From ras el hanout to herbes de provence, herb and spice mixes are essential to many cuisines around the world. Bringing these blends into your own kitchen can lend authenticity to international dishes and provide creative inspiration for your everyday cooking. Ready for this trip across the globe? No passport required!
- Berbere - A heady combination of spicy, bitter, and sweet spices used in Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Somalia.
- Dukkah - An Egyptian mix of toasted nuts and seeds like hazelnuts, sesame seeds, coriander, and cumin.
- Harissa - Made from smoked red peppers and widely featured in Tunisian and other North African cuisines.
- Ras el Hanout - A varying blend of spices used in North African cooking, especially Moroccan.
Chinese Five Spice
- Chinese Five Spice - A little of this pungent mix goes a long way, giving dishes a balanced hit of sweet, savory, bitter, and sour.
- Gomasio - A Japanese condiment of toasted sesame seeds ground up with coarse salt. Especially delicious over rice.
- Togarashi - A Japanese condiment made from seven spices including chile pepper, citrus peel, sesame seeds, and seaweed.
- Fines Herbes - A French blend of four fresh or dry herbs, such as chervil, chives, tarragon, and parlsey.
- Herbes de Provence - A seasoning blend featuring many of the herbs that grow most abundantly in southern France.
- Khmeli Suneli - A Georgian mix of warm, nutty, grassy, and bitter spices like fenugreek, coriander, savory, and black peppercorns.
- Quatre Epices - Meaning "four spices," this French blend typically includes ground black and/or white pepper, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger.
- Chaat Masala - A tangy masala, or spice mix, made with amchoor (dried mango); often sprinkled on snacks and street foods.
- Curry Powder - An Indian-inspired British invention, this typically includes turmeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, and red pepper.
- Garam Masala - Garam means warm, or hot, and the mix usually contains warming spices like cinnamon and cardamom.
- Panch Phoron - A Bengali five-spice blend of whole fenugreek, nigella, cumin, black mustard, and fennel seeds.
Latin America & the Caribbean
- Adobo - An all-purpose seasoning that contains garlic, oregano, pepper, and other spices; used in Mexican and other Latin American cuisines.
- Chili Powder - A blend of the spices most commonly found in Latin American cooking, such as ancho chile, paprika, cumin, and Mexican oregano.
- Jerk Spice - A spicy Jamaican mixture including red and black pepper, allspice, cinnamon, and thyme.
- Advieh - A Persian mix of dried rose petals and spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, cumin; often used in rice and stews.
- Baharat - An all-purpose seasoning in Middle Eastern cuisine, typically including black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves.
- Za'atar - A fragrant and tangy blend of thyme, sesame seeds, and sumac. Check out our tour of a Lebanese za'atar farm.
- Dry Rub - From Kansas City, this sweet and smoky barbecue rub includes brown sugar, paprika, and other spices.
- Pickling Spice - Lends complex flavor to preserved fruits and vegetables; generally contains bay leaves, mustard seeds, and peppercorns.
- Poultry Spice - An aromatic, woodsy combination of sage, thyme, and other herbs and spices.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice - Made with warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Not just for pumpkin pie!
Did we miss any of your favorite blends? Let us know in the comments.
This post was requested by Scotia48 for Reader Request Week 2013.
(Images: marco mayer/Shutterstock; Emily Ho; Emma Christensen; Emily Ho; Emma Christensen; Emma Christensen; Anjali Prasertong; Sarah Rae Trover)