Make the most of culinary herbs and spices.


All About Herbs and Spices Articles

Find more articles about cooking, gardening and more on the Features Page.

All About Shiso


Shiso, perilla, beefsteak plant--by any name it's a tasty herb that's lovely to look at as well. If shiso is new to you, keep reading. We tell you all about it, how to grow it and provide links to recipes that show how to put it to work in your kitchen.

All About Nasturtiums


Looking for an easy to grow herb that is packed with flavor and overflowing with color? Think nasturtium. Make room for this lovely plant in the garden and you will be rewarded with tasty tidbits to enjoy in the kitchen later.

All About Sumac


As the world becomes a smaller place our spice shelves deepen. Sumac is one spice you may not have heard of yet but you will definitely want to know it. And try it. Why not add this Za'atar-Tomato Appetizer to your next tapas table?

All About Juniper Berries


Not many spices come with a warning label but juniper berries could use one: Not to be ingested by pregnant women, children under 12 and those with breast cancer or kidney disease.  That said, read on if you would like to know more about this common plant but uncommon spice.

All About Filé Powder


Good gumbo can be made from an assortment of ingredients but it is often said, you can't call it  authentic gumbo without filé. Don't know what that is? Read on and then fire up the stove to give the recipe for Yankee Cajun Gumbo a try.

All About Mace


Legend has it that the birds are intoxicated on the islands where nutmeg grows because the aroma is so strong. Mace grows there too. Perhaps you would like to munch on some Chocolate Cherry Chews as you read more about this unusual spice.

All About Shallots


Meet the Allium family. You know garlic and onion, scallion and chive but are you familiar with the elusive shallot?  Perhaps the most friendly one of the bunch, you'll want to get to know the it well. This recipe for Spiral Shallot Bread is an easy to prepare showstopper.

All About Lavender


What's gray-green and wooly, spindly and special, not to mention as good for your mood as it is for your tastebuds? Why, lavender, of course!  Now is the time to use it for more than just desserts. Unless you want to try this recipe for Fresh Fruit and Lavender Parfaits first.

All About Lemon Balm


Lemon balm may not be much to look at but the delightful fragrance is irresistible to children, bees and gardeners. Don't be confused by its many names. Try it in your tea or sniff it to lift your spirits, you can call it whatever you like. You will surely call it yummy when you prepare this tasty side dish of Snow Peas with Almonds and Lemon Balm.

All About Epazote


Maybe you have heard about it, maybe you have wondered about it but epazote is still working on its reputation. Find out all about this unusual Latin American herb and soon you will be adding authenticity to some of your favorite dishes.  Try it first in this recipe for a colorful Corn and Black Bean Salad with Tortilla Strip Croutons.

All About Horseradish


Apollo has been quoted as saying, "The radish is worth its weight in lead; the black radish in silver--but the horseradish, in gold!"  Surely he would have found this recipe for a Mardi Gras Bloody Mary worth its weight in doubloons.

All About Turmeric


With over 70,000 acres under cultivation, it is no secret that Indians love their turmeric. Perhaps you will enjoy the lore behind this important component to curry powder as well as the recipe for silky, golden Turmeric Pasta rolled into cheese-stuffed ravioli.

All About Anise


There is more to the taste of anise seed than just black jelly beans. Learn how this pretty plant has been used through the ages and then bring it into your own kitchen when you bake up a batch of Anise-Almond Kisses.

All About Savory


Ever wonder what the difference is between summer savory and winter savory?  Thinking of trying some new plants in your garden?  Want to punch up your soups and spice up your eggs?  Look no further, you'll find all the savory

answers right here.  You may find this recipe for White Bean Puree with toasted pita chips to be the answer next time you need an easy, tasty appetizer.

All About Cloves


Shaped like nails, cloves may be one of the most easily recognized spices.  Cloves are said to symbolize dignity, perhaps because they have been prized throughout the ages.  Read all about this pungent spice and get some ideas for how to use them in your kitchen.

All About Rosemary


Whether you want to spice up your bath water or add some flavor to your chicken, rosemary will help you out. If you want to secure your beloved's affection, rosemary tapped on their fingers is said to do that too. Test that theory as you mix up a batch of this Rosemary-Orange Mustard.

All About Basil


The first in our series of All About... articles has been expanded.  Learn about basil's history and how to grow it then tempt your lover with some basil pesto.

All About Mint


One thing about mint is that you have choices that go far beyond spearmint and peppermint. Find out about its romantic history and usefulness today. And don't miss this unusual recipe for Mint Pesto Brownies.

All About Fenugreek


Watch out for this up-and-coming new star of the spice world. Fenugreek is revealing itself to medical researchers in surprisingly healthful ways. Look no further for information about the plant, the spice and the culinary secrets of the useful fenugreek plant. This recipe for homey and versatile Fenugreek Stuffing will certainly make your stomach feel better.

All About Peppercorns


Sailors on the first ships to carry peppercorns were required to have their pockets sewn closed to prevent them from squirreling away any of the precious cargo. Today, meals around the world are rarely prepared without pepper in some form. This springtime side dish, Skillet Steamed Swiss Chard, just wouldn't be the same without freshly ground black pepper.

All About Arugula


Introducing an herby vegetable that's easy to grow and tastes great! Available for harvest in less than 50 days after planting, arugula is a can't-miss hit in the garden as well as the kitchen. Try it on pizza, in salads or right now with this recipe for Quick Garbanzo Bean Toss.

All About Saffron


If it costs $800 a pound, it had better be good, right? Saffron lays claim to the most expensive spice in the world but it is mighty tasty. Find out why it costs so much then try cooking with the culinary gold yourself by preparing a pot of Sausage and Potato Stew with Saffron

All About Vanilla


If you think of vanilla as unimaginative, even downright plain, it's time for another look. From a beautiful orchid grows a sophisticated flavor you may be taking for granted. Grab a bottle of Madagascar's best and whirl up this creamy and rich Pina Colada Sorbet.

All About Mustard


Mustard deserves more credit. It's one of the least expensive spices, has a fascinating history and it's available in a variety of colors and forms. But, best of all, it adds zip to way more than hot dogs! Sample it now in this recipe for Braised Pork Chops with Creamy Mustard Sauce.

All About Annatto


Ever wonder what makes your butter yellow or your cheese orange? The Spanish call it achiote but there's more to this spice than just coloring foods. Once you make your own "golden oil," you'll find a million ways to cook with it.

All About Cardamom


What do the Near East and Scandinavia have in common? Half the world's consumption of cardamom takes place in these two regions. Not familiar with this intense spice? Whip up a batch of Cardamom-Pecan Scones and taste what you're missing.

All About Crushed Red Pepper


To banish bland foods with a flick of the wrist, you need some heat. Red pepper flakes will do the job. Try this recipe to pep up your pasta, too.

All About Oregano


Supposed cousin to marjoram, oregano seems to stir up a great deal of controversy. No one knows quite what to call it but we all know it tastes good. Find a recipe for Anytime Pizza to use with the Pizza Herb right here.

All About Garlic


All hail the pungent one! "They" say it's good for you but "they" have known that for ages. If you love it a little or a lot, be sure to try "Dad's Pickled Garlic." He swears that it wards off mosquitoes...

All About Cumin


Used throughout the ages all around the world, cumin has reached new levels of popularity in the last few years. If you haven't tried it yet, tempt your taste buds right away with this recipe for hearty breakfast tacos.

All About Coriander


cartoon lab guy grapicThe flavor of coriander has applications that reach far beyond cooking. You won't want to miss using it in this award winning chili recipe.

All About Bay Leaves


Greek scholars wore a wreath of laurel leaves to show academic achievement. This is where we get the word "baccalaureate," meaning laurel berries. Poet laureates were also crowned with bay leaves. Want to know more? Read on....

All About Celery Seeds


Tiny in form, large in flavor, celery seed is an important part of your spice cabinet. Find out why before you get your skillet sizzling with the Hot German Potato Salad recipe.

All About Cinnamon


Everyone knows that cinnamon is a warm and fragrant addition to foods from toast to curry. But how many know that it is actually tree bark? Learn all about this spice and then try it in a tasty hot cereal made from quinoa.

All About Cayenne Pepper


You know the flavor well but did you know that cayenne made its way to you via the Mayflower? Just a dash will add zip to any dish but a bit more makes this recipe for Hot Crackers really sing.

All About Chives


Delicate chives compliment just about every savory dish you can imagine. Try them as a colorful garnish or last minute addition where a mild onion flavor is desired. Or try them in this recipe for not-so-sweet Thousand Island Dressing.

All About Poppy Seeds


The familiar black specks in your baked goods go a long way toward flavoring savory dishes, too. Taste their nutty flavor right now by whipping up a batch of Almond Poppy Seed Muffins.

All About Caraway Seeds


Holland may be famous for tulips and wooden shoes but don't overlook their contribution to the culinary world: Caraway. This aromatic and tasty seed enhances many foods especially bread in this recipe for Caraway Quick Bread.

All About Sage


Sage was recognized as the Herb of the Year for 2001 but it's been around since the Dark Ages. Learn all about it and try out the new recipe for Sage and Sausage Corn Muffins.

All About Fennel


Fennel is sooooo Italian but it's also interesting in other dishes too. Find out about the seed, the herb and the vegetable, then try the seed in a giant meatballs. You won't want to miss these monsters.

All About Tarragon


One of the most dominating herbs, tarragon has a taste all its own. Savor the flavor with this recipe for a delicious salad dressing, Tarragon-Walnut Vinaigrette.

All About Flavored Salts


Although branded as a bland seasoning, salt still plays an important role in every diet. Flavored salts add zip and you can make them at home. The recipe for Pan-fried Yams is the perfect showcase for your homemade blends.

All About Nutmeg


Sweet and spicy, nutmeg is a must have for your spice shelf. Banana and Pecan French Toast is a must have for your next special breakfast. Find the recipe here.

All About Cilantro


Edible from root to flower, cilantro has become one of the most popular herbs around. If you don't like it, we offer a helpful hint so that you can still prepare all those recipes that call for it. Everyone will want to try the recipe for Jicama Slaw that follows.

All About Dill


Seed or weed, there's more to dill than just pickles. Try the recipe for Dilled and Deviled Eggs to find out for yourself.

All About Paprika


There is more to this red powder than just looks. Flavors vary from country to country, try them all to see which is your favorite. This recipe for Roasted Potato Paprikish highlights the robust Hungarian variety.

All About Ginger


It's hot, it's sweet, ginger is the spice lover's spice. The recipe for Gingerbread Cake with Orange Sauce is a big hit for a special dessert.

All About Marjoram


You may not be familiar with it now but once you have tried marjoram you will be looking for new opportunities to use it. The recipe for My Best Beef Jerky provides a savory introduction.

All About Thyme


One of the most versatile herbs, thyme enhances so many savory dishes. Especially this recipe for Five Onion Soup.

All About Sesame Seeds


Unlock the mysteries of this important seed. You'll want them on more than just your hamburger bun. Maybe with pita chips or fresh veggies in the garlicky hummus recipe that follows.

All About Parsley


Parsley is pretty but it's good for you too. Enjoy all these benefits with the tangy tabbouleh salad recipe.

All About Curry Powder


Ever wonder what makes up your favorite curry powder? Hard to tell. Find out why you may never know. Just enjoy it and try this special fish recipe.

All About Chervil


When was the last time you ate peas and carrots that you really enjoyed? Add the delicate chervil and it turns into a can't miss combo.

All About Allspice


Allspice adds flavor to sweets and to savory dishes. Read all about it then

test the flavor with these cheesecake-like pumpkin bars.



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