A To Z Of Spices (part 1)
ALLSPICE: These small dark, reddish-brown berries are so called
because their aroma and flavor resemble a combination of cinnamon,
cloves and nutmeg. Use berries whole in marinades; for boiling and
pot roasting meats and poultry; in fish dishes, pickles and chutneys.
Also available ground and excellent for flavoring soups, sauces and
ANISE: Commonly called asniseed, these small, brown oval seeds have
the sweet, pungent flavor of licorice. Also available ground. Use
seeds in stews and vegetable dishes, or sprinkle over loaves and
rolls before baking. Try ground anise for flavoring fish dishes and
pastries for fruit pies.
CARAWAY: Small brown, crescent-shaped seeds with a strong liquorice
flavor and especially delicious as a flavoring in braised cabbage and
sauerkraut recipes, breads (particularly rye), cakes and cheeses.
CARDAMOM: Small, triangular-shaped pods containing numerous small
black seeds which have a warm, highly aeromatic flavor. You can buy
green or black cardamoms although the smaller green type is more
CAYENNE: Orangey-red in color, this ground pepper is extremely hot and
pungent. Not to be confused with paprika which, although related, is
CHILI POWDER: Made from dried red chilies. This red powder varies in
flavor and hotness, from mild to hot. A less fiery type is found in
CINNAMON & CASSIA: Shavings of bark from the cinnamon tree are
processed and curled to form cinnamon sticks. Also available in
ground form. Spicy, fragrant and sweet, it is used widely in savory
and sweet dishes. Cassia (from the dried bark of the cassia tree) is
similar to cinnamon, but less delicate in flavor with a slight
CLOVES: These dried, unopened flower buds give a warm aroma and
pungency to foods, but should be used with care as the flavor can
become overpowering. Available in ground form. Cloves are added to
soups, sauces, mulled drinks, stewed fruits and apple pies.
CORIANDER: Available in seed and ground form. These tiny, pale brown
seeds have a mild, spicy flavor with a slight orange peel fragrance.
An essential spice in curry dishes, but also extremely good in many
cake and cookie recipes.
CUMIN: Sold in seed or ground. Cumin has a warm, pungent aromatic
flavor and is used extensively in flavor curries and many Middle
Eastern and Mexican dishes. Popular in Germany for flavoring
sauerkraut and pork dishes. Use ground or whole in meat dishes and
All spices should be stored in small airtight jars in a cool, dark
place, as heat, moisture and sunlight reduce their flavor.