There are plenty of reasons to keep your kitchen well-stocked in spices, ranging from their antibacterial and antiviral properties to the excellent flavors they bring to even the simplest dishes. However, with so many different varieties and choices, it can be difficult to choose which seasonings you should buy. Fortunately, by making a few carefully-considered selections, you can turn every recipe you make into a culinary experience. Read on to learn about the 15 best spices to buy.
- Ground Allspice-Made from the berry of a Caribbean evergreen tree, this seasoning is as universal as its name suggests. Use it in marinades, stews, preserves, pies, barbecue sauce, jerk chicken, ketchups and baked goods.
- Basil- Basil is a staple in Italian cooking and pairs well with thyme, garlic, oregano, lemon and tomato sauce. While fresh basil is preferable, the ground spice still makes a pleasant addition to a variety of rice, potato, and egg-based dishes.
- Bay Leaves-Aromatic and woodsy, bay leaves are the perfect ingredient to add to stews, soups and marinades.
- Black Peppercorn- Salt and pepper are kitchen staples, but fresh-ground peppercorns bring even the simplest uses to another level.
- Cayenne Pepper-While likely most familiar to fans of Cajun and Southern dishes, this hot ingredient is also used in Indian food and is the perfect way to add a smoky heat to your recipes.
- Chili Powder- This ingredient is a blend of chilies, oregano, coriander, and cumin, making it essential to anyone who wants to make chili, as well as a variety of other Mexican and Southwestern dishes.
- Ground Cinnamon or Cinnamon Sticks- This spice is a popular item in many kitchens for good reason: it makes a lovely addition to everything from baked goods and coffee drinks to earthy flavor to curries, chilies, and stews.
- Ground Cloves-While this Indonesian spice is most commonly found in Asian, African and Middle Eastern cuisine, cooks from around the world love to use this seasoning when making meats, curries,marinades, fruits and holiday baked goods like gingersnaps.
- Cumin-Native from India to the Mediterranean, this seasoning is now a popular ingredient in stews, soups, curries, gravies, pickles and even pastries.
- Curry Powder-While your first guess for this spice’s use is probably curry, it is also a delicious addition to curried chicken salad, deviled eggs, curried carrot soup and more.
- Ground Ginger-Every baker needs ground ginger to make unique desserts for the holidays, such as cookies and cakes. However, it can also be used to tenderize meat and season shellfish and root vegetables.
- Organic Pollen-Available in the form of fennel pollen and dill pollen, these fine powders are the most potent form of two popular spices. Add just a dash to meat, fish, risottos, desserts and more and you’ll understand why many call it one of the best spices to buy.
- Ground Nutmeg-Another popular dessert spice, this seasoning is a great ingredient for mulled cider and wine, savory dishes, soups, potato dishes, baked goods, meatloaf, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and string beans.
- Oregano-If you live in the United States, you likely have this in your kitchen. A popular seasoning in American-Italian cooking, it can be used with vegetables, meat, fish, and salads (especially Greek salad), Mediterranean barbecue and kebab recipes
- Paprika-This vibrant, spicy seasoning adds both flavor and color to meat, seafood, vegetables, rices, stews, and soups. While it is a bit more expensive, Hungarian paprika is worth the investment.
How many of the best spices to buy do you have in your kitchen? Tell us about it in the comments below!