From the four corners of the world, spices are a welcome addition to your kitchen to bring a pleasant aroma. They also enhance the taste of your dishes, which is why you should always have
From the four corners of the world, spices are a welcome addition to your kitchen to bring a pleasant aroma. They also enhance the taste of your dishes, which is why you should always have some in your cupboard. But to get a delicious meal, you need to add the right spices. Discover the spices frequently used by cooks in their culinary preparations in this article.
Why add spices to your dishes?
By adding spices to your meal, it becomes less greasy, less salty, and more flavorful. Thanks to their very powerful aromas, they enhance the taste of the dishes. In French gastronomy, the use of spices is not so widespread. It is the butter, the oil, and the cream that play the role of aromas. Indian cuisine, on the other hand, always emphasizes spices.
A spicy dish stimulates the senses. Indeed, the flavors that emerge excite the sense of smell and taste. Spices are also known for their therapeutic properties. We will quote, for example:
- Fennel seeds, cumin, cinnamon: for its benefits on digestion
- Cloves: for its anti-pain virtue
- Turmeric: for its anti-inflammatory property
- Ginger and cardamom: for their tonic effect
- Nutmeg: for its anti-nausea properties
Which spices go best with which dishes?
Although all spices can add flavor to any dish, there are some perfect combinations.
Saffron, turmeric, and curry: the best allies for rice
Want to flavor your rice? There is no substitute for the delicate taste of saffron. Saffron is a natural flavor enhancer. A few quantities are enough to give a sweet flavour to your risotto, paella, or couscous. To develop its aromas, it is recommended to infuse it the day before in the water that will be used to cook the rice for the next day.
Coming from India, turmeric is characterized by its orange colour. Moreover, it is one of the most used spices in Indian culinary specialties. Thanks to its woody taste, it balances the acidity of certain sauces. In curry, turmeric is combined with coriander, cardamoms, peppers, and cumin. This last one accompanies the rice deliciously and the oriental dishes as the tajines or the rice cantonnais.
Cumin: to enhance the taste of vegetables
This spice goes wonderfully with root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, potatoes, and squash with a slightly acrid and smoky taste. Cumin is commonly found in savoury pastries (cake), soups, grilled meats, and desserts.
Paprika: the ideal spice for poultry dishes
Paprika belongs to the large family of red peppers. Its bitter and sweet taste combined with its subtle aroma brings freshness to all your dishes, especially those based on turkey, pork, poultry, or fish. Depending on the desired taste, you will find several kinds of paprika on the market, less or more spicy.
Nutmeg: the companion of savory dishes
A must for savory recipes, this spice is a delicious addition to shepherd’s pie, soufflés, purées, tartiflette, quiches, and béchamel sauce. Pastry chefs also use it in gingerbread and cakes.
Caraway: a rare spice
Very similar to cumin, caraway is used in leaves or seeds. This spice is native to Asia. A little caraway in your soups, salads, or sauces will delight your taste buds. The seeds are also used to enhance the flavor of meats such as lamb, pork, duck, or sausages. If you are making sauerkraut, add two pinches of this spice. You will be amazed by the result.
Cardamom, cinnamon, and vanilla: dessert essentials
With its slightly bitter and very aromatic flavor, cardamom is frequently used by restaurants in the preparation of Scandinavian desserts and exotic pastries. It is also used to flavor Arabic coffee and some hot drinks.
Who doesn’t know the sweetness of vanilla? Almost all desserts contain vanilla (cakes, compotes, fruit salads, ice creams, crème brûlées, etc.). It is marketed in powders, extracts, or whole beans. Like vanilla, cinnamon is very popular in the preparation of desserts. With its naturally sweet taste, it goes well with cakes, clafoutis, and fruit tarts. It can also be found in the composition of gingerbread.
White colonizers have colonized countries for their spices, so the least you could do is to use them. Just adding salt and pepper to your dish doesn’t season them properly. So, be adventurous and use the spices. Sound off in the comments section below and tell us what you want to read next.