Herbs and spices in the gastronomy

Herbs and spices, natural flavorings used in the kitchen, flavor and fragrance properties, and sometimes also with digestive and medicinal properties. Herbs are usually the fragrant leaves of any plant or tree, while the term spice is usually applied to  seeds, bark or roots. Let´s see main and proper use in our preparations:

Basil: Fresh or dried, nicely complements tomato recipes, as is common in Mediterranean cuisine. Salads, sauces, ragouts, pesto, pizza, cheese, soups, vegetables

Anise: known since antiquity, its seed is traditionally used for making liqueurs. Also with this spice desserts, cakes, pies and pastries are enriched. Anise helps reduce gas formation and facilitates their expulsion. Herbal teas, soups, gingerbread, liquor

Star anise: infusions, liqueurs, mulled wine

Celery Seed:  soups and stews, and also raw diuretic and sedative properties.

Saffron: few affordable due to its limited supply and complicated process of obtaining (only collected stigmas) saffron is sold in powder or strands. It is well known for causing the taste and especially color in paella, rice, meat and seafood seasoning.

Cinnamon: derived from the dried bark of the cinnamon tree and is used primarily to make desserts and drinks. Many cooks include to flavor savory dishes, especially meat and rice. In addition, we have historically granted aphrodisiac and digestive properties. It is used both raw and powder.

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Cardamom: despite being next to saffron and vanilla one of the most expensive spices, dried fruits appear in the development of many baked goods, desserts, recipes with meat and some drinks and spirits. It is essential in Asian cooking, especially as one of the ingredients of curry. Similarly, the infusion of this spice is very digestive and combat flatulence.

Clove: we use it to get strong flavors. Recipes made from meat, fish and seafood, as well as sweets, dishes and drinks.

Cumin: along with the bay leaf and parsley, is part of spices which makes good use digestive processes. The cumin seed is typical of the cuisine of the Middle East and the Mediterranean and is the main ingredient of couscous.

Dill: spice from the parsley family, known for its affinity with fish, as well as its ability to enhance the flavor of eggs, salads, sauces and soups, to flavor casseroles, stews and fish. Its leaves are much richer and fresh, as they lose flavor when cooked, it is advisable to add to the dish just before serving.

Tarragon: despite being a very rich flavor, you have to use it subtly, it has a distinctive look that will feature prominently in any dish. Pickles, salads, soups, roasts, duck, excellent chicken soup.

Ginger: common Asian cooking and in the preparation of alcohol-free beverages. It tastes quite tangy, but diluted is very nice and aromatic. It is excellent for stimulating the appetite. Root infusion is used to condition in the throat and vocal cords relief.

Laurel: for meat dishes, milk puddings, stews, soups and white sauces. It is also an ingredient of bouquet garni.

Parsley:  excellent for salads of all kinds, in some recipes as hake in green salsal, parsley fried chicken, or the famous Argentina chimichurri grill.

Chervil: salads, stews, soups, chicken, fish and cold dishes.

Rosemary: sauces, soups, meat, poultry, game, fish, roasts and grills.

Sage: its flavor and aroma are slightly spicy and astringent. It’s perfect with the onion, garlic, thyme and rosemary; dish of lamb, pork and barbecues. Sauces.

Thyme: braised meats, game, meats, cheeses, tomato sauces.


Besides herbs have their combinations with their names as follows:

Bouquet Garni (Classic): 3 sprigs parsley, 1 bay leaf and 1 sprig of thyme, is assembled by placing everything in the green part of a leek and rolling and tying with string.

Herbs: parsley, chervil, tarragon and cibulet.

Herbes de Provence: equal parts oregano, rosemary, savory, marjoram, thyme and basil.