Spicewalla Herbs & Spices
Spicewalla Herbs & Spices
Aleppo Pepper Flakes: Meet the Syrian-born Aleppo pepper, a more nuanced red pepper flake with a whole lot of personality! It boasts bright and fruity aromas, cumin-like earthiness, and hints of sun-dried tomato---and yes, it is as delicious as it sounds. A little sprinkle of this beautiful, deep red chili flake will enhance the flavors of any dish you make, acting in the same way as salt (but with a mild, slow-building heat!) We stan the Aleppo pepper! Size: 0.9 oz
Ancho Chile Powder: Made from mild, plump poblano chiles that have been charred and dried, ancho has a supremely smoky depth that’s rich, full-bodied, and unmistakable. A staple in the famous many-ingredient mole dishes of Mexico’s Oaxaca region, it’s often used to thicken and flavor sauces and salsas, adding flavor without too much heat. Because it has a bit of fruity sweetness, it can marry well with chocolate in more adventurous desserts. Size: 1.7 oz
Bay Leaves: Just as any great film needs a strong supporting actor, any great soup needs a bay leaf or two. This fragrant leaf, while not meant to be consumed, provides an earthy, warm, flavor that serves as an enhancer to other spices within a dish. Size: 0.02oz
Basil: Maybe the most famous herb in the world, the hearty basil plant’s wide, tender leaves are a symbol of prosperity and a powerful source of aromatherapy. Though basil is most closely associated with classic Italian dishes like Genoa pesto, it actually originated in India, where some varieties have a stronger, more acidic flavor. Easy to grow in kitchen gardens, basil’s fragrant leaves can be dried and added to pistou, salads, soups, and so much more. Size: 0.4 oz
Table Grind Black Pepper: Ground to fit perfectly out of those tiny pepper shaker holes, the table grind is a classic addition from everything to eggs in the morning, sandwiches, and your Nana's meatloaf. Native to India’s Malabar coast and cultivated for the past thousand years, spicy, resinous black pepper is made from a berry, dried until the skins are shriveled and dark. Size: 1.4oz
Black Sesame Seed: Everything about a nutty black sesame seed is the same as its white counterpart, except for one thing—they haven’t had their hulls removed during the processing stage. That lends them a slightly stronger toasted flavor and a gorgeously distinctive look, especially when scattered over pillowy dinner rolls, pale hummus, or a smear of yogurt. Highly drought-tolerant, the plant that produces them grows wild in Africa and India, but is now farmed around the world. Size: 1.9 oz
Blue Poppy Seed: The floral, blackish-blue seed of the poppy, or opium plant, poppy seeds were first discovered in the Mediterranean, but were adopted worldwide—especially by European cultures like Germany, which incorporates them in large quantities to baked dishes like strudels, as their mild, nutty flavor pairs well with sweetness. It’s also a favorite bagel topping, and a great way to add texture to salads. Size: 1.9oz
Caraway Seed: Native to central Asia, caraway seed (which is actually the fruit of the plant, and not the seed) has a long history as an ingredient in many things, including alcohol (the famous Nordic aquavit) and love potions. We can’t vouch for that last bit, but we can tell you that caraway’s cozy, pungent flavor lends depth to spicy harissa paste, but also plays nicely with simple breads and even apple slaws and chutneys. Size: 1.5oz
Cayenne Chili Powder: Cayenne’s fiery red color is matched by its fruity heat. Fresh cayenne peppers have a shiny shell and an elongated, fingerlike shape. Their medium intensity really shines through when dried and ground, which is why they are one of the most popular, most-planted hot peppers in the world. Sometimes referred to as a bird chile, cayenne is found in cuisines around the world, from Mexico to India and beyond. A little goes a long way—just a pinch in a curry or salsa will add a significant bit of heat. Size: 1.3oz
Chipotle Chili Powder: Chipotles are actually another famous pepper in disguise—they’re jalapeños that have been smoked, dried, and ground, often in the Chihuahua region of Mexico. They add a similar heat as fresh jalapeno, but with a more complex flavor. Earthy and rich, chipotle powder is a quick way to instill a little smokiness into dishes when you can’t fire up the grill, and blends well with brown sugar for salty-sweet rubs or margarita salt.
Cinnamon Powder: The long, complicated history of cinnamon starts in Sri Lanka (once called Ceylon), where it grew originally before becoming prized around the world as a preservative and medicine—worth so much that it was often traded as a commodity. (Wars were fought over control of the source!) Made from the inner bark of the tropical cinnamon tree, the curled stick is the foundation of both Chinese Five Spice powder and iconic American apple pie. Size: 1.48 oz.
(Whole) Cloves: An icon of the spice world, cloves are the dried, unopened flowers of a tree that’s a member of the myrtle family. They probably make you think of holiday hams and hot apple cider, with good reason—the piquant, brightly spicy buds are similar to cinnamon in both flavor and historical use. They’ve appeared as a breath freshener in the Han dynasty; a Victorian Christmas staple; and a key ingredient in garam masala. Size: 1.0 oz
Crushed Red Pepper: Don’t judge this classic spice by the dusty jar at your neighborhood pizza joint When prepared fresh and stored properly, red pepper flakes—made from the crushed skins and seeds of red chilis—deliver a bold, but not incendiary, punch to dressings, stews, even a cheese slice. Said to have been processed in this manner by early Macedonians, it fittingly pairs well with other Mediterranean ingredients such as eggplant and tomato. Size: 1oz
Cumin Powder: Peppery and prepared to play well with others, cumin was once so popular it was once carried in the pockets of wedding guests during the Middle Ages to bring good fortune. This pale version has a slightly more citrusy kick than its roasted cousins, and it goes well with fresh chilli pepper and mild vegetables. Size: 1.5 oz
Dill Weed: Is there anything more refreshing than the bright, grassy flavor of dill weed? Early Eastern Europeans sure didn’t think so, relying on the plant’s bright green fronds to bring the taste of summer to year-round preserved dishes like pickles. A relative of parsley, the herb has a layer of licorice-like flavor. Adhering to the adage “If it grows together, it goes together,” it pairs beautifully with fresh lettuces, green beans, cabbages, and so on. Size: 0.6oz
Fennel Seed: Powerful and distinctive, ribbed fennel seeds give classic sweet Italian sausages their tang. The product of the spiky, edible fennel bulb has been referenced as far back as the time of Hippocrates as a spice, digestive aid, and, sometimes, ingredient in ancient rituals. Now, it’s often used in pork preparations like porchetta, or as an addition to pickles and seeded bread.
Granulated Garlic: Coarser than garlic powder, granulated garlic also has a bit more toothiness and bite, which adds texture to a garlic bagel or garlic bread. They also have a slightly deeper flavor than fresh cloves of garlic, and don’t require time-consuming peeling to boot. Made from whole dehydrated cloves, these little granules are a stellar secret weapon to have around the kitchen. Size: 1.9oz
Green Cardamom Powder: This finely ground green cardamom powder is the easiest, most efficient way to start incorporating the nuanced flavor into shortbread cookies, Scandinavian sweet buns, or meat rubs. Cardamom is often added to coffee in Middle Eastern countries, such as Turkey, adding an extra dose of fragrant sweetness. Size: 1.2oz
Ground Allspice Powder: Despite its all-encompassing name, allspice actually has quite a distinctive flavor—warm, peppery, the hallmark of both densely sweet gingerbread and fiery Jamaican jerk chicken. It’s a dried berry from an evergreen tree native to the Caribbean and Central America. Europeans tried to cultivate it (to little avail) after Christopher Columbus brought it back to Spain. Rich in spicy essential oil, the ground spice is great in baked goods and savory dishes alike. Size: 1.3 oz
Ground Ginger: Sinus-clearing ginger root is famous for its immunity boosting powers as well as its ability to cleanse the palate and add zing to dense cakes or sauces. Prized by ancient Indian and Chinese cultures, it was used as early as 5,000 years ago as a cure for common ailments like stomach pain. Those early ancestors were onto something, as anyone who’s sipped ginger tea can attest to. The powdered version is a great way to heat up classic American fall dishes, such as pumpkin and apple pie. Size: 1.2oz
Gumbo File Sassafras: Sometimes just called filé powder for short, powdered sassafras leaf is a cornerstone ingredient of Cajun cooking, especially classic gumbo. It was originally used by cooks in the Choctaw tribe as a thickener and flavoring. Sassafras root is the basis of root beer, so the powder infuses everything with a similarly earthy, rich flavor, but with a more verdant quality. It should be added to dishes toward the end of cooking. Size: 1.1oz
Ground Turmeric: A longtime staple as a fabric dye and ingredient in Ayurvedic cooking and medicine (since 500 BC!), turmeric is currently enjoying a huge resurgence in popularity due to its anti-inflammatory and digestive qualities. A rhizome that looks similar to ginger root when pulled out of the ground, dried and powdered turmeric has stunning marigold color and earthy taste that pairs well with citrus or honey. Size: 2oz
Juniper Berries: These dark brown berries have a long history—they’ve been found in Egyptian tombs, and were considered a symbol of fertility—and lore stated planting the plant by your door could ward off witches. The fruit of an evergreen tree, juniper berries are actually a teensy pine cone that looks like a berry from afar. Fittingly, they have a pine-like flavor that’s got a peppery kick, and is a common ingredient in gin distillation. Size: 1.3oz
Lavender Flowers: Delicate but not at all shy, the scent of lavender has been soothing humans for thousands of years—starting in the Middle East and India. The plant flowers a famous shade of purple, and has widespread uses both in and out of the kitchen, from cocktail syrups to beauty and home products. Size: 0.5 oz
Mediterranean Oregano: Highly floral, one sniff of this oregano can send you off into a total Under the Tuscan Sun moment. This oregano plant, unlike Mexican oregano, is closely related to mint, and keeps its pungent flavor even when dried. It grows tenaciously in hot, rocky climates, and has traditionally been used in marinades for grilled meats and as a complement to more mild flavors, such as creamy feta. Size: 0.4oz
Mexican Oregano: Fragrant dried oregano is a staple in many cuisines, including Greek and Mexican. It originated in the mountains and grows well in even rocky climates. The mildly licorice smell is transporting and able to lift up highly spiced dishes like chicken tinga, but also plays well with mellow background flavors like feta cheese and simple grilled shrimp. Size: 0.4oz
Parsley: Perhaps the most legendary garnish of all time, flat leaf parsley is worth the fanfare. Used in funeral rites (but not cooking!) by early Greeks, the hardy, palate-cleansing herb grows easily, and quickly made its way into kitchen gardens around the world. It’s a main component of many French stocks, and by the early 1900s had become a staple garnish for cooks looking to brighten up their plates without overpowering the flavor of their food. Size: 0.2oz
Nutmeg (Whole): This large, mahogany-colored evergreen seed, which comes off the tree covered in a shell similar to a walnut, might look a little unfamiliar at first. But it stays fresh practically forever, and when grated, the hard seed releases the fragrant, spicy scent and flavor that’s a cornerstone of everything from pumpkin pie to mulled wine. Size: 1.6oz
Roasted Coriander Powder: The coriander plant has leaves that we in the U.S. call cilantro, and these slim seeds known as coriander. The roasted, dried seeds still have a zingy, citrusy freshness that will pairs gorgeously with lime juice, and will brighten up sweet and savory dishes alike. Maybe that’s why it’s one of the earliest recorded spices? Size: 1.2oz
Roasted Cumin Powder: Without cumin, we’d have no savory dal, tajine or chili. Hundreds of beloved recipes get their distinctive tang, punchy heat, and tawny color from cumin. Made from the thin, tiny seeds of the delicate cumin plant (a relative of dill and caraway), the spice originated in Asia (hence its appearance in the famous Xi’an noodle dishes), but was widely dispersed via the Silk Road, and used as an antibacterial addition to foods. Roasting adds depth and a toasted undertone. Size: 1.5oz
Cut Rosemary: Finely chopped, these fragrant rosemary needles are a simple option for adding aromatic, herbal flavor to dishes like pot pie or homemade crackers without overwhelming other subtle flavors. Used by the ancient Greeks as early as 500 BC to both flavor and preserve food, the woody, pine-like herb’s spotlight hasn’t dimmed since, and it’s one of the most common garden herbs planted today. Try adding some to your next homemade loaf of bread or tray of roasted chicken and vegetables. Size: 1oz
Is there anything better than the scent of rosemary? The sweet, resin-y herb is redolent of pine, and historically, that powerful scent played a role in witchcraft, as it was thought to ward off sickness and protect against spells. The herb also showed up in ancient Greek and Roman weddings, where it was worn by the bride. The stiff leaves taste magical when stuffed under a roast chicken skin or stirred into a vegetable frittata. Size: 0.7oz
Rubbed Sage: Sage is like a crush that sneaks up on you—maybe not the first one you notice, but once you’re aware, you can’t get enough. Its distinctive peppery flavor, and eucalyptus-like scent adds a distinctive coziness to traditional bread stuffings and veal saltimbocca—which might have to do with its early use by ancient Romans as a meat preservative. The plush, velvety leaves dry up beautifully, and are frequently paired with garden fellows rosemary and thyme. Size: 0.4 oz
Smoked Paprika: Columbus brought smoked paprika from Central America to Spain, where it was beloved for its fire and punch. Both smoked and sweet paprika are made from the same family of thin, long red peppers, and both lend savory flavors, rather than real heat. Also called pimenton, smoked paprika gives chorizo its bright red color, and lends a woodsy note to meat or veggie dishes. A little goes a long way. Size: 1.5 oz
Spanish Paprika: Sweetly mellow and distinctive, Spanish paprika traces its roots back to Mexico. The colonial-era Spanish adopted the bright red pepper plant with gusto, and disseminated it to the Balkans, Hungary, and beyond. Sweet, or dulce, paprika is made from the mild, medium-sized Bola and Jacaranda peppers, and has more vegetal flavor than heat. It’s traditionally stirred into Spanish aioli and creamy Eastern European chicken paprikash (hence the name). Size: 1.5oz
Star Anise: A star was truly born when the ancient cooks of Southeast China started incorporating this unusual dried fruit, harvested from an evergreen, into their savory dishes and teas. The hard, woody shell has a texture similar to a cinnamon stick, but the candied, fragrant flavor is licorice-like, thanks to a shared family tree with anise seed. (Star anise is stomach-soothing for the same reason.) Its natural sweetness is a no-brainer in cookies, but also a stellar counterpart to meat marinades. Size: 0.6oz
Sumac: Sumacs are some of the prettiest plants in the wild, producing crimson red fruits nestled amongst spiraling leaves. That might be why they drew the attention of early Middle Eastern, Arab, and Central Asian cultures, who turned the dried fruits into an oxblood-colored powder used as a leather dye and garnish. It has a tart, wonderfully sour flavor, and stunning visual appeal when sprinkled over swirled plates of baba ghanoush or grilled flatbreads. Size: 1.8 oz
Tarragon: The flat, tender leaves of the tarragon plant have roots back in Siberia. It shows up in Russian cuisine, and in the 14th century started showing up in Italy and France, where its light, licorice-y flavor was championed by Escoffier. Julia Child eventually sung its praises to the U.S. market. Classically, it’s mixed into cream sauces for salmon and chicken, and it’s a staple in omelet aux fines herbes. Size: 0.4 oz
Tumeric: Made with 100% heirloom seeds this Pragati Turmeric Powder is high in curcumin content, the ingredient believed to give Turmeric its anti-inflammatory properties. Fresh and pungent, Diaspora Co. turmeric has the same perfectly bitter, gingery, and earthy flavors as other turmeric but holds double the potency in taste and smell. Size: 3.3 oz
Thyme Leaves: An easy way to soothe stress is to take a big whiff of thyme, which may be part of the reason Greeks burned it as incense during antiquity. A cousin of the mint family that grows easily in most climates, thyme’s woody stems sprout delicate leaves that contain antiseptic properties and a strong herbal scent. Size: 0.7 oz
White Poppy Seed: Yes, white poppy seeds exist! They’re the early harvest from Middle Eastern and Mediterranean poppy flowers and have a creamy, soft texture that’s similar to raw sesame seeds. They’re often ground and used to thicken Indian sauces and have a nutty flavor that’s similar to black poppy seeds but act as more of a background player. Size: 1.9oz
White Sesame Seed: A tiny seed with an expansive history, sesame seeds have been relied on by humans since the Egyptians were using them as both a food, and a source for oil. (Fittingly, they’re a symbol of immortality.) The seed ground into the Middle Eastern staple tahini, and is also a crucial ingredient in Asian dishes. Size: 1.8oz
Yellow Mustard Seed: These piquant, marigold-colored seeds are packed full of spicy flavor—which, crushed and mixed with vinegar or water, is the basis of the classic yellow schmear we love to slather on pretzels. A member of the brassica family (along with brussels sprouts), whole yellow mustard seeds have a mellow flavor that’s often used in pickling recipes. They add a delicate zing to meat brines, too. Size: 2.1oz
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