Nearly every pantry is stocked with black pepper, and for good reason. Earthy and pungent, black pepper enhances the flavour of meat, gives a spicy bite to soups and stews and brings layers of additional flavour to vegetables.
Sweet and fragrant basil complements tomato-based dishes including pizza, pasta and marinara sauce. It also pairs well with vegetable, chicken, pork or seafood. Its sweet, minty, anise flavour is spectacular in chicken, fish, pasta, salads, vegetables and tomato dishes.
Peppery and minty oregano brings a world of flavour to a wide variety of foods. An assertive cousin to marjoram, oregano livens up classic Italian tomato sauce, Greek meats, fish dishes, and cooked and raw vegetables.
Turmeric’s vivid orange color, sharp flavour and subtle citrusy aroma are the power behind curry powder, mustard, pickles and more. A member of the ginger family, turmeric should smell earthy and have consistent, bright yellow-orange color.
Rich, earthy and warm, cumin adds instant depth to any dish. One of the main flavours in chili powder and taco seasoning, ground cumin adds complexity to vegetarian dishes and enhances the savoury flavour of rich meats like beef and lamb.