Here are some common cooking spices you can find in Uncle Wendell’s Gourmet Blends

Allspice tastes like a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, which is why it is named “allspice”. This spice is used in both savory and sweet cooking. It adds a distinct flavor to baked goods like spiced cakes or pumpkin desserts. It is also used in pickling and is the main ingredient of jerk seasoning. While allspice is used in North American baking, it is more common to South American and Jamaican cooking.

Anise gives a sweet licorice flavor to foods. It is often used in Southeast Asian cooking to add flavor to breads, beverages, pork and poultry.

Cardamom has a strong aroma and warm, spicy-sweet flavor. It is commonly used in pastries, rice dishes and sweet puddings. Because it is so strong, use only a little bit at a time. It is widely used in East Indian and Scandinavian (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) cooking.

Cayenne (also called red pepper) is a strong, spicy powder made from tropical chilies. With more than 200 varieties, it is common to many cuisines like African, Cajun, Chinese, Indian, Mexican, South American, and Southeast Asian cooking. It can be used in a variety of dishes to add a little heat.goods like spiced cakes or pumpkin desserts. It is also used in pickling and is the main ingredient of jerk seasoning. While allspice is used in North American baking, it is more common to South American and Jamaican cooking.

Chinese five spice is a strong mixture of five ground spices combined in equal amounts – cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns. Often used in Chinese cooking, you can make your own or find pre-packaged mixes in Asian markets and most grocery
stores. It is most often used in dishes that use soy sauce.

Cloves provide a sweet and spicy taste to sweet and savory recipes. Use it in baked goods, smoked meats, pickles, sauces, and curries. They can be used whole (and then removed from the final dish) or ground. A little goes a long way for cloves, so use them in moderation. Indian and Scandinavian (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) cooking.

Coriander seeds are dried seeds that come from the same plant as the
popular herb, cilantro. Coriander seeds taste like a combination of lemon, sage, and caraway. This spice can be used for curries, soups, pickling spices, and special drinks like mulled wine. It is most often used in Indian, Mexican, Asian and Caribbean cuisines.


Cumin provides a warm and nutty flavor to dishes. It is popular in curries, chili powders and barbeque spice blends. It is most often used in Middle Eastern, Asian and Mediterranean cooking.

Curry powder is a mixture of powdered spices that will differ depending on the region and dish. It usually includes a combination of coriander, cumin, turmeric, ginger, mustard, fenugreek, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, chilies, and black pepper. The combination of spices gives a hot and spicy flavor to gravy-based dishes like Indian curries. Use it in a marinade or as a dry rub for beef,
fish, lamb, veal, and potatoes. 
Fennel seed gives a sweeter and mild licorice flavor to dishes. Fennel seeds are used to flavor savory dishes, including fish, sauces, meatballs, and sausages. It is popular in Mediterranean cuisines.

Garam masala is a spice blend like curry powder, but without the cumin or caraway. The combination of spices will depend on the chef and the recipe, just like curry powder. It usually contains black pepper, fennel, cinnamon, clove, and cardamom and sometimes mace and nutmeg. It is widely used inIndian cooking and adds deep, rich flavor. It is usually added towards the end
of cooking.


Ginger gives a sweet and spicy flavor to a variety of sweet and savory
dishes. Dried ginger has a different flavor than fresh ginger. Ginger is known for its use in baked goods, gingerbread, spice cookies, ginger ale and ginger beer, but also delicious in savory dishes like soups, stews’ curries, Asian stir- fries, meats and fruit compotes. Ginger is common in Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines.

Mace is the red covering of the nutmeg seed. It tastes and smells like a stronger version of nutmeg and is slightly more bitter. Mace is used to flavor all kinds of foods including baked products, potatoes, cream sauces and sausage. Mace is common in East Indian cooking.

Nutmeg has a warm, spicy, and sweet flavor. It can be used in sweet dishes
like spiced baked goods, custards, eggnog and on fruits. It can also be paired with vegetables for savory dishes, like this Like mace, nutmeg is common in East Indian cooking..

Paprika is made from special kinds of sweet orange and red peppers, which are dried and ground. It can be mild to hot, depending on the variety. Paprika goes well with eggs, rice, sweet potatoes, root vegetables, sauces, roast meats, and poultry. Paprika is common in Spanish, South American and Hungarian cooking.

Turmeric has a warm and earthy flavor. It is used to add both flavor and color (a bright yellow) to foods and is common to Indian and Caribbean cuisines. You will most often find turmeric added to curries and pickled foods.