The Spice of Life

Ever wonder how certain dishes have an undeniable flavor of a certain region that you just know it is that type of food?  Between the flavor trinities of beginning flavors to the spices that complete the dish, its all what you put in it.

Here are the typical spices that are commonly used when creating these types of dishes.

Cajun & Creole Spices

Allspice, basil, bay leaves, black pepper, caraway seeds, cardamom, cayenne, celery seed, chives, chile peppers, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, dill seed, dill weed, garlic, gumbo filé, lemon, mace, marjoram, nutmeg, onion, oregano (Mediterranean), paprika, parsley, saffron, savory, tarragon, thyme, white pepper and yellow mustard .

Caribbean Spices

Allspice, achiote seeds (annatto seeds), black pepper, chile peppers, cinnamon, cloves, garlic, ginger, lime, mace, nutmeg, onion,  and thyme .

Chinese Spices

Cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, ginger, hot mustard, lemongrass, Sichuan peppercorns, star anise, Tien Tsin chiles, turmeric and white pepper .

Indian Spices

Anise seed, ajwain, asafoetida, bay leaf, black cardamom, black cumin, black mustard seed, black pepper, black salt, brown mustard seed, chile peppers, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cubeb berries, cumin, dried mango, fennel seed, fenugreek leaves , fenugreek seeds, garlic, ginger, green cardamom, lemon, lime, long pepper, mace, mint, nigella, nutmeg, onion, poppy seeds, saffron, sesame seed, star anise, turmeric and white pepper .

Italian Spices

Basil, garlic, onion, oregano (Mediterranean), marjoram and parsley .

Mediterranean Spices

Basil, bay leaves, black caraway, black pepper, cardamom, chervil, chile peppers, chives, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, fennel seed, fenugreek seeds, garlic, ginger, juniper, mace, marjoram, mint, nutmeg, onion, oregano (Mediterranean), paprika, parsley, rosemary, saffron, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme, turmeric and white pepper .

Mexican Spices

Allspice, achiote seeds (annatto seeds), basil, Mexican cinnamon, cayenne, chile peppers, cilantro, coriander, cumin, epazote, mint, nutmug, oregano (Mexican), sage and thyme .

Middle Eastern Spices

Aleppo pepper, anise seed, caraway, cardamom, cumin, maras pepper, nutmeg, sumac and turmeric

North African Spices

Birds eye chiles, cilantro, cinnamon, cubeb berries, cumin, garlic, ginger, grains of paradise, long pepper, mint, onion and saffron .

Spanish Spices

Basil, bay leaf, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, garlic, mint, nutmeg, oregano (Mediterranean), paprika (Smoked Sweet), parsley, rosemary, saffron, sage, tarragon, thyme and vanilla .

Thai Spices

Basil, black pepper, cardamom, chile peppers, cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, lime, mace, mint, nutmeg, shallots, turmeric and white pepper .


List courtesy of Spices Inc.


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