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Matching Food With Spices

Updated on February 3, 2011
Rosemary, Sage, Thyme and Oregano
Rosemary, Sage, Thyme and Oregano

Choosing spices in food preparation is very important. You can have the best ingredients to cook but a wrong choice and combination of spices and herbs can make your food taste 'bad'. Knowing and selecting spices and herbs is one of the keys to enjoying cooking.

Spices and herbs enhance the flavour of food and are medicinal.

Below is a list of foods and the spices and herbs that enhance their flavour.

Beef: Use basil, bay, chili, cilantro, curry, cumin, garlic, marjoram, mustard, oregano, parsley, pepper, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, or thyme or a combination of them.

Fish: Fish is best cooked with anise star, basil, bay leaves, cayenne pepper, celery seed, chives, curry, dill, fennel, garlic, ginger lemon peel, mustard, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, saffron, sage, savory, tarragon, and marjoram

Egg: For eggs use basil, chervil, chili, chives, curry, dill, fennel, ginger lemon peel, marjoram, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, sage, tarragon, thyme

Chicken: Allspice, basil, bay leaf, cinnamon, curry, dill, fennel, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, mustard, paprika, rosemary, saffron, sage, savory draws out the best flavour in chicken.

Lamb: Basil, bay leaf, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, curry, dill, garlic, marjoram, mint, mustard, oregano, parsley, rosemary, savory, tarragon, thyme

Pork: Cloves and ginger are ideal for cooking pork and pork dishes.

Cheese: Basil, caraway, celery seed, chervil, chili, chives, coriander, cumin, dill, garlic, horseradish, lemon peel, marjoram, mint, mustard, nutmeg, paprika, parsley, pepper, sage, tarragon, and thyme

Potatoes: Basil, caraway, celery seed, chervil, chives, coriander, dill, marjoram, oregano, paprika, parsley, poppy seed, and rosemary.

Salad dressings: basil, celery seed, chives, dill, fennel, garlic, horseradish, marjoram, mustard, oregano, paprika, parsley, pepper, rosemary, and saffron.

Salads: Caraway, chives, dill, garlic, lemon peel, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, thyme.

Soups: Basil, bay, chervil, chili, chives, cumin, dill, fennel, garlic, marjoram, parsley, pepper, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme.

Tomatoes: Basil, bay, celery seed, cinnamon, chili, curry, dill, fennel, garlic, gumbo file, lemongrass, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rosemary, savory, tarragon, thyme

Fruits: Allspice, anise, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, mint

Tips for selecting spices and herbs.

Thyme, Tarragon and Basil go with most foods.

To get a hot taste in food use: Chilli peppers, Cilantro, Cumin, Garlic and Ginger.

For a spicey taste use: Cinnamon, black pepper and star anise.

For a sweet taste use: allspice, anise, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg.

For a sharp taste use: celery, chili peppers, cummin, curry, ginger and black pepper.

Now you have a short paring list, go on and enjoy cooking.


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    • profile image

      Jabir Ali Kooliyat 

      5 years ago


    • youmeget profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Happy to know you like it.

    • mannyrolando profile image


      7 years ago

      Excellent hub... I love using herbs and it is important to know when to use which ones and I have my favorites but I also enjoy experimenting with them. Thanks for sharing!

    • youmeget profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thank you cheapsk8chick and LivingFood for taking time to read my hub. I'm glad to know you were here.

    • LivingFood profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow this is a great list! I am definitely bookmarking it so I can come back to it. Thank you!

    • cheapsk8chick profile image


      7 years ago

      Very good hub - it's nice to have all this info in one spot! Vote up & useful.


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