8 Must-Have Herbs and Spices ...

Herbs and spices make food extra-delightful with their added flavors and aromas. You can’t have a kitchen without these natural taste enhancers. Here are 8 herbs and spices that you must have in your kitchen.

1. Pepper

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You should always have pepper in your kitchen, whether in the form of pepper corn or ground. Pepper has the ability to give your bland dish an instant spicy kick. You can use black or white pepper, depending on the dish and your taste preference. White pepper has a milder taste than black pepper.

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Chili is a great spice to use if you want an added kick to your food. Chili comes in these popular forms: whole chilies, chili powder, and flakes. You also use ready-made chili paste or sauce. Cayenne and Paprika are other spices that are also made of chilies. You can be conservative or liberal when adding chili to your dish.

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This Indian spice is a mix of sweet and savory spices. Curry is great to use in meat, seafood, vegetable, and poultry dishes. Curry will give your soups, sauces, and stews a well-rounded flavor. You can mix your own curry powder using various spices or you can buy the ready-made kind.

4. Garlic

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Garlic has been used as a medicinal herb during the medieval times. This herb has a very strong taste and a pungent odor. It makes for a very potent seasoning. You can get garlic fresh, in powder, or in flakes.

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Basil is characterized by its warm, sweet taste. It goes really well with tomato-based dishes. You can also use basil with meat, fish, and in salads. Basil can be used fresh or dried. Keep in mind, though, that fresh basil is more flavorful than dried basil.

6. Rosemary

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Rosemary is an herb that belongs to the mint family. It has a bitter taste with a woodsy, pungent smell. You can use this herb in meat dishes, soups, and vegetable dishes. You can release its flavorful oil by rubbing or chopping the leaves. Chopping the leaves makes the flavor more intense.

7. Oregano

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This herb, also from the mint family, is used in Mediterranean cuisine. Oregano has a strong flavor and is very aromatic. It can be used in a whole range of dishes such as chili, pizza, pasta sauces, meat dishes, fish, and vegetables. Oregano can overpower a dish if you add too much.

8. Bay Leaves

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Bay leaves are used for their sharp aroma and that typical bitter taste. Simmering bay leaves in soups, stews, and seafood dishes give extra flavor that everyone will love. Be sure to take out the leaf before serving the food.

These 8 herbs and spices are very versatile. Take time to get to know their flavors and smells. Learn how to use them when you cook to give your favorite dishes an added kick. Which of these herbs and spices are a must-have in your kitchen? Or is there another spice you have to have?

Top Photo Credit: Dusko Almosa

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