Three Tips to Help Choose the Best Spices


Buy pollen

There are a number of reasons to cook with spices: not only do these ingredients add to and improve the flavor of almost any recipe, but all spices originate from plants, giving them access to a number of antibacterial and antiviral properties. Many spices are also high in B-vitamins and trace minerals. For this reason, many people give spices as gifts and also buy spices to use their own kitchens. But how do you choose the best spices to buy? This can be extremely difficult, especially as serious cooks often choose to buy spices online to make up for a lacking local spice market. However, there are a variety of qualities that can help you identify the best spices and seasonings to use in your recipes. Read on to learn how to identify the best spices to buy!

Look to Your Favorite Foods for Inspiration
Even modern food culture has centuries of tradition behind it, meaning that identifying tastes you love can often be adapted into other dishes through the right ingredients. If you love Italian food, for example, you might find that fennel pollen appeals to you. Not only is fennel pollen used to flavor bread, pesto, salads, roasted meats and fish, particularly in Tuscany, but many people find that it carries over well to a variety of other recipes.

Choose Spices That Have Used the Best Preservation Method for the Plant
Woody herbs like oregano, thyme and rosemary tend to dry and preserve well, which is why you can often find them ground into a nice, fine powder. However, basil, chives, and other soft, tender herbs are not as conducive to traditional drying. Some research can often help you find the best forms of a spice. For example, many chefs recommend using pollens, such as dill pollen, to capture the best virtues of certain plants.

Use Retailers With Good Reputations
Whether you want to buy fresh, local herbs or choose the best spices to buy from an online retailer, working with a shop you trust can have a significant impact on your results at home. If you are making a purchase in person, inspect the product carefully: is the plant moldy, damaged, or in poor condition? Is the spice fully ground? Does it smell fresh, or is the scent unpleasant? Try to choose ingredients that look healthy, crisp, and if bottled, well-preserved.

Meanwhile, if you are buying spices online, look for a store with a good reputation. Read what other shoppers have commented on their website and on other sources. Check to see if they allow returns. And see what they say about their products: for example, how recently are the plants gathered? Just like shopping for spices in the real world, you want to use the freshest and best preserved products possible, but service is even more important when you shop online.

Spices offer a number of benefits, both in cooking and the human body. The chemical compounds in herbs have been found to have anti-spasmodic, analgesic, digestive, aphrodisiac, and stimulant properties when taken in the proper doses, and have also been shown to boost immunity. Some herbs have even been shown to promote weight loss. For this reason, finding the best spices to buy is important; use the suggestions above to help you buy the best products for your kitchen!

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