Every good cook knows when to add spices to a meal. The right spices can make an average meal into something that those who try it will talk about for days. We have all been in the spices aisle in the supermarket and if one thing is certain is that there are many spices out there to choose from. That is great because we can have many different flavors in our food, but for someone who is starting it may be a little intimidating. There are the all-star condiments and there are some that you may not yet know. Here is a list of the 5 condiments and spices you should get in your next trip.
Almost everyone is familiar with Indian Curry (even though there are more than 20 varieties depending on the region the curry comes from), but not everyone is familiar with Jamaican Curry. There are small differences in the ingredients in Indian and Jamaican curries; the most noticeable is that the Jamaican version contains all spice. There are also differences in the type of chilies used to prepare both versions, but mostly the differences are in the amounts of ingredients used for the preparation. Jamaican curry is sweeter and you can do marvels with it. Fish is perfect with Jamaican curry.
Cajun Seasoning Mix
If you have ever had Cajun food you will recognize the Cajun seasoning mix. It is a great addition to a lot of different dishes and it already includes salt, so no need to add more to your dish. It also contains a mix of spices that go great by themselves in dishes from around the globe. What Cajun spice mix or blend does is it combines all those different spices and ingredients for an explosion of flavor no kitchen should be without
Pumpkin Pie Spice
You may already have cinnamon in your pantry, perhaps even nutmeg. Those two are great ingredients to keep in your kitchen, but you should also add Pumpkin Pie Spice. What makes pumpkin pie spice different? Pumpkin pie spice is not a single ingredient like cinnamon or nutmeg, it actually adds complexity and flavor that other spices like cinnamon simply do not. The first thing that comes to mind when using pumpkin pie spice is baking, and it works like a charm when you bake, but it can also be added to vegetarian dishes to add a little kick to them.
Paprika is another spice that you must have handy, especially when trying to add color and a mild flavor to your dish. The flavor is sweet, though you can find it in other flavors such as smoky and spicy. The varieties are good and you should try them all so you can settle on your favorite. White fish like mahi mahi can be enhanced by the color and flavor of paprika, but you can also use it on dishes like oven fried chicken. In fact, Elvis Presley was one to love paprika in his oven fried chicken.
As soon as you feel the smell of cumin you know your dish is going to be special. Cumin’s flavor is bitter and adds a Mediterranean flavor to your food, but is also used in other cuisines such as African, Cuban and Middle Eastern. This aromatic spice goes great with beans, rice, couscous, fish and white meats. However in cuisines like Cuban cumin works great in stews and soups. You can find cumin as a seed or you can go with the powder which is more convenient to use. It will add sweetness to your dish even with its bitter flavor when you taste it by itself.