a pinch or pack of perfect spices...

Among cooks, this herb is popularly associated with vinegar and fish. Its anise-like character is particularly suited to both, use the leaves fresh in salads, as garnishes, or in such classic applications as remoulade sauce, tartar sauce, béarnaise sauce, French dressing, and veal Marengo. In general, don’t add this herb with a heavy hand, and avoid bringing out its bitter side by cooking it too long.

This ground reddish berry has a pleasant melange of sour, sweet and bitter flavors. Added to yogurt for a dip, dusted on grilled fish or mixed in with rice, sumac will give a fruit and sour flavor similar to lemon. Sprinkle liberally on a bowl of hummus for authentic color and taste.

Smoked black pepper is boldly aromatic with a mild smoke taste that goes great anywhere you want a bit of spicy smokiness: BBQ, omelets, Latino food, spiced nuts, etc!

Pungent and assertive, the needle-like leaves of this Mediterranean shrub give an unmistakable flavor. It blends well with citrus and is common in many Italian and French dishes. Try a chicken or fish fillet scattered with rosemary and topped with thin slices of orange and then broiled.

As a spice, it continues to be used in Greece to flavor spirits and liquors, chewing gum and a number of cakes, pastries, spoon sweets and desserts. Sometimes it is even used in making cheese. Mastic resin is a key ingredient in Dondurma (Turkish ice cream), and Turkish puddings granting those confections its unusual texture and bright whiteness. In Lebanon and Egypt, the spice is used to flavor many sauces, ranging from soups to meats to desserts.

It’s added to fish sauces, clam chowder, butter-based sauces, salads, tomato-based sauces, vinegar, mushroom sauces, and eggplant. In Germany, marjoram is called the “sausage herb”. Middle Easterners use marjoram in lamb, mutton, barbecues, vegetables, and seafood. It is usually added at the end of cooking to retain its delicate flavor or as a garnish.

The flavor resembles somewhat like sweet roasted peppers. It also has a nice level of heat. It can be added to soups and stews. It makes a great addition to Mexican chili or any kind of meat dish. Very hard to find, this pepper only grows in a region that once was shared by Turks and Armenians called Marash.

A combination of fragrant rosewater-like sweetness and a nutty and faintly bitter, but not unpleasant aftertaste. Used in breads, biscuits and less sweet cakes and pastries. It is well worth experimenting with this unfamiliar but intriguing flavoring. A traditional Greek Easter bread is flavored with mahlab and decorated with colored eggs.

Mace is the aril (lacy covering) of the nutmeg seed shell. A small amount will add fragrance without imposing too much flavor. It works especially well with milk dishes like custards and cream sauces. Included in soufflés and cheese sauces.

Lime juice powder can be used to make lime juice or limeade, and may be used as a substitute in recipes that call for lime juice. May also be used to rim glasses for cocktails.To reconstitute mix 1 teaspoon of lime juice powder with 1/4 cup of water.

Also known as sweetwood. This cut form is preferred for herbal tea and use in herbal blends. Traditionally and commonly used for sore throats and coughs. Also used for root beer.

The bright citrus flavor of lemon is well preserved in these granules of the whole peel. They are great for inclusion in teas and herbal concoctions as they are easily strained out. It can also be ground for inclusion in spice blends and rubs.

Kalonji is used in India and the Middle East as a spice and condiment and occasionally in Europe as both a pepper substitute and a spice. It is widely used in Indian cuisines, particularly in mildly braised lamb dishes such as korma. It is also added to vegetable and dhal dishes as well as in chutneys. The seeds are sprinkled on to naan bread before baking.

Hyssop leaves have a lightly bitter taste and a minty aroma. Common in Levantine and Caucasian cookery. It is also used to flavor liqueurs, and is part of the formulation of Chartreuse.

Horseradish sauce is the main use of this spice. This is made most simply by mixing the powder with sugar and vinegar to the desired consistency. As a sauce, horseradish also complements tongue, sausages, cold egg dishes, cheese, chicken and hot ham.

Also called roselle flowers or flor de Jamaica. Sourced from North Africa, these hibiscus flowers are full-flavored with a rosy tartness, making a fine, refreshing iced tea or hot infusion. Hibiscus is cooling and soothing for fevers and heat exhaustion.

Green and white leek flakes. Leeks, a relative of onions, share a similar flavor though more refined, subtler, and sweeter flavor than the standard onion. Dried leek flakes will reconstitute when soaked in water or cooked in a soup or sauce.

This intriguing spice, often described as a vibrant blend of ginger, cardamom, and pepper, seems to be just as valuable in the medicine cabinet as it is in the spice rack. An outstanding substitute for cardamom and black pepper, try it in curried dishes of North African and Middle Eastern influence, add it to zesty paella & cassoulets, or simply eat it with bread in a little olive oil with garlic and thyme.

Fennel pollen enhances the flavors of everything. From seafood to beef; poultry, pork or vegetables: Fennel pollen is that secret ingredient. No matter what you use it on, the mysterious taste – neither like fennel seed nor anise, and a bit like curry – will add a special dimension. Hand-collected from wild fennel growing on the coastal and inland fields of sun-drenched California.

Epazote characterizes the taste of Mayan cuisine in the Yucatan and Guatemala. Use epazote in soups, meat dishes, and especially to enhance huitlacoche, mushrooms, bean and chile-based foods such as refried beans (frijoles refritos), frijoles negros, moles, or rice and beans.