What Are Your Must-Have Spices And Seasonings?

Today I want to talk about a very important part of cooking food for yourself that you'll actually want to eat: seasoning.

We all know that one person who simply sprinkles skinless chicken breasts with salt before baking them. This person definitely needs a spice rack.

Stocking such a rack can be a deeply personal thing. Sure, there are some basics that most people should have, but a lot of what you need depends on what you like to cook and eat, as well as what you grew up eating. As such, spice racks can vary quite wildly from person to person and I want to know what you keep in yours.

  • Who did the cooking in your family when you were growing up? What seasonings did they use in almost everything? Bacon grease and garlic salt were pretty much the only things my grandmother seasoned food with, and I was never upset about it. I know my mum had a lot of spices, but I don't really remember her favouring a particular flavour profile. I do remember her putting sun-dried tomatoes and fresh garlic in a lot of things, though, because it was the '90s, and that's what you did.
  • If you could only use three dried seasonings (excluding salt) for the rest of your life, what would you choose? Cumin, paprika, and white pepper.
  • Are there any pre-mixed spice blends you swear by? You know I cannot get enough of this everything bagel seasoning.
  • What are your go-to rubs and marinades? Salt, brown sugar, and garlic goes pretty well on anything, and I am a huge fan of this miso marinade.
  • What is your favourite liquid seasoning? Fish sauce, soy sauce, and liquid aminos.
  • What is your favourite herb? I can never have enough (fresh) thyme.
  • Is there any herb you prefer in dried form? I prefer using dried oregano in rubs as it sticks to the meat better.
  • What spices would you recommend a newbie cook stock their rack with? I'll just leave this here.

As always, feel free to comment with anything even remotely related to the topic. I want your spiciest takes and your saltiest comments.


Comments

    I suggest that everyone grow a chilli bush at home. Mine fruits about 10 months of the year, from Christmas to October, and its a godsend for spicing things up. Free flavour, and you can freeze the fruit for easy all year round access.

    Not a big chilli, the ones I have mean I can stick just 1 in for mere flavour, 2 for a mild spice, and 3 or more for heat.

    Had it growing right outside my unit door, and a new plant grew a few years ago. For a few reasons, they ripped up everything in our planter box, and when replanting I was lucky enough for them to replant that new one at the other end, nearer the back of our units.

    They were happy as it filled a gap, and the colors worked with what they wanted. Fast forward to this weekend just passed, and I had a look at how it was going. And damn me, but they'd taken my idea and added to it with 3 more chilli bushes filling gaps in the box.

    My two standards are dried chilli flakes and Chicken salt.

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