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Frustrated Spice World

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Spice World

A
Native to: Central America
Plant family: Myrtaceae
Raw form: Berry

As its name suggests, Allspice brings forth a deliciously warm, subtle sweet flavor that's evocative of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, all mixed together.

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Native to: Central America
Plant family: Myrtaceae
Raw form: Berry

As its name suggests, Allspice brings forth a deliciously warm, subtle sweet flavor that’s evocative of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, all mixed together.

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Native to: Rainforest habitats
Plant family: Marantaceae
Raw form: Root

This flavorless thickening agent is made by extracting the starch from the arrowroot plant, and lends heft and texture to sauces and baked goods.

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Native to: Iranian deserts, Afghan mountains
Plant family: Ferula
Raw form: Root

Intensely pungent as a dry spice, it mellows when cooked to become a powerful umami-enhancer. The ultimate je ne sais quoi ingredient, it is a key staple in Indian cuisine.


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B
Native to:: Everywhere!

Baking Powder is flavorless, but not unimportant. This key ingredient creates an acid-base reaction in dough that is responsible for fluffy bread and baked goods.

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Native to: Italy
Plant family: Lamiaceae
Raw form: Herb

Delicate, floral, and slightly sweet. One of the most popular basil varieties, it’s the key ingredient in traditional Italian pesto and a host of other classics.

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Native to: Southeast Asia
Plant family: Lamiaceae
Raw form: Herb

Light notes of anise and a warm, clove-like essence combine to create a bold flavor and aroma. As the name implies, it’s essential to Thai and other Southeast Asian cuisines.

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C
Native to: Western Asia, Europe, and North Africa
Plant family: Apiaceae
Raw form: Fruit

Caraway has a nutty, bittersweet taste that’s sharp with a hint of citrus and anise, giving soups, sausages, vegetables, and even liqueurs a zingy bite.

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Native to: Eastern Himalayas
Plant family: Zingiberaceae
Raw form: Seed

Robust and woody, with a light menthol quality and a smoky aroma. An important spice in Indian cuisine, and one of the cornerstones of most garam masala blends.

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Native to: Mediterranean
Plant family: Apiaceae
Raw form: Seed

With a flavor that’s paradoxically both crisp and earthy, Celery Seed is decidedly fresh and brings forth bright, herbal notes with impressive depth.

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Native to: Peruvian Andes
Plant family: Solanaceae
Raw form: Chile

A Peruvian staple, Ají Amarillo has a fruity, berry-like flavor that doesn’t burn, but rather creates a vibrant flavor accompanied with a dull, pleasant sting.

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Native to: Peru
Plant family: Solanaceae
Raw form: Chile

A distinctly Peruvian chile, Ají Panca has a distinct sweet and smokey taste that builds a complex mild flavor and lends dishes a deep burgundy hue.

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Native to: Syria, Turkey
Plant family: Solanaceae
Raw form: Chile
Scoville: <5,000

Slightly oily with a fruity, smoky-but-not-smoked flavor and very little heat. A wonderful finishing spice for anything that could use just the slightest kick.

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Native to: The Americas
Plant family: Solanaceae
Raw form: Chile

Ancho Chile has a rich, smoky quality that combines with a sweet, moderate heat. More mild in flavor, it brings forth an earthiness similar to paprika—but smokier.

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Native to: Italy
Plant family: Solanaceae
Raw form: Chile
Scoville: <50,000

Salty, bright, and slightly acidic, the subtle heat of this chile feels more like a glow than a burn. Adds a flavorful kick to any dish without overwhelming the other tastes.

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Native to: French Guiana
Plant family: Solanaceae
Raw form: Chile

One of the hotter chiles around, Cayenne brings 10x more heat than a jalapeño. A pinch is all you need to add heat while enhancing other flavors as it cooks into a dish.

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Native to: Mexico
Plant family: Solanaceae
Raw form: Chile

The defining quality of Chipotle Chile is a rich, smoky flavor. But beneath the smokiness is a subtle sweetness that lends dishes a rich, savory-sweet depth.

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Native to: South Korea
Plant family: Solanaceae
Raw form: Chile
Scoville: <1,500

Smoky and sweet, with a mild earthiness, crunchy texture, and moderate, pleasant heat. An essential ingredient in many Korean dishes, including the iconic sauce Gochujang.

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Native to: Yucatan, Mexico
Plant family: Solanaceae
Raw form: Chile
Scoville: <350,000

Hot, hot, hot with a crisp, citrusy, floral flavor that accentuates the spice. Widely regarded as one of the most delicious chiles, it’s not for the faint of heart. Or stomach.

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Native to: Kashmir (India/Pakistan)
Plant family: Solanaceae
Raw form: Chile

Smoky, slightly fruity, with a mild, well-rounded heat and a jaw-droppingly vivid red color. It’s used widely in Indian cuisine for its flavor, heat, and especially color.

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Native to: Basque region (Spain/France)
Plant family: Solanaceae
Raw form: Chile
Scoville: <4,000

This chile’s mild, tomato-like acidity highlights its mild, almost grassy flavor. Essential to Basque cuisine, this pepper pairs perfectly with any roast meat or vegetable.

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Native to: Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Plant family: Solanaceae
Raw form: Chile
Scoville: <165,000

This extremely spicy chile’s bright, tart kick is complemented by subtle fruity undertones. Famously paired with chicken, it’s also delicious with fatty fish and sharp cheese.

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Native to: Thailand
Plant family: Solanaceae
Raw form: Chile
Scoville: <250,000

A pungent strong flavor with a fragrant spiciness that grows into searing heat. It’s the key ingredient in green curry paste and can add a rich, flavorful burn to any dish.

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Native to: China
Plant family: Solanaceae
Raw form: Chile

Heat without overpowering flavor is what you’ll find in the Tien Tsin Chile. Known for its flush of fire, this chile is surprisingly simple yet powerful.

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Native to: Turkey
Plant family: Solanaceae
Raw form: Chile
Scoville: <50,000

Slightly sour with notes of chocolate, raisin, and red wine. Its mild heat and complex flavor are key to Turkish cooking, and add depth to meats, veggies, and even brownies.

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Native to: Spain and Portugal

Adobo Chili is a blend of chiles, garlic, and cumin that, together, form a versatile flavor profile often found in Spanish and Portuguese cuisine.

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Raw form: Blend of chiles

A not-too-spicy blend of several different dried chile pepper varietals that, when combined, create a classic kick that livens up anything.

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Native to: New Mexico

Cultivated along the famed “Chili Trail” of New Mexico, this blend brings a classic chili powder flavor that’s great on its own, balancing sweet and savory notes.

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Native to: Asia, Europe, and North America
Plant family: Amaryllidaceae
Raw form: Herb

Herbal and garlicky, with a tangy onion-like scent that feels both heady and fresh. Iconic as a garnish, they’re also wonderful in rubs, marinades, and dressings.

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Native to: Southern Europe, Northern Africa, Southwestern Asia
Plant family: Apiaceae
Raw form: Herb

A delicate herbal flavor that transforms into distinctive notes of fresh citrus. Deeply versatile, it’s an essential ingredient in Mexican, Indian, Thai, and Chinese cuisine.

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Native to: China
Plant family: Lauraceae
Raw form: Bark

A bold, peppery flavor infuses this unique cinnamon varietal. Rarely used in the United States, Chinese cassia has a strong, bitter flavor that bites.

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Native to: Sri Lanka
Plant family: Lauraceae
Raw form: Bark

Slightly savory, floral and woodsy, with a delicate quality. Its subtle flavor brings added authenticity to Mexican, Indian, and Southeast Asian dishes.

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Native to: Indonesia
Plant family: Lauraceae
Raw form: Bark

Smooth, warm, and slightly sweet with a subtle bite, this is the classic cinnamon flavor we all know so well. Perfect for when you want something to taste a bit more autumnal.

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Native to: Vietnam
Plant family: Lauraceae
Raw form: Bark

Potent and robust, with a slightly peppery flavor that lends bite and depth to savory dishes. Key to pho’s characteristic warm spice blend, it works well when paired with other strong flavors.

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Native to: Everywhere!
Plant family: Rutaceae
Raw form: Any citrus fruit

Sour and tart, with a refreshing zing that could best be described as “crisp,” Citric Acid Powder is the powdered form of a natural compound found in all citrus fruits.

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Native to: Maluku Islands, Indonesia
Plant family: Myrtaceae
Raw form: Flower

Strong, bitter, and yet somehow sweet, pungent Clove is the foundation of common warming spice blends, like pumpkin pie spice and speculoos spice blends.

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Native to: Western Asia and Southern Europe
Plant family: Apiaceae
Raw form: Seed

A citrusy crispness with slight notes of lemon and a pungent aftertaste, Coriander is bright and fresh and adds a vibrant aromatic quality to dishes.

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Native to: The Levant & India
Plant family: Apiaceae
Raw form: Seed

Warm and earthy, with a bit of sweetness and bitterness. Cumin has been used for millennia and forms the base of many spice blends (especially Indian!).

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Warm and earthy, with a bit of sweetness and bitterness. Cumin has been used for millennia and forms the base of many spice blends (especially Indian!).

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Native to: England

This British-Indian blend is mild—more British than Indian. The flavors of 8 different spices combine to create a flavor that’s rich and tangy with a slight earthiness.

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D
Native to: Southern Europe
Plant family: Apiaceae
Raw form: Herb

Grassy, bold, and aromatic, with a slight hint of licorice. Absolutely essential to pickled cucumbers, it also pairs well with fish, chicken, cheeses, and fresh veggies.

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F
Native to: Southern Europe
Plant family: Apiaceae
Raw form: Pollen

Aromatic, crisp, and citrusy, with a pleasantly sweet marshmallow-esque flavor. Incredibly versatile, it’s equally wonderful in savory dry rubs or in baked treats.

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Native to:: Southern Europe
Plant family:: Apiaceae
Raw form:: Seed

Savory and nutty, with notes of licorice and ginger. It’s one of the most important spices in Kashmiri Pandit and Gujarati cooking, and a key ingredient in Chinese Five-Spice.

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Native to: Southern Europe
Plant family: Apiaceae
Raw form: Seed

Savory and nutty, with notes of licorice and ginger. It’s one of the most important spices in Kashmiri Pandit and Gujarati cooking, and a key ingredient in Chinese Five-Spice.

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Native to: Middle East
Plant family: Fabaceae
Raw form: Seed

Nutty and sweet with notes of maple syrup and a slight bitterness. It’s key to many Indian dishes, and brings a fullness of flavor to long-cooked sauces or stews.

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Native to: China

Complex and warming, this blend of fennel, star anise, cloves, Indonesian cinnamon, black pepper, and Sichuan pepper has a uniquely deep and spicy flavor that’s not hot.

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G
Native to: Southeast Asia

Every garam masala is different. Ours is inspired by Northern India, and adds a deliciously warm and floral heat that’s both fragrant and flavorful.

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Native to: Central Asia & Northeastern Iran
Plant family: Allium
Raw form: Clove

Pungent and spicy at first, the flavor mellows and sweetens considerably as it cooks. Great for garlic bread, dry rubs, or anywhere you need a quick hit of garlicky goodness.

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Native to: Central Asia and Northeastern Iran

A blend of fresh, citrusy lemon mixes with tangy garlic. Our blend is a touch warming, reminiscent of tropical flavor, with an unmistakable pop of savory garlic.

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Native to: Maritime SE Asia
Plant family: Zingiberaceae
Raw form: Root

Slightly peppery and sweet, with a kick. Commonly found in savory Southeast Asian dishes, it’s also a favorite ingredient in British and American sweet treats.

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H
Native to: France
Plant family: Many
Raw form: Various

Fresh, summery flavors meld together to create a dynamic and light herbal profile. Works well in French and Mediterranean dishes, sauces or vinaigrettes, and on roast meats.

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M
Native to: The Mediterranean & Middle East
Plant family: Lamiaeceae
Raw form: Herb

Mildly sweet with a complementary woody flavor and a slight bitterness. It’s a key spice in Polish sausage, and works well in both hearty stewed veggies and summery marinades.

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Native to: Europe, Southern Asia
Plant family: Lamiaceae
Raw form: Herb

A very bold mint that’s bright and sweet. Air dried by the Euphrates river in Turkey, this mint is far more crisp and fragrant than other dried varieties.

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An umami masterpiece, this blend of dried and finely ground mushrooms is indescribable. But because we have to try: think savory, mellow, and just a touch earthy.

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Native to: North Africa, Europe, Asia
Plant family: Brassicaceae
Raw form: Seed

Significantly hotter with a piquant bite, Black Mustard is more intense and, well, mustard-y, than Yellow Mustard. Whole or ground, it adds flavor with heat and warmth.

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N
Native to: Intertidal zones and shallow waters around the world
Plant family: Bangiaceae
Raw form: Seaweed

Crisp, with a vibrant umami flavor that holds earthiness and a distinct, salty “ocean” quality (though not “fishy”), Nori finishes on the palate with subtle sweetness.

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Native to: Indonesia
Plant family: Myristicaceae
Raw form: Seed

A classic warming spice, Nutmeg is nutty and aromatic, with a flavor that’s frequently associated with baked sweets, but works just as well to bring depth to savory dishes.

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O
Native to: Central Asia
Plant family: Amaryllidaceae
Raw form: Onion

Made from pungent white onions, the flavor of this onion powder is more onion-y than actual onions, and adds a savory, sweet-and-sharp quality to otherwise ordinary dishes.

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Native to: The Mediterranean and Middle East
Plant family: Lamiaceae
Raw form: Herb

An aromatic, peppery, slightly hot essence blends with an herbal sweetness in this classically bold “oregano” flavor that’s most commonly associated with Italian cuisine.

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Native to: South America
Plant family: Verbenaceae
Raw form: Herb

Less sweet than Mediterranean Oregano, with a bright, citrusy, almost grassy flavor that holds a mild earthiness. It’s robust without being overpowering.

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P
Native to: The Mediterranean and Middle East
Plant family: Solanaceae
Raw form: Chile

Subtly sweet and mildly spicy, with a slightly earthen quality that adds depth to dishes. When a recipe simply calls for “paprika,” it calls for this classic flavor.

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Native to: La Vera region of Spain
Plant family: Solanaceae
Raw form: Chile

This highly prized Spanish varietal of paprika has a uniquely hot, smoldering flavor that comes not just from superior chiles, but the artisanal drying and grinding process.

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Native to: La Vera region of Spain
Plant family: Solanaceae
Raw form: Chile

A ripe, almost tomato-like flavor infuses this smoked paprika, which is dried over oak coals, imparting subtle notes of oak to the smokey, savory depth.

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Native to: Hungary
Plant family: Solanaceae
Raw form: Chile

This paprika adds a fragrant and lush flavor that’s sweet without heat. Made from sun-dried sweet chiles, it’s a crisp pop of flavor that doesn’t overpower.

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Native to: The Mediterranean
Plant family: Apiaceae
Raw form: Herb

A summery flavor that’s vibrant and fresh, with an earthy grassiness that edges on petrichor, the smell of earth after the first big rain following a dry spell.

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Native to: India
Plant family: Piperaceae
Raw form: Berry
Treatment: Black peppercorns harvested before they’re ripe

The least ripened of all the peppercorns, Green Pepper is more tart and less astringent than traditional black pepper, with a mild herbaceous essence.

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Native to: India
Plant family: Piperaceae
Raw form: Berry

Most black peppers come from Piper nigrum, whereas Indian Long Pepper comes from Piper longum. It’s hotter, with a warm, sharp flavor that's reminiscent of gingerbread.

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Native to: Cambodia
Plant family: Piperaceae
Raw form: Berry

Grown exclusively in the Kampot region of Cambodia, this unique pepper brings forward notes of eucalyptus and mint. Together they create a sweet yet intense flavor.

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Native to: Indonesia
Plant family: Piperaceae
Raw form: Berry

Grown in the Lampong region of Sumatra, Lampong Pepper is a highly unique peppercorn that has a deep citrusy finish and fragrance, with notes of earthy pine.

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Native to: Peruvian Andes
Plant family: Anacardiaceae
Raw form: Berry

Pink Pepper brings a heat that's more chile pepper than peppercorn with a sweet, fruity essence.

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Native to: China
Plant family: Rutaceae
Raw form: Seed

An unmistakable, dry, lemony flavor tingles and leaves a mild and pleasant numbness in the mouth. Sichuan Pepper isn’t truly “pepper,” but that doesn’t mean it won’t bite!

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Native to: India
Plant family: Piperaceae
Raw form: Berry

Harvested along India’s famed Malabar coast, this is “classic” pepper—but better. Its freshness and quality make it uniquely bright and bold, with just a touch of fruitiness.

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Native to: India
Plant family: Piperaceae
Raw form: Berry
Treatment: Black peppercorns with the skins removed

White Pepper has the same spicy, peppery taste, but milder and with a slight sweetness. A stronger dose of citrusy flavor keeps it bright.

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R
Native to: Asia
Plant family: Rosaceae
Raw form: Flower

Delicate and aromatic, with a slight sweet-and-sour quality reminiscent of strawberries, Rose Petal adds an unexpected herbal earthiness to desserts, sauces, and cocktails.

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Native to: The Mediterranean and Asia
Plant family: Lamiaceae
Raw form: Herb

Woody, piney notes blend together to create a fresh scent that’s very fragrant. The flavor has an evergreen quality that makes it crisp, like fresh winter air.

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S
Native to: Eurasia
Plant family: Iridaceae
Raw form: Flower

A mild and nuanced flavor that’s sweet and floral, with an earthy fragrance that’s almost hay-like. The rich red color it lends to dishes is unmistakably opulent.

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Native to: The Mediterranean
Plant family: Lamiaceae
Raw form: Herb

A bold flavor and fragrance that’s equal parts piny and citrusy. Sage is a versatile herb that can meld with rosemary, marjoram, and thyme, or stand alone as a savory hero.

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Raw form: Salt & ground celery seed

Celery Salt packs a traditional salty punch, but finishes on the palate slightly earthy and savory. Its herbaceous flavor is great for livening up soups, sauces, and salads.

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Native to: Peru
Raw form: Salt

Harvested from an ancient underground ocean that’s been trapped beneath the Andes mountains for thousands of years, this sea salt has a nuanced mineral flavor.

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Native to: India and Africa
Plant family: Pedaliaceae
Raw form: Seed

Toasted White Sesame Seeds impart a sweet, nutty flavor that adds delightful crunch and a nice pop of light color to proteins, rice, noodles, and stir frys.

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Native to: Northeast Vietnam and Southwest China
Plant family: Schisandraceae
Raw form: Fruit

Warm and sweet, with a spicy kick and notes of a licorice-like flavor that’s similar to clove. Frequently thought of as a sweet spice, it also heightens savory flavor.

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Native to: Subtropical and temperate regions
Plant family: Anacardiaceae
Raw form: Fruit

This tangy, tart flavor has a lemon-like essence that lends a citrusy taste without the acidic bite. In some cultures, it’s used in place of vinegar or lemon juice.

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T
Native to: Siberia, Europe
Plant family: Asteraceae
Raw form: Herb

Tarragon is very complex, with competing notes of cool and warm. The flavor is a fight between bitter and sweet, with hints of licorice, vanilla, and eucalyptus.

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Native to: Southern Europe
Plant family: Lamiaceae
Raw form: Herb

A minty, earthy flavor that's slightly sweet and finishes with a quiet peppery quality. It’s a complementary flavor that works well with other herbs and spices.

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Native to: Southern India, Indonesia
Plant family: Zingiberaceae
Raw form: Root

A flavor that’s difficult to describe: more natural than earthy, and more biting than bitter. It’s slightly musky, but fresh—like the smell of rain on hot, clean stones.

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