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Herbs and Spice and Everything Nice

Since time immemorial herbs and spices have been a basic way to make taste of dishes more delightful and special. Over the time we discovered the benefits of using savory spices, for example, to prolong the food preservation, improve digestive processes and enhance its appearance, aroma and flavor.

However, despite the positive value of using these condiments, we must find the balance between use and abuse, so it will not become a habit substitute for the authentic flavor. Thereby we always have special and original menus which are tasty and nutritious every time.

erbs and Spice and Everything Nice

Herbs and Spice and Everything Nice

List of spices

Of all the spices which we can use, here are some of the best known so you know how to use them, combining flavors and doing your kitchen magic:

Anise is known since antiquity, its seeds have been traditionally used for making liqueurs. Cakes, desserts, pies and baked dishes also are enriched with this spice. Its fresh leaves give a special flavor to meat. In addition, anise helps to reduce gas formation and facilitate its removal.

Basil is extracted from its leaves taste delicious, fresh and delicate. Both fresh and dried, it nicely complements recipes where tomato takes the center stage, as it is common in the Mediterranean cuisine. A clear example of this is its presence in the famous Italian ‘pesto‘ sauce, but fresh basil is also delicious in salads.

Celery Seeds: This condiment is ideal for lovers of the highlights, especially for soups and stews, and also has diuretic and sedatives properties in fresh form. The celery salt is obtained from celery which is simply a mixture of crushed seeds and salt.

Cinnamon derived from the dried bark of cinnamon and is used primarily to make desserts and drinks. It’s unthinkable, for example, to imagine typical traditional custard or a French cinnamon toast without this essential ingredient, although many cooks use it to garnish savory dishes, especially meat and rice. In addition, historically it has aphrodisiac and digestive properties. It is used both as raw and in powder.

Cardamom: despite being next to saffron and vanilla, it is one of the most expensive spices. The dried fruit are in the recipes of many baked goods, desserts, meat dishes and some drinks and liquors. It is essential in Asian cooking, especially for being one of the ingredients of curry. Furthermore, the infusion of this spice is highly digestible.

Chive turned to the flavoring ingredient for soups and salads when the leaves are fresh, while flavored milk is used to make butter or cheese. Meanwhile, dry chive dressing is perfect for stews and soups.

Cilantro: This green is similar in appearance to parsley but has a distinct flavor, and is considered indispensable in culinary cultures like Mexican and Thai. Take advantage of its leaves, seeds and even roots to give a different touch to recipes for meat, fish, soups, as well breads and sweets.

Clove has used for its flavor. The buds, whole or ground, are present in recipes with meat, fish and seafood, and sweet dishes and drinks.

Cumin along with the bay leaves and parsley is a part of the spices which make good use of digestive processes. The cumin seeds are typical for the cuisine of the Middle East and the Mediterranean as it is the main ingredient of couscous.

Curry powder is composed of at least twenty different spices (cinnamon, cloves, ginger, red pepper, paprika). Although it is typical of the culinary tradition of India and the Far East, it has become very popular in the West for its pungent and vigorous flavor to any dish, especially for meat and rice.

Dill: herb from the parsley family, known for its link with fish as well as its ability to enhance the flavor of eggs, salads, sauces and soups. It is very common in the Nordic countries, where fish is often used. Its leaves are much richer and fresh, since they lose flavor when cooked, you should add it to the dish just before serving.

Estragon: has a very rich flavor, so you have to use it subtly. It has a distinctive touch that will feature prominently in any dish. It usually appears in sauces and dressings, and prepared with chicken, duck or liver.

Fennel: We can take advantage of it from leaves to the root, including the bulb which has a delicious aniseed flavor. It is a herb rich in potassium and calcium, and therefore very often used as a medical plant. Fennel is widely used in the East, but also is widespread in the West, where they make teas and add it into foods such as stews, soups or stews.

Ginger This condiment is common in Asian cuisine as well as in the preparation of alcohol-free beverages. It is a healer as it fights stomach nausea and dizziness. It is also present in breads, cakes and biscuits having a taste between spicy and bitter.

Laurel leaves are from small trees. It is a good ingredient for soups, broths, stews, meat and fish. Despite its good taste, we must be especially careful and remove the leaves before serving, as they are not digestible and can cause a stomach upset.

Mint: This herb is applied in the Middle East to accompany desserts or fruit, leaves and stems are used in prepared sauces for meats and salads, vegetables and some drinks. The mint tea is one of the most popular for its soothing effects.

Peppermint: its flavor and aroma is the strongest of all varieties of mint, which makes it an essential condiment for cooking soups, stews, casseroles, vegetables, stews, even snails. It has intestinal digestive properties and is a basic ingredient of green tea in Africa. It also applies to beverages, cocktails and desserts. Its strong green color and slender shape allows using it as a decoration of various dishes.

Mustard: this condiment of tangy flavor is a mixture of ground spices, along with vinegar or wine. It was already present on the tables of the Greeks and Egyptians and today there are those who cannot imagine a hamburger without its taste. But mustard will have a great taste in more elaborate dishes too.

Nutmeg: known since the days of old England and is a companion of drinks, cakes, pastries, purees and puddings, thanks to its distinctive taste. In Italy it is often used to stuff meat. Grated it provides a powder that is used in cooking: we recommend you take advantage of its flavor in a sauce. The pellets have a very special touch.

Oregano is the quintessential herb of Italian cooking, only to flavor pizza and pasta, and meats of all kinds, stuffed dishes, salads and eggs. It is one of the spices such as laurel or thyme that reduce intestinal gas. It competes with the latter in the presence in a great number of dishes.

Parsley: when fresh it is recognized for healing properties. Its aroma and flavor are unique and very recurrent in the Spanish cuisine. Its presence is common in baked dishes, meatballs, meat, sauces, and fish.

Paprika: perfect seasoning to give a flavor and a touch of color to lots of dishes from spicy food to sweets. The powder of the dried red pepper is typical for the Hungarian cuisine and present as well in the Spanish: who can imagine, for example, the Galician octopus without paprika?

Black pepper: depending on the treatment of pepper seeds there are green, white or black pepper. The latter garnishes, either in powder or grain, meat in general, given its strong and characteristic flavor. It is rich in proteins, which is supplemented with foods that it usually accompanies. For example, the pepper sauce is very common to go with a good steak.

White pepper: something softer than the black, have similar uses in meats and sauces, but often to produce pasta and batters. Its flavor is distinguished by the greater permanence in the palate.

Rosemary: its aroma has a very characteristic touch, always light and fresh that reminds the field, it goes well with wild fowl. Its unique taste is used to accompany fatty dishes such as roasts, stews, marinades… It is recognized for the benefits for proper digestion.

Saffron: usually not quite affordable due to the low supply and complicated process of collection, saffron is sold in powder or threads. It is a spice well known for being the cause of the flavor and color particularly in paellas, rice, meat and seafood.

Salt is the condiment par excellence, present in all types of dishes and many kinds of mixed spices. It contributes to the preservation of food, both in appearance and taste. You can find refined and table salt, the latter widely used for baked dishes.

Thyme: its aromatic properties found its use in broths, vegetables, meats, stuffings and soups, especially tomato recipes. It has always been the spice well known for its ability to retain nutrients from foods to which it is seasoned.

Vanilla: Its complicated collection raises its cost. Vanilla is used to sweeten all kinds of desserts, creams, ice creams, puddings, pies, provided it is obtained naturally, for therein there lays the key to its real good flavor.

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