An Ode to Spices

I hope you’ll forgive me, but… spices are the spice of life. Wait, wait… don’t go. I’m serious.

Somehow the only spices you see at restaurants are black pepper, salt, and sometimes tabasco sauce. Fuck tabasco sauce, the stuff is nasty. There’s a ton of awesome spices out there. Essentially no calories, often very cheap, and they add a ton of flavor.

A few of my favorite spices/additives (which go into almost anything):

  • Crushed red pepper. Traditionally this is usually used on pizza, but it’s great with eggs, mac and cheese, fried tofu, etc
  • Garlic. Garlic powder is good, but even better is crushed garlic – it’s refrigerated and usually has some liquid in it: a big container of it is maybe $5. After warming up some oil in a frying pan, toss some in. Smells great.
  • Mustard. Very good in Mac & Cheese. Very cheap for plain yellow mustard
  • Chili powder. Adds some nice flavor to savory dishes
  • Indian spices. Most indian dishes use some combination of the following spices: cardamon, cumin, garam masala, chili powder, coriander.
  • Cinnamon. Good for sweeter dishes. Spices up oatmeal, milkshakes, etc
  • Lemon juice. Great for fruit smoothies and other dishes, can really bring out the flavor of things
  • Unsweetened chocolate. It’s low calorie. While I’m not a fan of it on its own, it can make chocolate flavor much more intense.
  • Hot sauce. I’ll probably have to write a full post on hot sauce. I add it to almost everything. Most people only think of tabasco sauce when they think of hot sauce, and it’s just an embarrassment. It’s not even spicy. There’s a lot of great-tasting hot sauce out there that can improve just about any food. Here’s my favorite kind right now (El Yucateco Habanero)

Spices are super cheap, too. Here’s how much cinnamon I can purchase for $5:

This is fuckton of cinnamon.

That’s 16 ounces of cinnamon – almost a half kil! A lot of spices are that cheap – there’s a whole rack of these containers at the supermarket. I know spices can lose intensity over time… just use more.

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1 Comment

  1. m179844

     /  September 6, 2012

    Buy spices in the ethnic food section. The normal spice section with McCormick spices are overpriced.


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