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Favorite spice


mhadam
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As I sit here (at work) flipping through the new Better Homes and Garden's mag reading a special on cardamom I started to think about spices -- and what my favorite spice is.

Salt is necessary as is pepper, even sugar for understandable reasons...but beyond that what cannot you cook without or add to every single dish?

Would you considers herbs (in the fresh form) spices? Like mint or sage. What about flat-leaf parsely...it's more than a decoration (we all know that). Would that be a spice?

Mine... dried... it would have to be rosemary, fresh... mint.

There's a yummy in my tummy.

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no, i do not consider frish herbs such as mint & rosemary "spices". nor do i consider them as such when they're in their dried forms. they are leaves harvested from plants & are "herbs". my favorite herb is definitely thyme.

my favorite spice is comino, as i call it in spanish. cumin in english. coriander rivals it on some days, but i just try & let them complement each other, something they do well.

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no, i do not consider frish herbs such as mint & rosemary "spices".  nor do i consider them as such when they're in their dried forms.  they are leaves harvested from plants & are "herbs".  my favorite herb is definitely thyme.

my favorite spice is comino, as i call it in spanish.  cumin in english.  coriander rivals it on some days, but i just try & let them complement each other, something they do well.

If you like cumin and coriander, you'll like cilantro.

I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

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Cumin. It's a jack of all trades. It goes in Mexican food, Middle Eastern food, North African food and Indian food and it adapts to each one as if it is indiginous to the cuisine. That's pretty diverse if you ask me.

I haven't used as much cumin as you should. I'm making a pork roast tomorrow for dinner, how much would you suggest for a rub?

There's a yummy in my tummy.

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As I sit here (at work) flipping through the new Better Homes and Garden's mag reading a special on cardamom I started to think about spices -- and what my favorite spice is.

Salt is necessary as is pepper, even sugar for understandable reasons...but beyond that what cannot you cook without or add to every single dish?

Would you considers herbs (in the fresh form) spices? Like mint or sage. What about flat-leaf parsely...it's more than a decoration (we all know that). Would that be a spice?

Mine... dried... it would have to be rosemary, fresh... mint.

So what is your favorite spice?

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For that very reason, I have been a bit over-cumined in recent years.

Parsley is an all round herb in my kitchen. Tarragon is perhaps the most dramatically loveable, in the right dish.

A bit stuck on spices. I use them less than herbs, more sparingly, and no one particularly stands out.

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Cumin. It's a jack of all trades. It goes in Mexican food, Middle Eastern food, North African food and Indian food and it adapts to each one as if it is indiginous to the cuisine. That's pretty diverse if you ask me.

I haven't used as much cumin as you should. I'm making a pork roast tomorrow for dinner, how much would you suggest for a rub?

Very Little!

Whilst cumin is very popular around the globe... It is also the one spice that can ruin the subtlety of any aromatic dish when not dealt with correctly.

Cumin makes a curry powder bad...

Cumin can make it good.

Cumin can make Indian food bad... Cumin can make it good.

So the trick is to use very little.

Most often it should be flashed with some heat.. that brings out the inert flavor which is very savory and very tasty.

Raw cumin has been used in many cuisines mentioned above. And that is what can be very un-appealing to many a palate.

Toasted cumin on the other hand is another world. No amount of toasted cumin (ground of course) can ever be enough in certain dishes.

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So what is your favorite spice?

I replied already...as for spice: paprika... perfect in rubs, perfect to roll goat cheese balls in, perfect to sprinkle over apples and pears stewing, etc

There's a yummy in my tummy.

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I'm making a pork roast tomorrow for dinner, how much would you suggest for a rub?

If you will consider a paste, here's a tasty recipe:

Pork Tenderloin with Curried Spices

Canola or grapeseed oil

1 ½ tablespoons coriander

1 teaspoon turmeric

¼ teaspoon each of ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and Kosher salt

In a small bowl, stir all the ingredients together, add just enough oil to make a paste.

Coat the meat with the mixture and leave at room temperature for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven at 350º F. In an ovenproof pan, sear the meat on all sides then transfer to the oven for 15 minutes. Rest the meat for about 10-15 minutes (the meat will continue cooking and the juices will redistribute)

Transfer to a cutting board and slice diagonally.

Serve with Basmati Rice and Pear Chutney

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I decided to actually grab some fresh cilantro for the first time ever in order to make a tortilla soup recipe.

The soup was lousy, but the fresh cilantro was great. I can't say I've ever tasted it (on purpose) before, and that's just sad.

Nifty News & Decent Deals - where I'm always listing more kitchen stuff than average people want to see...
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Herb: tarragon, mint

Spice: nutmeg, ginger

mmm..ginger.... *yum*

but can you consider it a spice? I'm figuring you mean fresh ginger, grated on order?

It is usually considered a aromatic rhizome that is used as a spice.

But many experts simply consider it a spice.

Certainly as a powder it is a spice.

Ginger is ethereal in how many possibilities it can be used for. Also it adds so much to each dish it touches and yet it distracts very little from what the dish is meant to be.

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but can you consider it a spice? I'm figuring you mean fresh ginger, grated on order?

No, grated on my grater, with knuckles and skin included. :smile:

Good question. I wouldn't consider it an herb, though -- would you? So. Not a spice, not an herb. What have we here?

I understand the distinctions you're all making, but in general I guess I consider herbs and spices (and ginger, whatever it may be) to be in the category of: stuff I add to my food to give it a particular flavor. Or nuance. Or whatever.

addition: thanks for the clarification, Suvir.

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Good question. I wouldn't consider it an herb, though -- would you? So. Not a spice, not an herb. What have we here?

I understand the distinctions you're all making, but in general I guess I consider herbs and spices (and ginger, whatever it may be) to be in the category of: stuff I add to my food to give it a particular flavor. Or nuance. Or whatever.

I consider it a spice just like I consider my herbs spices...b/c when I make a rub for meat I make a spice rub which includes *gasp* herbs.

Continuing Suvir's comments about ginger -- it is an amazing ingredient. It can be added to sweet or savory. It's great in any form (grated, sliced, dried, crystallized). True if one isn't carreful it can over-take a dish, but that's true with anything.

There's a yummy in my tummy.

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According to The Food Lover's Companion (second edition), herbs are

The fragrant leaves of any various annual or perennial plants that grow in temperate zones and do not have woody stems.
and spices are
Pungent or aromatic seasonings obtained from the bark, buds, fruit, roots, seeds or stems of various plants and trees...

Favorite herb: lemon thyme

Favorite spice: allspice berries

edited to close the damn tags :wink:

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