The Kitchn recently posted a rundown of the spices and herbs that are commonly used in kitchens. Their Quick Guide to Every Herb and Spice in the Cupboard shows all the spices with a quick description. You can also click into any of the entries to learn quite a bit more about each of them.
My favorites right now are:
- Cardamom – This warm, aromatic spice is widely used in Indian cuisine. It’s also great in baked goods when used in combination with spices like clove and cinnamon.
- Chia Seeds – No, these seeds aren’t just for growing crazy terracotta sculptures! Nearly flavorless, they can be ground into smoothies, cereals, and baked goods for extra nutrition and texture, or even used as a vegan egg substitute.
- Cinnamon – (also: Vietnamese Cassia Cinnamon) Found in almost every world cuisine, cinnamon serves double duty as spice in both sweet and savory dishes.
- Cumin – Smoky and earthy. Used in a lot of Southwestern US and Mexican cuisine, as well as North African, Middle Eastern, and Indian.
- Turmeric – Sometimes used more for its yellow color than its flavor, turmeric has a mild woodsy flavor. Can be used in place of saffron in a pinch or for those of us on a budget.
- Basil – (also: Thai Basil) Highly aromatic with a robust licorice flavor. Excellent in pestos, as a finishing touch on pasta dishes, or stuffed into sandwiches.
- Oregano – Robust, somewhat lemony flavor. Used in a lot of Mexican and Mediterranean dishes.
- Parsley – Available in flat-leaf (Italian) or curly varieties, this very popular herb is light and grassy in flavor.
See the full list of spices and herbs.