In this post I am not going to publish any recipe, instead I want to share the spices I use more or less in my dishes.
In Albania, we have had a lot of deficiencies in culinary prospective, maybe affected from the communist regimen we’ve been under for about 50 years. Being isolated to the world some of the products never reached the Albanian market, like the spices I’m sharing below. Some of them I have never heard of, or tasted before, until I’ve read about them in the recipes found on the internet.
So, with passing of time, buying spices online or during my visits in foreign countries, I’ve “collected” like 56 types of spices (whole or grounded)
Until a few years ago, I only new the basic herbs& spices like oregano, sage, parsley, dill, black pepper, etc.. I guess like most of the Albanians, but reading and learning online I’ve discovered new spices and slowly integrated them in my dishes.
The shelf life of spices is on average 1 year or so ( longer if not grounded), so I suggest not to by in bulks and keep a frequent inventory to clean the pantry from spoiled spices.
As mentioned above, the spices keep their flavour if not grounded, so I suggest to by them in their original state form, like black/green/white peppercorns, whole cumin, whole coriander, whole hot pepper etc… I’d rather spent a bit more and invest in a spice grinder than throwing away spoiled spices, this way the spices will add a lot of flavour to your cooking. Alternatively you can use a pestle and mortar to grind them.
During a normal inventory day I kept track of my spice list and today I’m sharing it with you.
|Nr.||Spice name||Nr.||Spice name|
|1||Allspice (ground)||29||Garam Masala|
|2||Allspice (Whole)||30||Hot curry powder|
|3||Star Anise||31||Hot pepper (Whole)|
|4||BBQ spice||32||Herbs de Provence|
|5||Basil Leaves||33||Jamaican Jerk Seasons|
|7||Black Pepper||35||Lemon Pepper|
|9||Cajun spice||37||Mustard seeds|
|10||Cardamom (ground)||38||Mustard (Ground)|
|11||Cardamom (Whole)||39||Nigella seeds|
|13||Celery seeds||41||Onion powder|
|14||Chili Powder||42||Onion flakes|
|15||Chipotle pepper (whole)||43||Oregano|
|18||Cilantro & Annatto seasoning||46||Parsley flakes|
|19||Cinnamon powder||47||Red peppercorn|
|20||Cloves (Ground)||48||Saffron threads|
|21||Cloves (Whole)||49||Sage (Ground)|
|22||Cumin seeds||50||Salad spice|
|24||Curry Powder||52||Taco mix|
|26||Fennel seeds||54||Turmeric (Ground)|
|27||Garlic powder||55||Tandoori Masala|
If I had to pick my favorite spices, the ones that I use almost everyday, here’s my Top 10 list
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Turmeric (curcuma)
- Ginger (powder)
- Cloves (Ground)
- Black pepper
The other spices are used less frequently and this is obvious, because some of them are used for specific dishes like indian food (garam masala, curry powder tandoori masala ,cardamom etc..), or for mexican dishes (like taco mix, cayenne, chili powder etc…)
In case you might need more information or how you can use the spices I’ll be glad to help.
Your spice Guru (overrated myself huh? ☺)