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jazmina88's avatar

What kind of herbs and spices do you use? fresh, cheap or ...

Asked by jazmina88 (11647points) April 3rd, 2010

I love herbs. They add flavor. They are healthful.
Do you use the cheap stuff? the fresh stuff?

I grow an herb garden, but dont use the herbs much.
I get spices from Penzeys. They are incredible and they pop.
Makes any dish zing.

I use sea salt and crushed pepper.
I make a pot roast with saffron.

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27 Answers

Bugabear's avatar

I just use pepper with everything. The trick is to add a pinch of salt as well to bring out the flavor and not the spiciness.

Sariperana's avatar

Fresh- garlic, chilli salt and pepper! P
Basil and parsley are also good!

squidcake's avatar

I think we may have an old dusty bottle of dill that gets dragged out when someone makes pasta salad.

Sadly, my family was never big on herbs, but I love them.

Once, I had to use ninja stealth to sneak some rosemary from a neighbor’s yard. Because otherwise my mom would have used her solution to give anything more taste which is: melt a heinous amount of shredded cheese on top.

So, I’d say the herbs I use are whatever the hell I can get.

Buttonstc's avatar


I was going to mention Penzeys but you beat me to it.

Have you tried their toasted onion yet. It is incredible. I use of on everything from eggs, cottage cheese, veggies and everything I braise. It has so much more flavor than just regular onion powder.

thriftymaid's avatar

I buy organic herbs and spices online.

RareDenver's avatar

Herbes de Provence

Chinese five spice

The above are used liberally in our house, never together though.

Just_Justine's avatar

I am so loving my local stores pre-packaged dried herbs. They are sealed in small silver foil packets and when you open them and add them to the dish, they “come alive again”.

I always bought fresh, but I found they would go off so quickly in this heat. So my packet ones are great. I love all herbs, I adore rocket for all my salads and at the moment I have fresh rocket in the fridge. With my sealed herbs in the silver packet I have curry leaves, parsley and fennel. I love curry potato but I am on a diet now, so instead I have been making curried sugar beans.

I want to get a tray for my windowsill to put little herb growing cartons there so I can just pluck as I cook.

To me, food is dead without amazing herbs and spices too. :) I also have fresh real vanilla pods and saffron as well as sealed bought regular dried herbs.

partyparty's avatar

I depends on what I am cooking. I use herbs in soups ie. Carrot and coriander, tomato and basil etc. I use them in casseroles ie mediterannean pork – peppers, oregano, garlic and tomatoes.
I have herbs in my garden, on the windowsill and also dried herbs. They make such a difference to food. Love them.

arnbev959's avatar

I fucking love cilantro. And basil.

Pesto is so good.

Cruiser's avatar

Fresh is the only way to go! I love whole fresh ground pepper, garlic, lemon, oregano and especially fresh picked basil! Yes the meal will pop with fresh spices!

laureth's avatar

I like to use the stuff I grow or that I buy at the farmer’s market. There’s nothing like really fresh pesto!

When it comes to shelf-stable herbs and spices, I’ve recently started supporting The Milford Spice Company. Not only are the products pretty delicious, but it’s also a new business startup here in Michigan, where our unemployment rate is about as high as it goes.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Fresh basil, oregano, cilantro, dill… There’s a fruit and veg market and a farmer’s market within blocks of my flat, so it’s fresh all the way forme.

lilikoi's avatar

I grow a lot of my own herbs.

jazmina88's avatar

@Buttonstc People need to be turned on to Penzey’s spices. They have the most intense spices and wonderful salt free blends. On top of the game. I’ve turned a few people onto them, musician chefs as well.

Okay, I think I’m gonna go out and start planning the garden. Thanks for the input. :)

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jazmina88's avatar

I love the mexican spice rack….I stare at it. I’m not into peppers.

arnbev959's avatar

@partyparty: Cilantro = Coriander.

Cilantro is more of a regional name for it. In the northeast “cilantro” generally refers to the leaves, and “coriander” refers to the seeds, which are used as a spice but have a distinctly different flavor. Most places use “coriander” for both.

partyparty's avatar

@petethepothead Ah yes, thanks now I know, and I use cilantro to make carrot and coriander soup – the coriander seeds.

justmesuzanne's avatar

@jazmina88 They have all kinds of things on the Mexican spice rack! Not just peppers! My dogs love those dessicated shrimp!

But they also have all kinds of other spices in small amounts for under a dollar. It’s a good way to try out different spices.

Strauss's avatar

Pepper (fresh ground), sea salt, cumin, cilantro, paprika, turmeric, basil, dill, fennel, garlic, cayenne, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, are all flavors on my cooking pallette.

My first preference is to grow fresh when possible, and use fresh, or dry if possible. My second preference is to purchase fresh.

zen_'s avatar

Anybody have an idea what to do with a ton of Rosemary – either fresh or dried? Thanks.

laureth's avatar

Is it still on the woody stem, like a big stick? Where I used to work, they’d strip the leaves off the stick and use the stick as a skewer for grilling meats. Nice flavor.

zen_'s avatar

Thanks, @laureth – but that still leaves me with, well, leaves.

laureth's avatar

Well, it will soon be roasted root vegetable season. Dice up some potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips, beets, etc., lightly coat with olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary, and bake until done. If there’s a LOT of it, steep it in olive oil or vinegar and give it as presents to unsuspecting foodie relatives. :D

Strauss's avatar

GA @laureth. Also, use rosemary in poultry, fish, just about any savory dish.

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