Spices For Life

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Herbs, Spices, Oils & Flavorings

Click on any of the letters in the menu below to find what you are looking for. Should you need something I don't have listed, please drop me a line, I will be glad to help.

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Here are some guidelines:

Whole Spices and Herbs:

  • Leaves and flowers...................1 year
  • Seeds and barks................over 2 years
  • Roots.....................................over 3 years

Ground Spices and Herbs:

  • Leaves..........................................6 months
  • Seeds and barks.......................6 months
  • Roots............................................1 year
  • Teas (black and green).........1 year
  • Coffee:
    • Whole beans and roasted.............3 months
    • Ground (not vacuum pack)...........2 weeks

Eeny, Meeny, Miny . . . Marjoram?

So you've stocked your cupboard and are eager to spice up your meals. But what to add to what? The possibilities for seasoning each dish may seem endless, but don't be daunted. When you're at a loss about what to add to a dish, refer to the information below. Don't be limited by traditional uses, though - some of the most exquisite dishes come from unexpected seasonings.

  • Beans (dried) - cumin, cayenne, chili, parsley, pepper, sage, savory, thyme

  • Beef - basil, bay, chili, cilantro, curry, cumin, garlic, marjoram, mustard, oregano, parsley, pepper, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme

  • Breads - anise, basil, caraway, cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, dill, garlic, lemon peel, orange peel, oregano, poppy seeds, rosemary, saffron, sage, thyme

  • Cheese - basil, caraway, celery seed, chervil, chili, chives, coriander, cumin, dill, garlic, horseradish, lemon peel, marjoram, mint, mustard, nutmeg, paprika, parsley, pepper, sage, tarragon, thyme

  • Chicken - allspice, basil, bay, cinnamon, curry, dill, fennel, garlic, ginger lemongrass, mustard, paprika, rosemary, saffron, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme

  • Corn - chili, curry, dill, marjoram, parsley, savory, thyme

  • Eggs - basil, chervil, chili, chives, curry, dill, fennel, ginger, lemon peel, marjoram, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, sage, tarragon, thyme

  • Fish - anise, basil, bay, cayenne, celery seed, chives, curry, dill fennel, garlic, ginger, lemon peel, mustard, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, saffron, sage, savory, tarragon, marjoram

  • Fruits - allspice, anise, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, ginger, mint

  • Lamb - basil, bay, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, curry, dill, garlic, marjoram, mint, mustard, oregano, parsley, rosemary, savory, tarragon, thyme

  • Potatoes - basil, caraway, celery seed, chervil, chives, coriander, dill, marjoram, oregano, paprika, parsley, poppy seed, rosemary, tarragon, thyme

  • Salad Dressings - basil, celery seed, chives, dill, fennel, garlic, horseradish, marjoram, mustard, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, rosemary, saffron, tarragon, thyme

  • Salads - basil, caraway, chives, dill, garlic, lemon peel, lovage, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, thyme

  • Soups - basil, bay, chervil, chili, chives, cumin, dill, fennel, garlic, marjoram, parsley, pepper, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme

  • Sweets - allspice, angelica, anise, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, ginger, lemon peel, mace, nutmeg, mint, orange peel, rosemary

  • Tomatoes - basil, bay , celery seed, cinnamon, chili, curry, dill, fennel, garlic, ginger, gumbo file, lemongrass, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rosemary, savory, tarragon, thyme

As a beginner, you may want to stick with herbs and spices that are known to complement each other. Common flavor families include:

  • Bouquet Garnis - basil, bay, oregano, parsley
  • Herbal - basil, marjoram, rosemary, thyme
  • Hot - chili peppers, cilantro, cumin, garlic
  • Pungent - celery, chili peppers, cumin, curry, ginger, black pepper
  • Spicy - cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, star anise
  • Sweet - allspice, anise, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg

An easy method for testing herb and spice combinations is to mix them with small amounts of a mild cheese, like cream cheese. Allow them to sit for at least an hour, then sample your blends, noting which flavors you most enjoy. Be sure to label the samples so you'll know how to duplicate or modify each to suit your taste.

For Every Thing, There is a Seasoning

If you enjoy cooking with herbs and spices, you find creative cooking opportunities everywhere. You can make your own blends (curry powder or pumpkin pie spice, for example), herb vinegars, herbal cheese, teas, jellies. But don't neglect the endless possibilities for everyday cooking. A pinch of this, or a teaspoon of that, will make all the food you serve special.

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