8 Essential Spices Used in Cuisines Worldwide
There are a large number of spices in the world, and they are much more than just ingredients. Very often, they are rooted in the culture and culinary tradition of certain countries or regions of the world. From Asia to America via Africa and of course Europe, here are top 7 of the most used spices around the world.
Very used in Asian and Spanish cuisine, as well as in African cuisine, paprika deserves to be known, both for its taste and the many health benefits.
It contains iron which helps avoid anemia, but also a good dose of potassium, essential for neuro-muscular functioning. Rich in vitamin B6, B2 and E, paprika plays a role in the maintenance of our health but also of our beauty: consuming paprika regularly will give us resplendent hair and a radiant skin.
Used in India over thousands of years, curry is not a spice but a mixture of spices. In its country of origin, curry is known under the name of masala which means ‘’mixture’’ in Hindi. In India, the preparation can vary according to regions, traditions and even the mood of the person who cooks. Sometimes it can incorporate more than forty different spices. Curry has numerous health benefits. The antioxidant action of it is hidden in vitamin E, it will in particular help prevent cardiovascular diseases thanks to its anti-aggregating role.
Nutmeg is a hot and slightly sweet spice that should be used sparingly because it has a strong flavor. And with cinnamon and saffron, it is undoubtedly one of the noblest spices in gastronomy. It is found in many dishes and in sauces such as bechamel. It is also used for its health benefits. In the United States, nutmeg is mainly used for desserts such as apple or pumpkin pie.
Black pepper is by far the best-selling spice in the world. Salmon marinated in pepper in Sweden, spicy pepper steak in the United States, spicy salad dressing in Asia, “coq au vin” in France: few spices are used as much in international cuisine as pepper. The peppercorns are rightly a guarantee of the spicy flavor.
But pepper is much more. Legends relating to its healing properties go back to the beginnings of Indian medicine. We still appreciate the stimulating spiciness of the spice today.
Around 24 million tons of garlic are produced worldwide each year. The benefits of garlic have been known since ancient times in all civilizations around the world. The virtues of garlic cover a wide spectrum of treatments for different diseases and infections. Whether powdered, raw or cooked, the benefits of garlic are enormous. Preserving garlic is very easy and there are many recipes in which garlic powder is one of the ingredients.
Another great classic spice, ginger. A real masterpiece in the kitchen.
Traditionally used in baking and pastry making, ginger is also very widely present in Creole cuisine but also in Indian, Chinese and Asian cuisine more generally. Its fresh taste remains quite strong, so count 1 teaspoon for 2 people.
Known for its role as a sexual stimulant, ginger is used in Chinese medicine and has digestive and antioxidant properties. It even decreases nausea in pregnant women, according to the WHO (World Health Organization).
Whether ground or in sticks, cinnamon has a very special scent which makes this spice essential, especially for sweet recipes. In the West, whether in Europe or North America, it is rather cooked in sweet dishes, while in Morocco and in the East, it is used in savory dishes. In French gastronomy for example, cinnamon is often associated with chocolate or apple.
Powdered cumin seed is widely used in Latin American, African, Asian and Mediterranean cooking. In Morocco, for instance, it's as common to see cumin kept on the table as it salt and pepper in the west. It has a slightly spicy note and an earthy flavor that pairs well with other spices. The perfect seasoning for tamales, bbq sauces and guacamole.
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