Are you like me and get certain spices mixed up when cooking?

Here is a quick (and beneficial) reference guide to some of the most common herbs and spices, courtesy of the Kitchn blog:

Dried Herbs and Spices

Allspice - This is similar to cloves, but is more pungent and deeply flavored. It is best used in spice mixes.

Bay Leaf - This leaf adds a woodsy flavor to soups and sauces.

Caraway Seed - These anise-tasting seeds are essential for soda bread, sauerkraut and potato salad.

Cayenne Pepper - Made from dried and ground red chili peppers, this spice adds a sweet heat to soups, braises and spice mixes.

Cinnamon - Found in almost every world cuisine, cinnamon serves double duty as spice in both sweet and savory dishes.

Cloves - It is a sweet and warming spice that is most often used in baking, but is also good with braised meat.

Coriander - The spice is an earthy, lemony flavor is used in a lot of Mexican and Indian dishes.

Cumin - Smoky and earthy, this spice is used in a lot of Southwestern U.S. and Mexican cuisine, as well as North African, Middle Eastern and Indian.

Fennel Seed - Lightly sweet and licorice flavored, this is excellent with meat dishes or even chewed on its own as a breath freshener and digestion aid!

Garlic Powder - Garlic powder is made from dehydrated garlic cloves and can be used to give dishes a sweeter, softer garlic flavor.

Nutmeg - Sweet and pungent, it is great in baked goods, but also adds a warm note to savory dishes.

Nutritional Yeast - Very different from bread yeast, this can be sprinkled onto or into sauces, pastas, and other dishes to add a nutty, cheesy, savory flavor.

Oregano - Robust, somewhat lemony flavor. Used in a lot of Mexican and Mediterranean dishes.

Paprika - Adds a sweet note and a red color. Used in stews and spice blends.

Rosemary - Strong and piney. Great with eggs, beans, and potatoes, as well as grilled meats.

Saffron - Saffron has a subtle but distinct floral flavor and aroma, and it also gives foods a bright yellow color.

Sage - Pine-like flavor, with more lemony and eucalyptus notes than rosemary. Found in a lot of northern Italian cooking.

Smoked Paprika - Adds sweet smokiness to dishes, as well as a red color.

Sumac - Zingy and lemony, sumac is a Middle Eastern spice that's great in marinades and spice rubs.

Turmeric - Sometimes used more for its yellow color than its flavor, turmeric has a mild woodsy flavor. Can be used in place of saffron in a pinch or for those of us on a budget.

Thyme - Adds a pungent, woodsy flavor, it is great as an all-purpose seasoning.

Fresh herbs

Basil - Highly aromatic with a robust licorice flavor, this wonderful herb is excellent in pestos, as a finishing touch on pasta dishes, of course, bruschetta or stuffed into sandwiches.

Dill - The herb is light and feathery herb has a pungent herb flavor and is primarily used for pickling, with fish and over potatoes.

Mint - Surprisingly versatile for such an intensely flavored herb, try the herb paired with lamb, peas, potatoes and of course, with chocolate!

Oregano - Robust, somewhat lemony flavor, oregano is used in a lot of Mexican and Mediterranean dishes.

Rosemary - Strong and piney. Great with eggs, beans, and potatoes, as well as grilled meats.

Sage - Pine-like flavor, with more lemony and eucalyptus notes than rosemary. Found in a lot of northern Italian cooking.

Tarragon - With strong anise flavor, this can be eaten raw in salads or used to flavor tomato dishes, seafood or eggs.

Thai Basil - A spicy, edgier cousin to sweet Italian basil. A must-have for Thai stir-fries, Vietnamese pho, spring rolls, and other South Asian dishes.

Thyme - This adds a pungent, woodsy flavor and is great as an all-purpose seasoning.

Spice blends

Chili Powder - Ground chilis, cumin, oregano, cayenne and lots of optional extras are used to make this seasoning uniquely yours. You can use for chili stew, beans, grilled meat and tacos. (Mexican/Southwestern US)

Curry Powder - This mix typically includes tumeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek and red pepper, but mixes can vary. It is used primarily to quickly flavor curry sauces. (Indian)

Herbes de Provence - Usually savory, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, and sometimes lavender, this blend is used as a marinade or dry rub for roast chicken, fish and vegetables.

Pickling Spice - Most often, this blend includes bay leaf, yellow mustard seeds, black peppercorns, allspice and coriander. It is used for pickling vegetables in vinegar.

Curious about any other herbs or spices? Click here to see the full list.

Tagged > spices, food