Most spices don't keep for more than a few months. It’s best to buy spices in small quantities from a trusted supplier to ensure freshness & volatility.
Take time to explore the complex flavors you introduce into your cooking. Taste how spices transform your creations.
Spicy doesn't always mean hot. Spices can introduce a new dimension to what was once just tried, true & tested.
Taste: Sweet, anise and licorice like flavor
Look: A striking star shaped woody fruit of a tree in the magnolia family
Smell: Licorice and fennel like aroma
Taste: Between molasses and caramel, depending on the season. Not as sweet as refined sugar.
Look: Yellow to golden brown in color, usually sold in a large block to be broken into chunks.
Smell: Distinct, caramel sweet-like scent.
Taste: Herbaceous, earthy with a hotter and sharper heat than black pepper.
Look: Cream colored delicate spheres. The husk is removed so it will not look wrinkly like green or black pepper.
Smell: Barnyard-like scent.
Taste: Slightly sweet flavor.
Look: Fully ripened red-pink berry. Preserved in brine
Smell: Peppery fragrance.
Taste: Fresh, herbaceous notes. But not as hot as black or white pepper.
Look: Bright green, imperfect spheres.
Smell: Usually a slightly fermented smell since they are often preserved in brine.
Taste: Hot, robust, with a bite.
Look: Dark brown, black with a wrinkled skin.
Smell: Warm, woody smell that is fresh and pungent.
Taste: Sweet, slightly bitter, musky, nutty taste. More often used for the color it imparts rather than the flavor.
Look: Orange root (when fresh) and an orange-yellow powder when dried.
Smell: Bright, floral scent.
Taste: Floral, sweet, aromatic taste.
Look: Bright red to orange threads.
Smell: Distinctive musky, woody, with a hay-like fragrance.
NUTMEG & MACE
Taste: Warm, aromatic. Sweetish in nutmeg, a bit more bitter in mace.
Look: Nutmeg is a large, round seed while mace is ribbony and tan with a pink hue.
Smell: Fresh, rich, and warm with some floral notes.
Taste: When fired in oil, they develop a flavor that is nutty and pleasantly sharp.
Look: Small, round black to slightly grayish seeds.
Smell: Unlike most spices, the whole seeds have virtually no smell. The sinus-opening aroma happens when they are ground and combined with liquid.
Taste: Slight bitterness, a warm, toasted-onion flavor with an oregano-like quality.
Look: Black, rounded, pear-shaped seeds (often mistaken for black sesame seeds).
Smell: Faint, peppery aroma.
Taste: Astringent and bitter uncooked. When cooked, lends a pungent maple syrup, burnt sugar-like flavor.
Look: Intensely green dried leaves.
Smell: Grassy, nutty aroma.
Taste: Slightly sweeter and more delicate than the traditional spicy anise flavor that is often used. Adds a herbaceous, pine-like bitterness to dishes.
Look: Light tan, greenish seed. Appears similar to cumin except is smaller with a greener color.
Smell: Anise-like aroma.
Taste: Smoky and tangy, not super salty like the name denotes.
Look: A light pink colored powder.
Smell: Sulfurous, noxious boiled egg aroma.
Taste: Slightly harsh, rich and strong flavor with smoky overtones.
Look: About an inch long dark brown pods with visible seeds.
Smell: Smoky and savory. Reminiscent barbecue sauce.
Taste: Sweet, mild, floral, with a faint citrus note. Often referred to as the “vanilla of India”.
Look: Bright green clover shaped pods.
Smell: Warm, sweet, intense camphor-like aroma.
Taste: Warm, sweet, spicy flavor.
Look: Flat brown soft bark
Smell: Woody, warm, sweet aroma.
Taste: Intense, lemony tangy flavor when whole and slightly more mild when ground.
Look: Pale yellow delicate round pods with a green tint.
Smell: Warm, nutty fragrance.
Taste: Sweet, bitter, and somewhat peppery flavor. When eaten on their own can produce a numbing sensation.
Look: Dark brown spice shaped like an nail.
Smell: Warm and strongly aromatic smell.
Taste: Hot. Can have a fruity or sometimes smoky flavor.
Look: Bright red coarse powder.
Smell: Do not directly inhale, will burn the inside of your nose.
Taste: Nutty, peppery, slightly bitter, warm and pungent with a smokey flavor.
Look: Dark grey blackish seeds
Smell: A bit mellower than regular cumin, slightly floral, and sweeter.
Taste: Peppery and slightly bitter taste, adds warmth to your dishes.
Look: Long, light tan seeds.
Smell: Pungent, warm, slightly nutty, with an earthy aroma (very noticeable when crushed).
Taste: Sour, slightly sweet. Like a powdered lime.
Look: Light grayish brown powder - keep away from humidity to prevent clumps.
Smell: Citrusy and fresh (made from dried green mangoes).
Taste: Sharp, peppery, and slightly bitter (more so when overused), like thyme, but stronger with slight anise-like flavors. When cooked, it gets a mellower, nutty flavor.
Look: Light brown to grayish in color.
Smell: Faintly of thyme (stronger aroma when crushed).
Taste: After cooked, like onions and garlic.
Look: Off white powder, sometimes yellow when turmeric has been added.
Smell: Slightly sulfurous, pungent, quite unpleasant, like pickled garlic.
The sole purpose of the Health Benefits section of our spice pantry is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.