Spice Glossary

Arrowroot
Used as a thickening agent in puddings and sauces. It has about twice the thickening power of flour and is tasteless and clear when cooked.

Adobo

This is an all purpose seasoning used in Caribbean cooking. Usually added to oil and either lemon juice or vinegar to make a marinade.

Ajowan
A native to southern India, ajowan is also grown in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Egypt and is related to caraway and cumin, even though its taste is quite different. Referred to sometimes as “lovage”,”ajwain” or “carom” in India. Use in recipes for savory dishes; goes especially well with fish. The seeds are also added to curries and breads.

Asafetida

Native to south-western Asia, i.e., Iran, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, asafetida is a dried resin-like substance obtained from the rhizomes of several species of ferula, or giant fennel. The entire plant emits a distinctive smell. In powder form, asafetida has a strong, unpleasant smell, similar to pickled garlic, but is used in Indian and Arab cuisines to enhance the flavor of some dishes.

African Bird Pepper
This is a wild, very hot, North African chili. It derives its name from the fact that the plant seeds are dispersed through the intestinal track of birds. Use sparingly, as a substitute for cayenne pepper.

Allspice, Ground
The only spice originating in the New World and probably introduced to Europe by Columbus, has a flavor suggesting a blend of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Our allspice comes from Jamaica known for its superior quality and plentiful crop. Allspice is used in soups, stews, pot roasts, meat marinades, and pickling. It gives a warm flavor to cakes, cookies, jams and fruit pies.

Amchoor Powder

Amchoor is made from tart, unripe mangoes, which are sliced and sun-dried, then ground to a powder and used as a souring agent. Most commonly used in Northern Indian vegetarian cooking and gives a tangy, sour taste to stir fried vegetables, stuffings for breads and pastries, and soups.

Aleppo Pepper

The City of Aleppo, located in Northern Syria, is considered by many as the Mecca of Middle Eastern cooking. The ground red pepper from Aleppo is coarse, gritty, dark red, earthy, robust, and mildly hot. This pepper is used in most Syrian dishes, especially soups, salads, and fish.

Apple Pie Spice

A blend including cinnamon, nutmeg, and mace. It’s used on French toast, hot or cold cereal, and of course apple pies!

Anise Star

The aroma of this seductive spice, with its scents of licorice and fennel, caramel and vanilla, evokes exotic images of sailing ships and caravan routes winding through mysterious foreign lands. The Chinese use star anise as they do cinnamon, not ground in sweet desserts, but whole in braised meat and poultry dishes. When the spice is ground, it’s one of the distinctive flavors that makes up five-spice powder. And in Europe, the pungent French liqueurs Pernod and Pastis capture their characteristic licorice essence from this spice.

Anise Seed
a native of the Middle East, this sweet spice is a favorite in Europe, especially Germany and the Scandinavian countries. Our anise is primarily from Spain, where the flavor is superior and volatile oil content higher. Anise, with its sweet, aromatic, licorice-like flavor, is commonly used to flavor cookies, cakes, bread and soups. It is often found in sausages and salad dressings.

Annatto Seed

Grows throughout Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. It is used primarily as a coloring, as well as a gentle flavoring in such items as butter and margarine. It is also used in Europe in many cheeses. Annatto is used with legumes, grains, rice, poultry, fish, pork, beef and lamb stews, soups, okra, pumpkin, bell peppers, curries, chili sauces and sweet potatoes.

Anise Seed, Ground

A native of the Middle East, this sweet spice is a favorite in Europe, especially Germany and the Scandinavian countries. Our anise is primarily from Spain, where the flavor is superior and volatile oil content higher. Anise, with its sweet, aromatic, licorice-like flavor, is commonly used to flavor cookies, cakes, bread and soups. It is often found in sausages and salad dressings.

Allspice, Whole
Although the Jamaican allspice is smaller than others grown in different parts of the world, the flavor is richer. Used in soups, stews, pot roasts, meat marinades, and pickling. It gives a warm flavor to cakes, cookies, jams and fruit pies.

Basil Leaves
Basil should have a rich sweet taste with a fragrant aroma. Usually we buy from Egypt, however, a better crop can sometimes be found in other parts of the Mediterranean and we always buy the best. Like grapes, the climate affects basil’s taste and aroma. It is amazing to me that the same variety of basil will have different flavors, depending upon which part of the world it is grown. I grow basil in my backyard, but when dried it has no flavor. There are over 40 different types of basil from which to choose. Sweet basil is the main variety used for culinary purposes and has the finest flavor. Basil is a natural accompaniment to tomato recipes, and in preparing soups, vegetables, eggs, cheese, sauces, meats, fish and pizzas. It is the primary ingredient in pesto sauce, and a must for all cooking enthusiasts.

Bay Leaves
Our Bay leaves are one of the things that separate us from other spice companies. U.S. spice companies have switched to an American Bay Laurel, which has a prettier, slimmer leaf and is easier to bottle. However, it has a marked phenolic odor and little flavor. We buys genuine Turkish bay which is fragrantly sweet with a lemon clove like taste. To obtain that deep rich flavor found in European food, our bay leaves are a must. Bay is used in soups, stews, pickles, seafood, pot roasts, game, and in water when cooking vegetables. The flavor is strengthened with the length of cooking time.

Bay Leaves, Ground
Our genuine Turkish bay, ground. Fragrantly sweet with a lemon clove like taste. To obtain that deep rich flavor found in European food, our bay leaves are a must. Bay is used in soups, stews, pickles, seafood, pot roasts, game, and in water when cooking vegetables. The flavor is strengthened with the length of cooking time.

Beijing Rub
One of my favorite marinades. It’s wonderful on chicken and pork. It looks wonderful too, since it creates its own glaze. It can also be added to sherry and soy sauce to create teriyaki, to soy sauce and vinegar to create the flavors found in Korean food, and Hoisin sauce for grand Chinese barbecue. The blend contains the spice most often found in Chinese seasonings – sichuan pepper, star anise, and sweet spices.

Berber Spice

This salt-free exotic blend of paprika, garlic, onion, chili pepper and other spices was inspired by the aromatic and fiery cuisine of the nomadic Berbers of Morocco. This blend can be used at the table or in cooking on anything from eggs, potatoes, pasta, to sandwiches, soups, stews, and dressings. Great for grilling or broiling.

Blackened Seasoning

Our supplier sold Blackened Seasoning several years before any other spice company. It was one of their original blends introduced in 1982. This blend is similar to a recipe in Paul Prudhomme’s book the man who made Blackened Seasoning popular. Blackened Seasoning was originally used on cheaper fish to make a wonderfully hot flavorful coating. It also helps to retain the moisture. Blackened Seasoning is equally good on lamb chops, steaks, and pork.
Chives
Chives are of the onion family, with a similar but more delicate flavor. They are cultivated in temperate regions worldwide, and are best fresh, or, as Vanns are, freeze dried. We buy chives from California and Oregon, from growers who are often small but provide a premium product. An advantage we have because of our size is that we can buy excellent products from growers too small to be of interest to large spice companies. Chives are used chopped in sauces, salads, vegetables, eggs, and are a classic component to Fines Herbes.

Cilantro
Cilantro is the leaf of the young coriander plant, Coriandrum sativum, an herb in the parsley family, similar to anise.

Chervil
A green leafy herb, strangely neglected outside of France. It is native to SW Russia and S. Asia, but is widely cultivated in Europe. It is a great favorite in French kitchens where it is often called the “gourmet parsley”. It is used in sauces, soups, and salads, (particularly potato salad), and is one of the four Fines Herbes used in classic French cooking (e.g., omelettes, sauce ravigote).

Cubeb Berries
These small berries, which are native to Java and other Indonesian islands, are the unripe fruits of a plant belonging to the pepper family. They have a warm, turpentine-like aroma, and a aromatic — hot and glowing — and somewhat bitter taste. Cubebs are used in Indonesian cuisine and in spice mixtures such as raz el hanout. Can be added in place of allspice in any dish and are well suited to vegetable and meat dishes.

Cardamom, Black
Cardamom is considered the best. We is among the few spice companies that continue to sell cardamom, as it is not a large volume seller. Cardamom grows wild in the rain forests of Southern India and Sri Lanka, but is also cultivated in other similar climates. Loose seeds and ground cardamom lose their flavor quickly. Cardamom can enhance both sweet and savory tastes. The flavor is in the small hard seeds, protected by the pods. In Indian cuisine, the whole pod is used in curries and garam masalas. In other cuisines it is used in puddings, pastries and ice creams. In various parts of the Mid and Far East, it is used in tea and coffee. The Vikings went to Constantinople to buy cardamom from traders and, to this day, it is an important ingredient in Scandinavian cakes, pastries, and breads.

Cumin, Black
The aroma is strong, somewhat like a musty caraway. Like coriander, it is a difficult spice to keep because it deteriorates quickly after grinding. Cumin seed comes from an annual plant indigenous to Egypt, and was – and is – used by the civilizations of Greece, Rome, early Egypt and that of the Indus River. It is a necessity in Indian, Mideastern and Mexican cuisines. In the U.S., cumin was once reserved for ethnic and exotic dishes. It is now often used every day in vegetables, rice and potato dishes as well as soups, meat loaf and even scrambled eggs.

Chesapeake Bay Seafood Blend
An interesting blend, and a particularly good choice for people on salt-free diets. The inspiration came from a similar blend popular with the Dupont Family, who primarily used it in seafood casseroles. I find it great in crab cakes and fish soups, and a welcome addition to many dishes. A great salt substitute.

Cajun Crab Boil
Cajun Crab Boil is similar to recipes available in Louisiana cookbooks. It’s a pretty product, and also very hot and very popular. Besides being used to flavor crabs, shrimp and other seafood, Cajun Crab Boil works well as a pickling spice.

Cardamom, Decorticated
Cardamom grows wild in the rain forests of Southern India and Sri Lanka, but is also cultivated in other similar climates. Cardamom can enhance both sweet and savory tastes. The flavor is in the small hard seeds, protected by the pods. In Indian cuisine, the whole pod is used in curries and garam masalas. In other cuisines it is used in puddings, pastries and ice creams. In various parts of the Mid and Far East, it is used in tea and coffee. The Vikings went to Constantinople to buy cardamom from traders and, to this day, it is an important ingredient in Scandinavian cakes, pastries, and breads.

Celery Flakes
Celery is a member of the parsley family and is derived from a wild variety called smallage. India and China produce excellent celery, but it is also cultivated in Europe and the U.S. The flavor and aroma might be described as a combination of celery, fennel and anise. The root is called celeriac which is a mild vegetable popular in Europe. A delightful seasoning for sauces, salads, vegetables, and many other dishes. An absolute must in potato salad. Used carefully, it mysteriously improves the flavor without calling attention to itself.

Chinese Five Spice Powder
A few years ago, this was the only Chinese Five Spice you could find in the market. The Washington Post, among other sources, has said that ours is the best Chinese Five Spice powder. One reason ours is so well accepted is we are very careful of the amount of star anise that we use. Anise is not a favorite flavor of Americans, but without it the Chinese Five Spice blend is unbalanced and less authentic. We have deviated from the classic tradition when blending Chinese Five Spice. We use less star anise than other spice suppliers. The result is a blend which Americans like better.

Cardamom, Ground
Cardamom grows wild in the rain forests of Southern India and Sri Lanka, but is also cultivated in other similar climates. Loose seeds and ground cardamom lose their flavor much more quickly than the whole pods. Cardamom can enhance both sweet and savory tastes. It is used in puddings, pastries and ice creams. In various parts of the Mid and Far East, it is used in tea and coffee. The Vikings went to Constantinople to buy cardamom from traders and, to this day, it is an important ingredient in Scandinavian cakes, pastries, and breads. 4 oz bottle

Cloves, Ground
Cloves are young, unopened dried flower buds of the clove tree, native to the Moluccas Islands in East Indonesia where we buy first-quality, hand-picked cloves. Cloves, whole or ground, are the most pungent and fragrant of spices and are extremely aromatic. Take care and use with discretion lest its flavor overpower others! Cloves are used as garnishes as well as for flavor in the widest possible variety of dishes – with fruit, many sweet dishes, pickles, ham, pot roasts, stews, and vegetables such as beets, carrots, squash, pumpkin and sweet potatoes. The addition of cloves to a casserole of lamb and beans is magical.

Coriander, Ground
The dried seeds of the coriander plant. It is an annual plant of the parsley family, also known for its leaves, the herb, cilantro (see above). Coriander was named in an Egyptian papyrus of 1550 B.C. and in the Old Testament in Exodus 16 – “Manna was like coriander seed, white.” We sell both whole and ground coriander. We advise buying only a few months’ supply or buying it whole and grinding it as you use it. I find that stale coriander has an unpleasant musty smell, while the freshly ground, has a fantastic sweet fragrance. It could be a perfume. The flavor of coriander and the aroma reminds us of bolognas and frankfurters, because it is a principal flavoring ingredient. It is an essential ingredient of chilies, curries, and pickles, and is used to flavor breads, cheese, fish, meats, baked goods, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Cumin, Ground
Cumin is a difficult spice to keep because it deteriorates quickly after grinding. We sell cumin ground and whole. Our method of grinding, bottling, sealing and delivering in a timely fashion contributes to the freshness of this product.

Curry, Hot
We are very proud of our curry blend, we are the only spice company in the U.S. selling a curry without salt. Curry, because of turmeric and cumin, is difficult to keep fresh and hot. We grind, blend and ship it in a timely manner, and thus are able to keep our curry fresher than that of larger companies who have less flexibility in that area. We know that our curry has a fresh, clean flavor one and one-half years after bottling. I believe that most people, my mother for example, who claim that they dislike curry probably have only tasted a stale musty Curry. Mother ate curry in my house for 35 years and loved it.

Curry, Mild
Shipping Weight: 0.30 pounds We are very proud of our curry blend. We are is the only spice company in the U.S. selling a curry without salt. Curry, because of turmeric and cumin, is difficult to keep fresh and hot. We grind, blend and ship it in a timely manner, and thus are able to keep our curry fresher than that of larger companies who have less flexibility in that area. We know that our curry has a fresh, clean flavor one and one-half years after bottling. I believe that most people, my mother for example, who claim that they dislike curry probably have only tasted a stale musty Curry. Mother ate curry in my house for 35 years and loved it.

Cream of Tartar
Fine, white powder derived from a crystalline acid. It is added to candy and frosting mixtures for a creamier consistency and to egg whites before beating to improve stability and volume.

Cayenne Pepper
This highly potent pepper will add zing to all of your firey dishes. The best one on the market.

Chili Powder, Ancho
A dark smokey chili powder with a deep rich flavor and mild to medium heat.

Chipotle Peppers, crushed
Hot peppers are indigenous to the New World, but spread worldwide with Columbus. They are variously classified as a vegetable, or berry and, when dried, a spice. The seeds, veins, and skin contain the pungent hotness in chili peppers. There is little aroma but taste varies from mild to fiery hot. These are hot and have a slightly smokey flavor.

Chili Powder, Chipotle
The Chipotle Pepper adds a smokey flavor to this chili powder, perfect for your favorite chili recipe, or a Johnny Ciao bluesy burrito!

Chili Powder, Dark
Dark in color, this chili powder is sure to add some punch to your next dish.

Chili Powder, Light
If your dish calls for a lighter look, try this one.

Chili Powder, New Mexican
Our comprehensive selection of chili powders wouldn’t be complete without this offering from New Mexico!

Chili Powder, Pasilla
A key ingredient in Mexican and Southwestern cooking, the pasilla is a hot chili with a slightly fruity flavor.

Caribe Rub
With this blend, we have reproduced the spicy and fruity flavor of the Islands, using lime and coconut as well as spices of the region. You will find this well-balanced seasoning great on fish, chicken and pork as well as vegetables and salads.

Cancun Rub
This wonderful Mexican seasoning can be used as a dry marinade to pat on fish, beef, pork or chicken. It may also be used as the starter of a fine salsa or in other Mexican dishes and condiments. It is the necessary seasoning for Fajitas.

Celery Seed
Celery is a member of the parsley family and is derived from a wild variety called smallage. India and China produce excellent celery seed, but it is also cultivated in Europe and the U.S. The flavor and aroma might be described as a combination of celery, fennel and anise. The root is called celeriac which is a mild vegetable popular in Europe. A delightful seasoning for sauces, salads, vegetables, and many other dishes. An absolute must in potato salad. Used carefully, celery seed becomes the secret ingredient in many dishes. It mysteriously improves the flavor without calling attention to itself. Celery seed, used with tarragon, actually enhances the flavor of tarragon.

Caraway Seed
A biennial plant of the parsley family, it has been used for at least 5,000 years, and cultivated in Europe since medieval times. Caraway is grown in Holland and Egypt. The small tannish brown seeds have a pungent aroma, a flavor that’s sharp but faintly sweet, with an astringent aftertaste. Caraway gives rye bread its distinctive flavor. It is particularly good as a flavoring for pork. I use it in all cabbage dishes, and it really makes a difference in coleslaw. I also use it in cheeses, cakes and fruit dishes.

Chili Seasoning
Our Chili Seasoning base is Ancho Chili peppers which have the dark, smokey flavor I love. This Chili Seasoning was originally created for Arizona Restaurant in New York. Brendan Walsh, the chef, needed a particularly fine, distinctive chili seasoning and ours fit the bill. The New York Times food critics raved about it. Our blend utilizes both dark and light chilies for color and flavor, as well as oregano and cumin. Most spice companies add salt. We do not. We believe that cooks can add their own salt. Legend has it that Chili Seasoning was originally developed by a cook trying to duplicate curry by using American spices. Thus was created Chili Seasoning, if you believe this!

Cinnamon Sticks, 3″
Our Korintji AA cinnamon tastes less harsh and has more fragrance than the Indonesian cinnamon familiar to most cooks. These sticks are carefully selected from the upper branches of trees growing in southwest Sumatra. Some cinnamon is mixed with cassia. Cassia is similar, but redder and has a harsher taste and a shorter shelf life. The history of cinnamon is intertwined with the history of transportation, with battles lost and won, and with the Old Testament. For example, Exodus, Chapter 30 contains a description of how to mix a holy anointing oil, using cinnamon, cassia and myrrh. Cinnamon is used in thousands of ways. Its appeal is universal.

Creole Seasoning
Our Creole Seasoning, a bit usual is actually a blend from Atchafalaya, the last Cajun stronghold in Louisiana. It is a result of an intermingling of the French and Indian cultures before the Louisiana Purchase. I find it very useful. It’s one of our many salt-free products, and its spicy flavor makes it popular with those on salt restricted diets. It is good in dishes calling for a Creole Seasoning and in other dishes where a sophisticated spicy blend is needed. A favorite use of mine is to add it to my dredging flour before sautéing fish.

Cumin Seed
The aroma is strong, somewhat like a musty caraway. Like coriander, it is a difficult spice to keep because it deteriorates quickly after grinding. We sell cumin ground and whole. Our method of grinding, bottling, sealing and delivering in a timely fashion contributes to the freshness of this product. Cumin seed comes from an annual plant indigenous to Egypt, and was – and is – used by the civilizations of Greece, Rome, early Egypt and that of the Indus River. It is a necessity in Indian, Mideastern and Mexican cuisines. In the U.S., cumin was once reserved for ethnic and exotic dishes. It is now often used every day in vegetables, rice and potato dishes as well as soups, meat loaf and even scrambled eggs.

Celery Seed, Ground
A ground version, a delightful seasoning for sauces, salads, vegetables, and many other dishes. An absolute must in potato salad. Used carefully, celery seed becomes the secret ingredient in many dishes. It mysteriously improves the flavor without calling attention to itself. Celery seed, used with tarragon, actually enhances the flavor of tarragon.

California Salad Seasoning
California pioneered the fast, fresh, light cuisine which has become an American trademark. Our California Salad Seasoning is typical of the kind of salad dressing mix made popular by that state. A nice blend of fresh, fragrant, mild herbs, to be shaken into either a vinaigrette or creamy based salad dressing. It makes a great dip added to sour cream, yogurt, and/or cream cheese.

Cloves, Whole
Cloves are young, unopened dried flower buds of the clove tree, native to the Moluccas Islands in East Indonesia where we buy first-quality, hand-picked cloves. Cloves, whole or ground, are the most pungent and fragrant of spices and are extremely aromatic. Take care and use with discretion lest its flavor overpower others! 4 oz bottle. Cloves are used as garnishes as well as for flavor in the widest possible variety of dishes – with fruit, many sweet dishes, pickles, ham, pot roasts, stews, and vegetables such as beets, carrots, squash, pumpkin and sweet potatoes. The addition of cloves to a casserole of lamb and beans is magical.

Coriander, Whole
We sell both whole and ground coriander. We advise buying only a few months’ supply or buying it whole and grinding it as you use it. I find that stale coriander has an unpleasant musty smell, while the freshly ground, has a fantastic sweet fragrance. It could be a perfume. The flavor of coriander and the aroma reminds us of bolognas and frankfurters, because it is a principal flavoring ingredient. It is an essential ingredient of chilies, curries, and pickles, and is used to flavor breads, cheese, fish, meats, baked goods, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Dillweed
Dill is an universal favorite. The word “dill” comes from the Norwegian “dilla” meaning “to sooth,” as medicinal powers were attributed to it. Almost everybody likes dill, and it appears in nearly every cuisine in the world. It is a delicious addition to sour cream, vegetables, potato salad or casseroles. It is wonderful with fish. Eqyptian dillweed has a cleaner taste and is our first choice. Dillweed is used to garnish as well as to flavor.

Dill Seed
Dill is a universal favorite. The word “dill” comes from the Norwegian “dilla” meaning “to sooth,” as medicinal powers were attributed to it. Almost everybody likes dill, and it appears in nearly every cuisine in the world. It is a delicious addition to sour cream, vegetables, potato salad or casseroles. It is wonderful with fish. Dill seed is aromatic, slightly pungent, light brown with a strong but pleasing flavor. We find that dill grown in the northern part of India produces larger seeds which have a higher oil content.

Fenugreek, Ground
Fenugreek has grown in the Mediterranean region and Western and Southern Asia from earliest times to the present. The name comes from the Latin meaning “Greek hay.” The seeds have a faint curry flavor and a bitter, peppery aftertaste. Fenugreek is used in Indian curries. Curries for lamb and beef absolutely require fenugreek for balance. In the Middle East, it is ground to a paste for vegetable dishes, and used in sweet, halvah.

Fajita Seasoning
An aromatic and flavorful blend that will make you a Tex-Mex expert in the kitchen, Try it on beef, chicken or seafood. 4 oz bottle.

Galangal
There are two main types of galangal, i.e., lesser (native to southern China) and greater (to Indonesia). Lesser galangal has a more pungent aroma — its taste similar to cardamom and ginger. Greater is like a mixture of pepper and ginger, with a sour note. Both types of galangal are used fresh in curries and stews. They are available dry and can be reconstituted in water.

Gumbo File
Our Gumbo Filé is a mixture of sassafras and thyme. Often Gumbo Filé is only sassafras, which is used as a thickening agent and has very little flavor. We add thyme for flavor because it is traditionally Cajun. This is a product much in demand because of the popularity of Louisiana cooking. We’re one of the few spice houses offering this product.

Ginger, Ground
It would seem is the newest fad in food. New products recently introduced include ginger tea, ginger sauces of several varieties, ginger jelly and ginger mustard. It is strange to call ginger a fad when it has been in constant use in India and China since early history. Jamaica is the best source of premium ginger. The spice part is the fat, irregular shaped rhizomes of the ginger plant. It is both pungent and lemony with earthy notes. Fresh ginger is used extensively in Pacific Rim cuisines. It is the principal supplier of the heat so loved in these cuisines. Dried ginger is used in Mideastern and Western cooking. Besides the well known gingerbread, it is a great addition to cheese dishes because it balances the egg and cheese flavors. Ginger is especially good with vegetables such as carrots, squash and sweet potatoes.

Grilling Herbs
Our Grilling Herbs are a balanced herb blend with a touch of lemon. This blend is particularly good on chicken, fish and other meats. In our health conscious society, grilling has become a way of life and thus finding a new flavor for chicken or fish is important.

Garam Masala
Garam Masala adds the finishing touch to curries. In India and Pakistan a curry is made by first cooking the curry blend with the meat and other ingredients. Curry has turmeric and other spices which need longer cooking in order not to impart a bitter taste. Then very near the end, the Garam Masala is added because the masala contains sweet, mellow spices – cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, mace – which are more delicate.

Grains of Paradise
Indigenous to the coast of West Africa and also known as Melegueta pepper, related to cardamom. These tiny grains have a hot and peppery taste but have the aroma of cardamom. They were used in the past to spice wine and beer. Today grains of paradise appear almost exclusively in West African cooking. They are one of the components of raz el hanout and are also excellent in mulled wine, with potatoes and eggplants, and in braised lamb recipes

Herbs for Fish
Herbs for Fish is a blend based on one used for several hundred of years by fishermen around Lake Como in Italy. They add it to oil and use it to baste fish while cooking over coals by the lake front. I have always enjoyed this blend and am surprised at its popularity. It is one of our best selling products. Our timing was excellent. We began to market Herbs for Fish at the time cooks, for health reasons, were beginning to turn from beef to fish. It seems to be a universally appreciated flavor and is useful in many dishes. This is really a ubiquitous blend. I probably need to change the name from Herbs for Fish to Herbs for Everything. It’s good in tomato soup, on chicken, in tomato casserole dishes, and in pasta salads. Our customers find new uses constantly.

Herbed Pepper
One of our most popular ground pepper blends is Herbed Pepper, an Italian blend of oregano and other herbs. It is an easy product to use. You get fine flavor with very little effort and, for these reasons I recommend it highly. 4 oz bottle.

Island Jerk
The traditional Jamaican blend of herbs and spices, the origin of the word “jerk” is obscure, but is thought to derive from a word used by the Arawak Indians for sun-dried beef, charqui or jerky, later revived by African runaways and their descendants in Jamaica. A blend of Jamaican peppers, herbs and spices for use on beef, chicken, or even seafood like porgy or snapper.

Juniper Berries
From the evergreen shrub, juniper berries, found throughout the Northern hemisphere are new to U.S. cooking but have long been a staple of European dishes. The flavor of juniper marries well with sauces for game and pork. It is often used in sausages and patès, and in sauerkraut. The berries should be crushed to bring out the flavor. Juniper also flavors gin as well as other spirits such as schnapps and some beers.

Jalepeno, Ground
A ground version of the popular pepper, perfect for adding to chili’s soups and firing up your favorite recipes

Lemon and Dill
Our Suuplier was not interested in developing this blend initially because several companies were marketing combinations of lemon and dill. When we realized that other companies were using chemicals as a substitute for lemon flavor ( and in one case lemonade mix), this product was developed. It is very popular, very useful, and very simple. I use it in potato salad, with fish in many variations, on chicken, and even on lamb. It makes a good, easy dip with sour cream, yogurt and/or cream cheese.

Lemon Grass
Narrow, fibrous, pale green leaves grown from the bulbous base of this tropical grass, with a clear smell and taste of lemon. The base and lower shoots of the plant are used in Southeast Asian cooking and give a fresh, aromatic taste to many Thai, Malay, and Indonesian dishes. Combines well with garlic, shallots and chilies, and with fresh coriander to flavor fish, shellfish, chicken, and pork.

Lemon Pepper
We are very proud of our Lemon Pepper. We use a white pepper with nothing added but lemon – real lemon. There is no salt, no sugar, no preservatives, no garlic, nothing else. The difference between our Lemon Pepper and others is so pronounced that it is easy for anyone to understand the quality of what we are offering on this site. It makes a decided difference in potato salad. It’s a marvel on fish and chicken, great on fresh sliced tomatoes, and particularly pleasant with vegetables.

Mace
The lacy growth surrounding the kernel of a nutmeg seed. This evergreen tree, which is unique in that it produces two distinct spices, is native to the Moluccas, also known as the Spice Islands. Today, one-third of the worlds supply comes from Grenada, W.I. Mace was used heavily from the Middle Ages to this century. Sadly its popularity has declined. Mace and nutmeg have similar rich, warm aromas and a highly aromatic taste. Mace is milder and more subtle. It is also more expensive (partially due to the time consuming production process). Beware, mace is sometimes mixed with nutmeg and sold as pure mace. Mace is particularly helpful in savory dishes. If used wisely, it can enhance flavor without adding flavor of its own. In oyster stew for example, it seems to intensify the oyster flavor. It gives a lift to bechamel sauce, souffles, and cream cheese desserts. I prefer mace to nutmeg with sweet potatoes.

Marjoram
Marjoram has long been one of the most prized herbs. It is less robust, more sweetly scented and delicate than its cousin oregano. It can be substituted for oregano to achieve a more subtle flavor. Eqypt is the principal source of marjoram. We select marjoram which has a pleasantly aromatic and minty-sweet flavor with a slight background bitterness. In modern kitchens, it is the herb with 1,000 uses. I especially like it with beans, peas and spinach. It is also good in salads and stuffings.

Mexican Blast
This blend of chipotle flakes, Mexican oregano and other chili flakes has a hot smoky flavor. It is great as a sprinkle for pasta, pizza and salads. Enlivens southwestern dishes, especially salsas and tomato sauces. Try it in a marinade for shrimp with olive oil and lime juice or vodka.

Mustard, Hottest
A particularly pungent and spicy version of dry mustard, not for the timid!

Mediterranean Rub
The essence of the Mediterranean can be found in this sun dried tomato, orange, garlic, fennel rub. Use generously as you would any rub. Rubbing it by the handful on pork, chicken, fish or beef and then grill the meat. Otherwise use as the seasoning mix for a marinade or the seasoning for a great sauce. It has no salt.

Nigella
The culinary nigella plant is native to Western Asia, the Middle East, and Southern Europe. It is grown primarily in India, where it is used extensively in the cuisine of all regions. It is used in many spice mixtures of the area. The nigella seeds are very small, black in color, with a lightly aromatic, peppery flavor. It can be used as a pepper substitute. Add to buttered vegetables (cabbage or zucchini) to give them an exotic flavor and crunchy texture. Rub seeds into steak before grilling. Also used to season bread in the Middle East.

Nutmeg, Ground
Nutmeg has been in continuous use for countless thousands of years. It may be the earliest used spice. In the past if people could only afford one spice, the choice was always nutmeg. In the Middle Ages, nutmeg was used in almost every dish. I find I put it in dishes as diverse as apple pie and spinach. Nutmeg blends well with other spices and is good, not only in sweet foods such as pies and cakes, but in savory dishes as well.

Nutmeg, Whole
Nutmeg has been in continuous use for countless thousands of years. It may be the earliest used spice. In the past if people could only afford one spice, the choice was always nutmeg. In the Middle Ages, nutmeg was used in almost every dish. I find I put it in dishes as diverse as apple pie and spinach. Nutmeg blends well with other spices and is good, not only in sweet foods such as pies and cakes, but in savory dishes as well. The whole-nut version, grate it for each recipe for more intense flavor than with the ground nutmeg.

Oregano
Marjoram’s robust relative, may be the most popular herb in the world; there’s probably not a cook who does not use it. We sell two kinds of oregano. Primarily, we sell Greek or Turkish (Mediterranean) oregano. Mediterranean oregano has a nice pleasant flavor, related to marjoram but more pungent. The Italians add this to all manner of dishes. It is most often used in its dried form.

Oregano, Mexican
Mexican oregano, which has a stronger, some say harsher flavor, than it’s Mediterranean counterpart, but holds up well in spicy Mexican cooking. Restaurants often prefer the Mexican.

Parsley
The ubiquitous herb, the most popular and the most versatile. It brings out the flavor of other herbs and so is always in Fines Herbes and Bouquet Garni. Dried parsley does not have the distinct flavor of fresh, but it is easier to use and is often a necessity. American drying processes are improving, and the color and flavor of our California parsley is closest to fresh – far superior to most other sources. Parsley is rich in vitamins, calcium and iron.

Peppercorns, Cracked Tellicherry
Tellicherry is the best of the black peppers. It is bigger, bolder in color, finer in flavor and aroma. Tellicherry is a newcomer to the pepper market; it has only been available for the past 20 years. It is a close relative to Malabar, and grows in the same region of India.

Peppercorns, Green – (Freeze Dried)
Green peppercorns are the mildest of the peppers. Our peppercorns come from France, where the freeze-dried process preserves the original flavor and the clear green color. Green peppercorns are useful not only for color but also for the mellowness that is preferable in dishes such as steak au-poivre or with mild flavored fish. Green peppercorns seem to have an affinity for fruit and I use them in salad dressings made with raspberry vinegar and, on occasion, as the secret ingredient in sorbets.

Pepper, Ground Tellicherry
The ground version of Tellicherry. It is bigger, bolder in color than other peppers, finer in flavor and aroma. Tellicherry is a newcomer to the pepper market; it has only been available for the past 20 years. It is a close relative to Malabar, and grows in the same region of India.

Pepper, Ground White
The whole subject of peppers is complicated. White pepper is the final version of pepper. It’s the ripest of the peppers with a distinct flavor but little aroma. White pepper is processed by soaking the peppercorn in water for up to a week. The outer black covering is washed off leaving the white inner core. White pepper is preferred by a number of countries, the British for example. Most cuisines use white pepper in dishes where specks would be unattractive, e.g., white sauce. Ours is a milder white pepper from Sarawak which has a fine flavor.

Peppermint Leaves
A pungent mint used for both sweet and savory dishes, as well as in drinks such as the famous mint julep.

Peppercorns, Malabar
Malabar is a good pepper that is easily available. It is not as strong, less black and certainly less aromatic than Tellicherry. It is available in specialty food stores and for many years was the best pepper available in the U.S.

Pine Nuts
Pine Nuts grow in many parts of the world. American Indians have harvested them in the West for thousands of years. We buy Chinese pine nuts for their crisp texture and uniform size. The nutty flavor and crunch of pine nuts enhance many dishes. They give a special touch to a tossed salad, and Pesto wouldn’t be Pesto without pine nuts! They are often used in Spanish and Italian cuisines, both in savory dishes and desserts.

Peppercorns, Pink
Pink peppers aren’t really peppers. They are berries with a sweet peppery flavor. The French have used pink peppercorns for hundreds of years in desserts such as Floating Island Custards, as well as in patès, sausage seasonings and savory dishes. Now we all use then in various fish, meat, vegetable, and salad dishes. Pink peppercorns are useful for color as well as taste.

Panch Phoran
This mix of whole spices comes from Bengal in the east of India where it is used to flavor vegetable dishes. Can be put into hot oil to perfume it before other ingredients are added.

Peppercorns, Rainbow Blend
Rainbow Pepper (Poivre Irisè) was one of the first products our supplier offered, in fact they were the first in the U.S. to sell this mix. It is a blend similar to ones used in France for many years. Maxim’s Restaurant claims they were using this pepper blend in 1920. It has pink and green peppercorns plus four other peppers. We use Tellicherry black, two kinds of white, and a tiny bit of Sichuan, which produces a very flavorful blend. Every pepper used is there for a purpose, some because they’re more aromatic, some because they are more flavorful, or mellower, or hotter. Use it any place you would use pepper.

Paprika, Spanish
Spanish paprika has a particularly fine color, but little flavor. That flavor seems to dissipate further with cooking. Check out our Hungarian Paprika if you are in need of an intensely flavored one. We sell Spanish paprika to restaurants for color. Everyone is familiar with its use on hard boiled eggs and salads. Paprika has more vitamin C than oranges.

Pepper & Spice
Pepper and Spice is a blend that has been used in this country since the 1700′s. There was a recipe in a Philadelphia cookbook, or actually just a pamphlet, that was printed in 1710 with this recipe for pepper. It was called Kitchen Pepper. Pepper and Spice is very popular in Europe. It was available in Paris as early as 1600. It was popular in this country until the turn of the century when it began to be sold in a ground form. Once ground, peppers and spices begin to lose flavor, each at a different rate, so that the blend becomes unbalanced and thus unpleasant. For this reason it fell out of favor. It’s a fine blend of peppers, coriander and mustard seed. You know that time of year when the only thing you can get fresh is carrots? Well, Pepper and Spice is just wonderful on carrots. There are many restaurateurs who use this blend with great success. Yellow Brick Bank, for example, has made its reputation on a veal dish.

Peppercorns, Sichuan
Sichuan pepper is the Chinese pepper. It is not the spice that creates the heat in Sichuan food. It adds a more pungent than hot flavor, and it is one that delineates Sichuan cuisine. The hot that also is typically Sichuan comes from Chinese chili peppers. Sichuan pepper is necessary in Sichuan cuisine and is often used in other Chinese cuisines as well.

Pesto Seasoning
Our Pesto Seasoning is the best on the market. We use a very fresh basil and we use minced garlic rather than garlic powder. Ours also contains pine nuts. A cook can take this product, add cheese and oil and presto – pesto! Of course it certainly is not as good as making your own fresh Pesto from basil, but it is so much better than any other dried product that we are particularly proud of it. It makes an especially good Pesto salad, and enables you to make a passable Pesto even when fresh basil is unavailable.

Pickling Spice
An English mixture of whole spices. This blend is used for pickled fruits and vegetables and for spicing vinegar.

Poppy Seeds
The ripe seed of the opium poppy. The plant’s well known narcotic properties come from the unripe seed pods, and are not present in the ripe seeds. The poppy seeds most common in Europe and America have the distinction of being the only blue spice. Those common in India are creamy yellow, and in Turkey they are brown and often made into a paste for Turkish sweets. Poppy seeds are most often used to flavor breads and desserts, but poppy seed butter is superb over fish and noodles. It lends a nut-like flavor to green beans, potatoes, spinach, carrots, zucchini and other types of squash.

Peppercorns, Tellicherry
Tellicherry is the best of the black peppers. It is bigger, bolder in color, finer in flavor and aroma. Tellicherry is a newcomer to the pepper market; it has only been available for the past 20 years. It is a close relative to Malabar, and grows in the same region of India.

Peppercorns, White
The whole subject of peppers is complicated. White pepper is the final version of pepper. It’s the ripest of the peppers with a distinct flavor but little aroma. White pepper is processed by soaking the peppercorn in water for up to a week. The outer black covering is washed off leaving the white inner core. White pepper is preferred by a number of countries, the British for example. Most cuisines use white pepper in dishes where specks would be unattractive, e.g., white sauce. There are several; types of white peppers. Mantoux is most often sold in the U.S. We are able to get a milder white pepper from Sarawak which has a fine flavor.

Quatre Epices
This spice mixture appears in all sorts of food. It was used so often by the French that it is called Quatre Epice in every language; it is always the same ingredients, i.e., cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. The cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice are always used in equal proportions; the cloves are in one-half the amount of any of the others. The French use it in pates, with squash and fruit dishes. We use it in pumpkin pie and fruit cake recipes.

Rosemary, cut and sifted
Raz el Hanout is an interesting blend of sweet spices essential to Moroccan cooking. I find that this blend brings together fruit and meat wonderfully. Besides couscous and other Moroccan dishes, there are classic European recipes for fruit and meat. A recipe, Pork and Prunes, appears often in old cookbooks. I had tried it once and found it only fairly interesting. When I developed Raz el Hanout, I made it again and it was absolutely terrific. It took what I considered to be a mundane dish and lifted it to new heights.

Raz El Hanout
Raz el Hanout is an interesting blend of sweet spices essential to Moroccan cooking. I find that this blend brings together fruit and meat wonderfully. Besides couscous and other Moroccan dishes, there are classic European recipes for fruit and meat. A recipe, Pork and Prunes, appears often in old cookbooks. I had tried it once and found it only fairly interesting. When I developed Raz el Hanout, I made it again and it was absolutely terrific. It took what I considered to be a mundane dish and lifted it to new heights.

Rosemary, ground
Rosemary, which grows wild around the Mediterranean coast, means “dews of the sea.” Our rosemary grows in France or Spain, depending on the quality of the crop for that year. We require rosemary to have a lovely, pungent, bittersweet flavor and a delicious piney fragrance. Rosemary leaves are a little leathery and are best finely chopped for culinary use or else sprinkled on meats before grilling or roasting over coals when barbecuing.

Saffron
Composed of the dried stigmas of a fall blooming crocus and with the distinction of being the most expensive spice in the world because it must be hand picked, over 5,000 to equal an ounce. We sell only top-of-the-line Spanish branched saffron. The color is deep red and the fragrance superior. We’ve tried others – Israeli, Indian, etc. – but none compare. It is important to buy the saffron threads, not ground saffron, which is easily and often adulterated. These threads should be broken up and infused in hot liquid giving even color and flavor to the recipe. Turmeric is no substitute for saffron! Saffron is widely known as the necessary ingredient in paella, bouillabaisse, and rice dishes.

Savory
Savory has an aromatic piquant flavor and fragrant aroma somewhat like thyme, however, more peppery with minty overtones. Europe calls savory the bean herb because it adds such a delicious aroma to both green and dried beans. It is also an important ingredient in poultry seasoning. It is clearly an excellent addition to meats, chicken and chicken soup, salads, sauces and eggs. 4 oz bottle.

Shallots
Shallots are related to garlic and onions, but are more delicate in flavor than garlic and more aromatic than the onion. The name is derived from the Greek Ascalon, a city of the Philistines, in what is now Syria. They were considered a culinary delicacy then and still are today. Traditionally shallots are associated with French cuisine, and blend well with the two foundation ingredients in French cooking, tarragon and wine. Before making gravies, curries or cream sauces, the shallot bulbs are peeled and sauteed lightly in butter. Used raw, their delicate flavor goes well in various kinds of salads. I am happy to say that shallots are becoming more and more popular in the U.S. We have even had chefs tell us they prefer these shallots over fresh!

Sambar
This “hottish” powder is widely used in southern Indian Brahmin cooking to flavor braised and stewed vegetables and sauces. The dal (yellow splits and white gram beans) in the blend gives it a nutty taste and also serves as a thickening agent. Best used within 3-4 months.

Sumac
Sumac is a nonpoisonous red berry that gives a distinctive tangy lemon flavor to chicken, grilled meat, yogurt sauces and Middle Eastern bread salad. The berries were used by the Romans before lemons reached Europe. The Lebanese and Syrians sprinkle sumac on fish; the Iraqis and Turks add it to salads; and the Iranians and Georgians season kebabs with it.

Spice, Parisienne
A slightly different version of Quatre Epice, with several additions. Thyme can be added and/or white pepper, and in this case, it is always used in savory dishes

Sage, rubbed
Sage needs rocky areas for good growing conditions in order to achieve a special pleasing mellowness. We sell Dalmation sage which is grown along the Yugoslavian coast. The flavor is pungent and the aroma powerful but fragrant and never harsh. Sage is the perfect seasoning for pork, chicken and stuffing. It is especially appreciated by the Italians, where it is used in many meat and pasta dishes.

Sesame Seed
One of the world’s oldest spices and one of the most versatile grown for food use. Mexican sesame has a mild almond-like flavor which is intensified when toasted. Since they are delicately flavored, they can be used in more or less unmeasured amounts in any dish where chopped nutmeats would be used. They can be used untoasted on breads. I especially like them as an addition to crumb toppings for casseroles. Creamy colored sesame seeds are 50% oil and are a source of valuable cooking oil. The seed’s sweet nut-like flavor is intensified when toasted and good on breads, cakes, vegetables, etc. In the Middle East the ground seeds are made into halvah, a sweetmeat and into tahini, a creamy paste used as a sauce base.

Sesame Seeds, Black
One of the world’s oldest spices and one of the most versatile grown for food use. Black sesame seeds are used primarily in Japanese and Chinese cooking. The oil is darker and stronger and is added to flavor dishes at the end of cooking.

Sage, whole
Sage needs rocky areas for good growing conditions in order to achieve a special pleasing mellowness. We sell Dalmation sage which is grown along the Yugoslavian coast. The flavor is pungent and the aroma powerful but fragrant and never harsh. Sage is the perfect seasoning for pork, chicken and stuffing. It is especially appreciated by the Italians, where it is used in many meat and pasta dishes.

Tandoori
Tandoori is one of our most popular products and is my favorite. I have been making Tandoori chicken for years. I learned with Tandoori about blending spices and the convenience of having them on hand. I originally bought Tandoori in an Indian shop in Georgetown, D.C. I took it home, tried it, and it was wonderful! The recipe was simple: mix a tablespoon of spice with a tablespoon of yogurt, slather it on the chicken and bake or grill. The result tastes as if you’ve been in the kitchen for days. I hurried to Georgetown to buy more, but the shop was out of business. I searched New York, Boston and Philadelphia for Tandoori, all in vain. A friend and I, using what was left in the original bottles, began the attempt to copy it. We talked with Indian cooks, we read recipes and finally matched the product to our satisfaction. I make Tandoori chicken frequently at home, and still use it when I wish to impress someone.

Tarragon
French and Russian are two types of Tarragon, . We select French tarragon because it has a deep green color. Russian tarragon is often grayer with somewhat brownish leaves. In addition, French tarragon has a wonderful aroma which is slightly licorice. When used in cooking, it absolutely perfumes the house. Tarragon is used to flavor egg dishes and omelets, is an essential in Fines Herbes and Sauce Bernaise. It is good with roasted meats, fish and especially good with chicken. One of the easiest and most elegant of recipes is Tarragon Chicken. This classic dish calls for stuffing the cavity with handfuls of tarragon and basting with lemon and butter.

Thyme
Thyme is one of the oldest and most popular herbs and is used in almost every cuisine. It is greenish gray in color with tiny leaves. It is a powerfully aromatic herb, with a strong, slightly minty, bitter flavor. We purchase thyme from Spain. It is harvested from March to September. In this season, it produces a higher volatile oil content and is more attractive than the winter harvest. Thyme is one of the essential herbs in Bouquet Garni and is used for flavoring soups, stews and stuffings. It goes well with potatoes, beans, fish, meat and poultry.

Turmeric
A member of the ginger family. Like ginger, the rhizomes comprise the spice. Our turmeric comes from India, the main producer. We have in the past bought turmeric from Indian importers. To me it had a musty smell and poor color. Indians prefer the mustiness. However, it is not the preference of most Americans, including me. A less popular Indian turmeric is Alli Peppi. We prefer its mild earthy flavor. It is slightly peppery, slightly bitter and very aromatic. Turmeric is essential to many S. Asian dishes – curries, vegetarian dishes and lentils. It is also a traditional textile dye, e.g., the “saffron” robes of the Buddhist monks. Turmeric is the secret ingredient in commercial mustards, barbecue sauces, mayonnaise and soups. I use it with chicken and fish.

Thyme, ground
One of the oldest and most popular herbs and used in almost every cuisine. It is greenish gray in color with tiny leaves. It is a powerfully aromatic herb, with a strong, slightly minty, bitter flavor. We purchase thyme from Spain. It is harvested from March to September. In this season, it produces a higher volatile oil content and is more attractive than the winter harvest. Thyme is one of the essential herbs in Bouquet Garni and is used for flavoring soups, stews and stuffings. It goes well with potatoes, beans, fish, meat and poultry.

Thai Rub
A typical Thai seasoning with cilantro and lemon flavors, hot and sweet background flavors. Can be used as a flavoring in soups or as a dry rub or in wet marinades with chicken, fish, and pork. Essential ingredients in satay. Excellent in cold noodle salad.

Taco Seasoning
As you know, Mexican food has been the rage for the past several years. Taco Seasoning sells well both in bottle and in bulk for food service businesses. Of course we are proud of the fact that we use only the freshest ingredients. Most cooks find our Taco Seasoning typical and a nicely balanced blend.

Tunisian Spice Blend
This unique blend is used in vegetable dishes and with lamb.

Vindaloo
One of my favorite cuisines is Indian, and I love curries. Vindaloo is a sour curry, a mix Indians use on strong-flavored meats such as goat, lamb and game. Surprisingly, it’s also wonderful on bluefish. The spices cut the oil leaving a fine-flavored fish. Many cooks especially restaurateurs, use Vindaloo on venison.

Wasabi
A root with a fierce aroma and biting taste. Grated or a wasabi paste (tepid water and wasabi) mixed with a soy dipping sauce is used with Sashimi, a Japanese raw fish dish. When used with sushi, wasabi paste is used for flavor and to help the fish adhere to the rice filling. It is also used with meat dishes. Useful for stimulating the palate, which makes them ideal for hors d’oeuvres.

Zahtar
An aromatic mixture from North Africa and Turkey. Can be sprinkled on meatballs or vegetables and also used as a dip. It can be mixed to a paste with olive oil and spread on bread before baking. Best used within 3-4 months.