Knowing how to use spices can greatly enhance the flavor of all your dishes.What makes spices so exciting? Let’s use the analogy of an artist. You as the cook are the artist and spices are your paints – they can bring a blank canvas (or dish) to life!
Spices allow you to be creative and adventurous with your cooking and best of all, they prevent you from eating another bland meal.
Spices serve several purposes in cooking and can be used to:
- Add Flavor and Aroma. Spices can transform a meal by adding a range of flavors, from a hint of sweetness to a kick of heat. They also give beautiful aromas that are often our first determining factor for whether we want to eat a meal or not.
- Enhance taste of food. We always think of salt as our go-to when a meal tastes too bland, but there are other spices, like cumin, that bring out the natural flavors of food.
- Change or enhance color. If you’ve ever eaten at an Indian restaurant you may have noticed that many of the dishes have a deep yellow, orange or red color. That’s because the spices used in typical Indian cooking, such as turmeric and paprika, give color to the foods making them more bright and appealing.
Seasoning with spices can be intimidating if you’re not familiar with it but – like painting – with the right tools and practice, you’ll be cooking up a masterpiece in no time.
We created our Guide to Flavoring with Spices Infographic to show you some of the most common spices that are hiding in your cupboard and how to use them. This chart below gives you an idea of the flavor each spice will add to your meal, what spices go well together, and what foods to add them to.