|
|Bay Leaf||Herb: whole leaf.||Stiff dark green, oblong leaf with a pungent aroma reminiscent of sassafras. Comes from the Laurel tree.||Stocks, sauces, soup, stews, and braised meats.|
|Bouquet Garni||Flavoring mix.||A personal selection of herbs, vegetables and occasionally spices, often tied with a string.||Stocks, soups, and sauces.|
|Caraway||Spice: whole seed.||Dark brown curved seed. Grown in Northern Europe.||Rye bread, cabbage, sauerkraut, and Eastern European Cuisine.|
|Cardamom||Spice: whole pod or ground seed.||Tiny brown seeds, white or green pods. Sweet, aromatic, and expensive. Native of India and Guatemala.||Pickling, Danish pastries, and curries.|
|Cayenne||Spice: ground, seed.||Very powerful, ground hot red pepper. Native of French Guiana.||Soups, sauces, fish, and eggs.|
|Celery Seed||Spice: whole seed or ground.||Tiny brown seed with strong celery flavor. Too much can create a “hot” spice effect.||Salads, dressings, pickling, tomato dishes, and marinades.|
|Chervil||Herb: leaf, fresh or dried.||Small, delicate, green leaf. Mild flavor of parsley and tarragon.||Soups, salads, sauces, egg, dishes, chicken, fish, and dressing.|
|Chili Powder||Spice: ground, blend.||Blend of ground cumin, chili pepper, oregano, allspice. Can be mild or hot.||Chili, stews, sauces, and ground meats.|
|Chives||Herb: fresh, dried, frozen.||Fine, hollow, green top of a very small onion.||Salads, egg and cheese dishes, fish soups, and sauces.|
|Cilantro||Herb: leaf, dried or fresh.||Light green aromatic leaf. Shaped like flat parsley but much more pungent flavor. Leaf from coriander seed.||Salads, salsa, sauces, soup, eggs, and dressings.|
|Cinnamon||Spice: stick or ground.||Reddish brown aromatic bark from cinnamon or cassia tree. Native of East India.||Preserves, stewed fruits, breads, pastries, desserts, ham, and hot beverages.|
|Clove||Spice: whole or ground.||Dried flower bud of tropical clove tree. Pungent, sweet in flavor. Native of Indonesia.||Whole: Marinades, stocks, sauces, braised meats, hams, and pickling. Ground: pastries, fruits and cakes.|
|Coriander||Spice: whole or ground.||Round light-brown seed of cilantro leaf with a slightly aromatic flavor. Native to Argentina and Morocco.||Pickling, sausages, stocks, pork, curry, gingerbread, salsa, and dressings.|
|Cumin||Spice: whole or ground seed.||Small seed resembling caraway, but lighter in color. Grown in Mexico and Syria.||Chili and curry powder blends, sausages, salsa, egg & cheese, curry dishes, vegetables, soups, sauces, fish, meat, and rice.|
|Curry||Spice: ground, powder or paste.||Mixture of up to 20 spices including turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, clove, and cinnamon. Peppery, yellow in color. Can vary from mild to very hot.||Curry dishes, vegetables, soups, sauces, fish, meat, and rice.|
|Dill||Herb: Leaves, fresh or dried. |
Spice: Whole seed.
|Herbs and seed with “dill pickle” flavor. Seed more pungent than herb.||Seed: pickling, soups, sauerkraut, marinade. Herb: salads, soups, fish & shellfish, vegetables, sauces, and vinegar.|
|Fennel||Spice: whole seed.||Greenish brown seed, similar in flavor to anise. Grown in South America, Asia, and Africa.||Sausages, tomato sauces, marinades, fish, and pickling.|
|Fine Herbs||Herb blend.||Generally a bouquet blend of three or more finely chopped herbs possibly including chives, tarragon, parsley, basil, savory, etc. Used to enhance various dishes.||Herb sauce, compound butters, broiled meats, fish, and cold sauces.|
|Garlic||Fresh, whole bulb. |
Dried bulb: Granulated, powdered, or mixed with salt.
|Strong aromatic member of onion family.||Widely used.|
|Ginger||Spice: fresh whole, dried powder, candied crystallized, or pickled.||Light brown knobby root from tropical plant.||Baked goods, desserts, fruits, curry dishes, pickling, and chutney. Chinese, Caribbean, and Japanese cuisine.|
|Juniper Berry||Spice: whole.||Slightly soft, purple berry. “Piney” flavor. Principle flavor of gin.||Marinades, game dishes, and sauerkraut.|
|Mace||Spice: whole “blade” or ground.||Made from orange red outer covering of nutmeg. Aromatic, similar to nutmeg in flavor but milder.||Baked goods, desserts, fruit, sausages, fish, vegetables, and preserves.|
|Marjoram||Herb: dried leaf.||Gray green herb from mint family. Similar to oregano but milder.||Beef, veal, lamb, sausage, pates, poultry, stews, soups, vegetables, salads, and sauces.|
|Mint||Herb: leaf, fresh or dried.||Aromatic herb with cool flavor. Spearmint and peppermint are most common.||Lamb, fruits, tea, fruit beverages, peas, carrots, potatoes, jellies, soups, and sauces.|
|Mirepoix||Flavoring mix.||Mixture of aromatic vegetables including onion, celery, carrot, leek, and garlic.||Stocks, sauces, soups, and roasts.|
|Mustard Seed||Spice: whole and ground seed.||Very pungent white, yellow or brown seed.||Prepared mustard, pickling, sauces, and salsa.|
|Nasturtium||Leaf and seed.||Plant with yellow, orange, and red flowers and sharp casting leaves and seeds with pungent odor.||Salads, pickling, and mustard.|
|Nutmeg||Spice: whole or ground.||Sweet, aromatic kernels of nutmeg fruit. Grown in Netherlands, East and West Indies.||Baked goods, pies, cream sauces, soups, chicken, veal, vegetables, desserts, and breads.|
|Oregano||Herb: leaf or ground, fresh or dried.||Pungent herb, similar to marjoram, but stronger. Native to Italy and Mexico. Also grown domestically.||Italian & Mexican dishes, tomato sauces, soups, sauces, stews, meats, salads, and marinades.|
|Paprika||Spice: ground.||Ground from dried sweet, red pepper.||Fish, seafood, meats, salads, sauces, dressings, and garnish.|
|Parsley||Herb: fresh leaf in bunches, dried chopped leaf.||Green leaf, curly or flat, with delicate sweet flavor. Excellent source of vitamin C.||Garnish, fried, stews, sauces, salads, vegetables, and potatoes.|
black, white, or green
|Spice: whole, cracked, medium or fine ground. |
Black: pungent, aromatic.
White: What is left when black outer casing is removed, milder, adds sharp tang to all foods.
Green: Packed in mild brine.
|Small hard berry.||Widely used|
|Poppy Seeds||Spice: whole.||Tiny blue black seeds with crunchy nut like flavor. It is a product of the opium poppy, but does not contain opium.||Breads, rolls, pastry, fillings, cookies, cakes, salsa, and dressings.|
|Rosemary||Herb: whole leaf, fresh or dried.||Very aromatic light green leaf resembling pine needles. Healthy and strong, even in cold weather.||Lamb, fish, beef, sauces, soups, stews, salads, and marinades.|
|Sachet Bag||Spice mix.||Various spices tied in a small cheesecloth sack.||Braised meats, game, stews, pickling, soups, and sauces.|
|Saffron||Whole “threads.”||Only the stigmas from the saffron crocus are used. Very expensive. Gives bright yellow color to foods with a mild distinctive flavor.||Baked goods, rice, potatoes, soups, sauces, curry, and meats.|
|Sage||Herb: whole, rubbed, or ground leaf, fresh or dried.||Pungent gray green herb with fuzzy oblong leaves.||Stuffing, meat, poultry, soups, stews, salads, and fish.|
|Savory||Herb: fresh or dried leaf.||Fragrant herb of mint family. Summer crop preferred to Winter crop.||Salads, eggs, vegetables, stuffing, soups, meats, fish, and sauces.|
|Sesame||Herb: whole (hulled or unhealed) seeds.||Small yellowish seed with high oil content and nutty taste. Imported from Asia, East and Central America.||Bread & roll garnish, salads, and oriental candy.|
|Tarragon||Herb: fresh, dried, pickled leaf.||Delicate green herb with small oblong leaves. Flavor is similar to mint and licorice.||Béarnaise sauce, vinegar, chicken, fish, salads, dressings, and eggs.|
|Thyme||Herb: fresh or dried leaf, crushed or ground.||Tiny brownish green leaf, very aromatic.||Soups, chowders, stocks, sauces, meats, poultry, and salad dressing.|
|Turmeric||Spice: ground.||Intense yellow root of ginger family. Mild but peppery flavor.||Curry powder, pickles, relish, salads, eggs, rice, and chow-chow.|