There are actually seven spices that are commonly referred to as the seven spices. These spices are; Clove, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Mace, Saffron, Ginger and Black Pepper. Although some people have mentioned a few more spices in this category such as Anise seed and Cardamom.
As a spice, pepper is considered as one of the seven spices in the world. It is also referred to as “black gold” and comes from the peppercorn, which is a fruit from a tree in the Piperaceae family. The fruit grows on boughs that are about four feet long and produce small berries that come together to form a peppercorn.
Seven spice is a blend of seven spices from different regions of the world. These seven spices are made from different countries in the past, but today, these spices are bought from different sources. Seven spice blends have been used for thousands of years and continue to be popular in an array of cuisines, ranging from Caribbean and African to Middle Eastern and Asian.
Seven Spice has a very distinct flavor which makes it popular among chefs for use in marinades, curries and soups. The blend is also used to season beef, lamb, poultry and fish dishes like as a rub or pickling spice mixture.
It’s also used as a seasoning for vegetables or a meat rub before grilling foods. It can be used in cooking tomato-based dishes; it is also good when making broths or stews.
Spices are a beautiful thing to cook, the more spices you add the better it smells and tastes. Most of the time people use common spices such as cumin, cinnamon and garlic but did you know that there are other spices that can be used for cooking.
Here are some spice types, their descriptions and how they’re used in recipes:
1. Black Cardamon- this spice is used in many Asian countries and is known for its sweet smell. It’s usually ground before using it in any recipe. It can be used with breads, cakes, cookies and many other desserts.
Yellow Cardamon- This spice is usually found in the Caribbean so it’s very popular there. Like black cardamon it’s usually ground before using it in a recipe. It can be used with breads, cakes, cookies and many other desserts.
Cinnamon- This spice is grown all over the world but comes from a tree native to Sri Lanka. They can either be ground or stick form but both have a great smell. Cinnamon sticks are used for baking with breads, cakes, cookies and other desserts. Cinnamon powder is used in savory foods such as stews, curries and soups among many others
Ginger- this spice has a strong taste
The cooking spices are a mixture of several different herbs that is used in the cooking of foods. These herbs have different tastes and smells and can be used in the preparation of various dishes to add flavor, aroma and taste to the food.
The flavors of spices come from the aromatic oils and resins that are trapped in their cells. This oil is released when the cell walls are crushed. The degree of crushing varies with each spice, so each must be ground differently.
The seven spices: Star anise—crushed. Cloves—crushed or whole. Cinnamon—ground. Nutmeg—ground. Bay Leaf—crushed or whole. Saffron—stamens only, ground in a mill if possible (if not, soaked in hot water for one hour) Chilli Pepper—seeds only, not the fleshy part, ground as fine as possible.*
*A very interesting book on this subject is The Breath of a Wok by Grace Young, the foremost expert I know on Chinese cooking and wok preparation (and my wife). She adds one more spice to the list: Sichuan Peppercorns.*