Click here to join the FareShare Recipe Exchange Group

 FareShare Recipe Exchange Group: Herbs and Spices

Home | Chat | Recipes | Metrics | Cooking Temperatures | Links


Return to the FareShare Recipe  Master Index

Please bookmark this site so you can come back often.

Search our Recipe Archives.  Click Here!



Food Tips:  Spices and Herbs


Home of
The Spice Rack

Spice History

Spice Book:   A to Z

Which to Use

Seasoning Mixes

Storing Spices

Shelf Life

Preserving Herbs

Spicy Tips & FAQs

Spicy Wedding?

Spice Links

Search our Recipe Archives.  Click Here!

Spice Book

Here you will find information and descriptions on a large number of herbs and spices. You may even find some photos and recipes along the way. Click on the letter of the seasoning in which you are interested and enjoy your tour of the Spice Book.




Much of the information in the SpiceRack section of our website has come from material provided by Penzeys Spices as well as a number of other resources around the Internet.

Photos throughout these pages come from a variety of sources around the Internet. Many came from an excellent spice site, "Gernot Katzer's Spice Pages," while others came from Penzeys catalogues.

Click here to join the FareShare Recipe Exchange Group

Penzeys Spices



Adobo Seasoning: A traditional and popular Mexican spice mix. Not hot, but spicy and rich in flavor. Mexican oregano, cumin and cayenne red pepper.

Allspice (Pimenta dioica): Allspice is the dried, unripe berry of a tree indigenous to the Caribbean and Central America. These small dark, reddish-brown berries are so called because their aroma and flavor resemble a combination of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Photo to the right. Columbus introduced Allspice to Europe in the 16th Century. It is one of the few spices native to the Western hemisphere and, although many attempts have been made to grow Allspice in other parts of the world, it remains the only spice commercially produced exclusively in this area. Allspice was originally used by American Indians to preserve meat and fish. The term 'buccaneer' comes from the Allspice cured meats of the Arawak Indians, called 'boucan', adopted by the pirates using the island of Jamaica as a base for raiding shipping. Use berries whole in marinades; for boiling and pot roasting meats and poultry; in fish dishes, pickles and chutneys. Crush the whole berries to release more flavor. Also available ground and excellent for flavoring soups, sauces and desserts. Allspice is the main flavor in jerk and barbecue seasoning. The Polish call it kubaba, and use it whole in soups and pickling. Ground allspice is used for many baked goods. Other names include Jamaican Pepper and Pimento.

Ajwain Seed: Ajwain (or Ajowan) or lovage seeds have a strong thyme-like aroma and are a common ingredient in 'balti' cooking and in bhajias and pakoras. It is a traditional addition to many Indian and Pakistani dishes and especially useful in lentil and bean dishes.

Almond Extract: Made by dissolving almond essential oil in an alcohol base. Look for those labeled "pure" or "natural." A little of this will go a long way, so use sparingly!

Alum: Potassium aluminum sulfate, a highly astringent crystal traditionally used in canning to make pickles crisper. It can cause some minor digestive problems, however, so it is used less often these days.

Amchoor (mango powder): Amchoor is the powder made from grinding dried green mangoes and is a wonderful ingredient in lentil curries. It gives a sweet/sour taste that complements dhal perfectly. It can also be used in other curries, such as vindaloo, as a souring agent.

Back to Index




Allspice Berries



Anise Seeds (Pimpinella anisum): Commonly called aniseed, these small, brown oval or crescent-shaped seeds have the sweet, pungent flavor of licorice. Photo to the left. It is related to caraway, dill, cumin, and fennel. Also available ground. Use seeds in stews and vegetable dishes, or sprinkle over loaves and rolls before baking. Try ground anise for flavoring fish dishes and pastries for fruit pies. With its sweet licorice taste, anise is used in cookies, sausage and sauces. Used throughout the Mediterranean.


When using whole aniseeds, use a mortar and pestle to crush them prior to adding to any recipe.

Anise, Star: Chinese star anise is one of the most beautiful and fragrant spices in the world. The perfect 8 - 12 pointed stars are the fruit of the native Chinese evergreens, boasting a much stronger, sweeter and denser licorice flavor than the more common Spanish anise seeds. Make sure to cut back by 1/2 - 2/3 if you are substituting star anise for seed anise, as it is more potent.

Anise, Whole Star: Whole Star Anise is often used in craftwork as it is so beautiful, on a plate as a garnish or floated in a pot of tea. Since the flavor of star anise is very strong, most star anise used in cooking is broken or powdered, as a whole star overpowers most dishes. Use very sparingly in stir-fry dishes. Also good with fish and poultry.

Anise, Broken Star: Broken pieces are used in pickling at the rate of 2 to 3 points per quart, curry or stir fry at the rate of 3 to 5 points per dish.

Anise, Powdered Star: Great for baking. Use only 1/3 as much as recipes using anise seed call for. Powdered star anise is essential for Chinese 5 spice and many Asian recipes for duck and pork.

Annatto Seeds: A must for South American, Caribbean, Mexican, and Spanish cooking. Use annotta oil for red color and flavor in rice, chicken or fish, enchiladas.

Apple Pie Spice: For pies, muffins, coffee cake, rolls, sugar cookies, or sprinkle on toast or waffles. Cinnamon, nutmeg, mace and cloves.

Arrowroot Starch: Arrowroot is a white powder extracted from the root of a West Indian plant, Marantha arundinacea. It looks and feels like cornstarch and has long been used in making clear glazes for fruit pies or Chinese clear gravies. Because of its superior thickening ability (use half as much as flour) and clear finish, arrowroot is excellent for thickening the sauce for stir-fried seafood and poultry.

Asafoetida Powder: Asafoetida is the product of a large, unpleasant smelling plant. When the stems are cut, a milky liquid is produced, which is dried and ground with rice flour. A staple in Indian cooking, asafoetida powder is used by adding very small amounts to hot cooking oil. It has a delicious onion/truffle flavor and aroma. Rice flour, asafoetida, gum Arabic.

To make achiote (annatto oil): Mix 1/2 cup annatto seed and 1 cup vegetable oil. Simmer 10 minutes. Strain out seeds, refrigerate.

To thicken sauces or gravies: Use 2 to 3 teaspoons arrowroot starch (dissolved in a bit of cool water) per cup. Push food to one side of pan when done, tip pan for juices to collect on one side and drizzle in arrowroot-water slurry. Stir over medium heat until slightly thickened, stir to coat food and serve.

Back to Index

Click here to return to the FareShare SpiceRack.

Top of Page

Disclaimer: The operators of the FareShare Website are not responsible for the content or practice of any website to which we link for your convenience.

Art Guyer operates this project.

Provide feedback here.

Home | Chat | Recipes | Metrics | Cooking Temperatures | Links

Search our Recipe Archives.  Click Here!