Herbs, Spices, Seasonings & Flavourings

 

There are a huge variety of ingredients that may be used to season and flavour foods. These substances, which include salt, pepper, vinegars, sugar, herbs and spices enhance the flavour and smell, and can also add a spicy, sour, sweet, tangy or hot dimension to the food.

Culinary herbs are generally classed as those flavouring ingredients that are taken from the leaves of plants, such as basil, chives, mint and thyme, and may be added to foods either in their fresh or dried state. Spices, on the other hand, such as cinnamon, cloves and mace, are taken from any other part of the plant, such as the seeds, roots or bark; these are always used dried.

Seasonings such as pepper, salt, vinegar and mustard are used to add spiciness, saltiness, sourness or heat to foods. These seasonings may also be added by using sauces and pastes, many of which contain a combination of flavours; for example Hoisin sauce, a sweet and spicy sauce used to flavour Oriental dishes.

Other ingredients, such as sugar, honey, syrup and chocolate may be used to add sweetness to foods, whilst wine, spirits and liqueurs can liven up both sweet and savoury dishes.

In this section, you'll find in-depth information about herbs, spices, seasonings, sauces, flavouring, colourings, sweeteners and alcohol; simply select a category from the menu below:

Herbs
An A-Z of herbs, including basil, bay leaves, chervil, chives, coriander, dill, fennel, horseradish, kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, lovage, mint, oregano (wild marjoram), parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon and thyme ...
Spices
Your complete guide to spices, from allspice, anise and asafoetida to tamarind, turmeric and vanilla ...
Seasonings
Find out how to season your food perfectly, using salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar ...
Sauces & Pastes
A look at the range of sauces and pastes that may be used to enhance food, including anchovy essence, chutney, fish sauce, miso, relish, shrimp paste, soy sauce, Tabasco, wasabi and tomato sauces, pastes and purées ...
Flavourings & Colourings
Adding flavour or colour to your food using additives such as saffron, turmeric, vanilla and peppermint ...
Confectionery & Adding Sweetness
Satisfy your sweet tooth with in-depth information on a range of confectionary and sweeteners, including chocolate, carob, cocoa powder, honey, sugar and syrups ...
Using Alcohol in Food
Find out the best way to use wine, spirits and liqueurs in cooking to flavour and enhance your food ...