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Season Your Food With Single Herbs and Spices

With a few pinches of a spice, you can transform basic ingredients into a tasty and satisfying meal. There are all sorts of tasty options to pick from, including non-GMO and organic spices.

Should you get whole or ground spices?

The benefit of whole spices is that they retain their flavor for longer. This makes it easy to purchase in bulk, grind individual servings for each meal, and get an explosion of flavor with each bite! However, it does add a few extra seconds to your cooking when you are grinding a spice. Therefore, if you prioritize speed over tasting every last detail of a spice's flavor, you may prefer ground.

How much of a spice should you get at one time?

Generally, buying in bulk sizes saves you money, but the downside is that your spices may start to lose flavor if you wait too long to use them. A good rule of thumb is to only buy the amount of spices you can use in three to four years. Depending on how many people you cook for and the types of recipes you use, this may be a few ounces or a couple of pounds.

What's the difference between spices and herbs?

Herbs often fall under the same general category as spices, since people use the word spice to refer to anything that adds flavor to a food. Technically speaking, there is a difference though. Herbs are the dried leaves of a plant, which can be sold whole, ground, or minced. Spices are the bark, seeds, fruits, flowers, or roots of a tree. For example, parsley and oregano are herbs, while cinnamon, pepper, and paprika are spices.

What's the difference between variants of vanilla?

Vanilla beans are categorized based on where they are grown. Each variant has its own unique tastes and other benefits.

  • Madagascar vanilla: This is also called bourbon vanilla due to its toasted, pungent aroma. Since it is hand pollinated, it has a higher price.
  • Tahitian vanilla: This tropical vanilla has light flavor notes of chocolate and caramel.
  • Mexican vanilla: This vanilla is known for its smoky, almost peppery notes that hide beneath its sweetness.
  • Indonesian vanilla: This variant is known for having a creamy, sweet taste.
Which spices provide the most versatility?

This answer depends largely on the types of food you cook. If you are interested in multiple cuisines from around the world, a few commonly used spices to have in your cupboard include:

  • Salt and black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Oregano






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