Make the most of culinary herbs and spices.

What Goes with What? QandA

I have never used herbs etc much in cooking and would like to mend my ways. Would you please suggest eight or ten of the most popular herbs that I should buy. I am anxious to go in for herbs etc because I've been advised to cut down on salt. Thanks --- JR

Using herbs and spices to replace salt is an excellent idea. Dill, seed and weed, is a good start. Other seasonings to start with would be oregano, thyme, cumin and allspice. Basil and garlic are better fresh but also available in dried form. Rosemary and chives are both fun to grow and much better fresh than dried. For great flavor combos look into curry powder and salt-free chili powder. Look over the articles page for more information about all of these herbs and spices plus other cooking ideas.

I am looking for recipes that use Tahini seasoning other than humus. Thank you, TD

You will find tahini as an ingredient in our Sesame Ice Cream. It is also common to salad dressings and sometimes baked goods. You will find plenty of options by Googling "tahini dressing recipes" or "tahini cookies."


My question: is there a book out there that will tell me what spices or herbs goes with what? For meat and vegetables and fruits...I’m starting to cook with flavor and having a hard time. Or which goes with what. CP

This website is a good place to start learning about cooking with herbs and spices. Be sure to take a look at the Articles Index for an extensive list of links to all sorts of information. Specifically, check out "Basic Guidelines for Seasoning with Herbs and Spices." At the Recipe Index you can click on recipe titles and that will take you to an informative article with that recipe so that you can read about a spice before using it. As for books, check out our recommended reading lists. One of the most popular books with readers of this site is The Spice and Herb Bible: A Cook's Guide.


I saw your article on herbs and what to use them in. My mother used to have a chart (she can't remember where she got it) that hung on her cabinet door that was similar, except that it listed across the top: meats, stews, egg  dishes, gravy, sauces, veggies, etc. and down the left side it listed what I consider the most common spices. So then under each column, you could go across and see what types of foods the spices worked well in. Mom liked this chart because if she was fixing a pork roast, she could go to the chart, look under meats and see what spices went well with pork. It was an easy reference, and she ended up experimenting with different spices to see how they tasted. Do you know of any chart like this? Thanks! SW

I found this chart online at Spice Advice that meets your exact description.  Looks like it is published there with courtesy from Tone Foods, maybe you could request a hard copy from them.


Hi, A neighbor showed me a print out he had of spices with an explanation of what they are used for. I tried to find it with your email address but couldn't. Could you help me out? Thanks Mary Ann

I wonder if you are referring to the article "Basic Guidelines for Seasoning with Herbs and Spices?"


I am new to the world of herbs and am floundering around on my own - I need help! What can you suggest? N

You have come to the right place! Just take a look down the articles list, you'll find all sorts of information. Please explore the site and write with more questions if you don't find what you are looking for.


Is there a list of ways to use herbs? What herbs are used for in cooking? Which are the best to use for certain foods? Thank you very much for your help. EJ

I would like to think you came to the right place to find the answers to your questions!  This site deals only with herbs for cooking and you will find ideas for using each herb at the individual "All About..." articles. You would also probably be interested in the article Basic Guidelines for Seasoning with Herbs and Spices.


Hi there, could you point me in the direction of some sort of categorized index of spice or herb blends? I'm looking for more unusual (but still palatable) combinations, with a preference for spicy as well as sweet flavours. (eg. orange rind & freeze dried chocolate being the kind of idea.) hope you can help. thanks. Greg

I am not aware of any organized index for spice blends because each blend is unique to the producer. You will find a wide variety of blends listed in herb and spice catalogs like Penzey's, the Baker's Catalog and some of the other links from this site. You might also like the book Herb Mixtures & Spicy Blends if you are interested in making your own.


I never know what spice goes in what to bring out a delicious flavor. Can you list them ! also what to use them in. Thank You Pat

Thanks for writing, Pat. Your question inspired the new article "Basic Guidelines for Seasoning with Herbs and Spices." I hope it helps!


I was wanting to find out what spices on my nice new spice rack were good to use in which foods. I would love to use them but just don't know which ones to use with which foods and am looking for something on spices to go by.

Coming to this website is a great start! At the end of each of the "All About..." articles look for information about how to use the particular seasoning and what foods it goes well with, plus a recipe that highlights the flavor. Some herbs are commonly used with certain foods, like sage with poultry, basil with tomatoes and thyme with onions, but the possibilities are endless, really. Please explore the website and write again with any questions that arise.


Which herbs are best with eggs?

Eggs are a terrific background for herbs. A classic combination is eggs and chives but dill is particularly delightful too. For the traditional herb omelet, use fresh parsley, chervil and tarragon or thyme. You might consider spices with your eggs as well. Curry powders make a startling contribution. Mustard is a nice compliment as illustrated by zesty deviled eggs.



Here's one that's full of our favorite recipes because we wrote the book! It is also full of information, helpful hints and ideas for using herbs and spices in your kitchen.

This site's readers loved the first edition of this book. Comprehensive information about all your favorite seasonings.

Fully illustrated and categorized by flavor this is indeed a reference book for any kitchen.

 A collection of over 100 recipes for making your own spice combinations gathered from spice shops and herb farms all over America.

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