Herbs and spices have been used for centuries to bring various flavors out of your favorite food. It doesn't matter if you boil, grill, bake or roast your food -- these precious condiments will delight your palate beyond your expectations. In fact, history was even built around herbs and spices; explorers such as Christopher Columbus and Marco Polo based journeys on them. Herbs and spices were so much in demand at one point that they were considered as cherished as buried treasures. Anyone selling them built their wealth on them. Let's discover their special powers!
- Garlic is meat and vegetables' best friend! Add a teaspoon of crushed garlic on beef, pork or chicken, and you will taste flavors that you never thought even existed. Do not use too much, or else you would ruin the delicate taste of certain meats. Use it with stir-fries, in a stew or with sauteed meats. Roast cloves of fresh garlic and add them in your mashed potatoes or vegetable stir-fries. Once you cook with it, you will never go without!
- Dill in soups or with vegetables will wake up your taste buds! Fresh dill on your vegetables, meat and soups will bring out such flavors, your taste buds will explore new tastes.
- Cinnamon is apples' best friend and more! If you bake any apple dessert, use some cinnamon, as it will bring out the flavor and sweetness of apples. Once again, don't overdo it.
Another way to use cinnamon is by putting it in your turkey's cavity instead of stuffing. Use one stick to add to your holiday poultry's flavor.
- Paprika adds color to your meals! Decorate your mashed potatoes, your shepherd's pie or moussaka with some paprika. The taste is not overpowering, and it will add color to your presentation.
- Ground pepper and peppercorns can spice it up a notch! Whole peppercorns can be used in sauces or while grilling a steak. Freshly ground pepper will not only add a nice aroma to your food, but it will also spice it up and bring out your meal's natural flavors. The fresher, the better as pre-ground pepper may have been stored on shelves for a while, losing a lot of its natural flavor potency.
- For the salt lover, there are a few options. While using table salt will add some flavor, it also increases your sodium level, which can also affect your health. Kosher salt has less sodium, brings out more flavor and doesn't make your food taste "too salty", as long as you do not drop the content of the whole shaker in your plate. Sea salt is the best option for the ones concerned with their sodium level; it adds a delicate taste to your favorite foods such as eggs, poultry, fish, seafood and soups.
- Tea is not only a hot drink; it can be used as a spice too! Black tea can in fact be used in sauces and gravy to bring out their flavor.
- Rosemary is not just a pretty name! Fresh rosemary can specifically be used to bring out the delicate flavors of various types of poultry. Put it in your turkey instead of stuffing, and you will be amazed by your tasteful choice.
- Curry will kick it up a notch! While adding taste to your meats such as beef, pork and poultry, curry will spice things up. The smell will charm your nostrils as your taste will be submitted to pure pleasure.
As you can see, there are as many delectable possibilities as there are types of food. Team them up together and enjoy every bite you take from start to finish. Do you ever find yourself wondering what that secret ingredient was in your mom's recipe? Ask her! Chances are, it was an herb or spice!