You can tell a lot about a person’s culinary tastes by simply looking at their spice rack. Every nationality worldwide has a distinct set of spices that are used in creating traditional ethnic dishes. While some countries may be more famous than others for their use of herbs and spices as flavourings; India for example is well renowned for its use of different spices in various curries, each country has its own spice list that will typically go into their dishes. So, what does your spice rack say about your global culinary tastes?
A staple for many traditional French meals is black pepper. The French dish peppered steak uses fresh black peppercorns, and black pepper or ground pepper is the main ingredient in several French soups. Garlic is another spice used frequently by the French, and France is known for having some of the most globally garlic heavy recipes. Some French restaurants will even serve pulped and ground garlic as a side dip to accompany a main meal!
When it comes to Italian food we immediately think of pizza or pasta. Italians are renowned for having very sharp tongues when it comes to flavour, and it shows in their choice of spices. Many of their traditional spices are often used in pizza and pasta dishes, with herbs such as basil, oregano and sage worked into the pizza dough to bring extra flavour to the dish. Garlic is another popular choice in Italy, and Italians often like to add a little red pepper to their pasta and soup dishes for a bit of kick.
Greece is a country renowned for its yoghurt and for lamb kebabs. The herbs and spices used by Greek chefs are the same for both sour and savoury dishes. The cleansing spices of mint and lemon juice are often mixed with strong flavours such as garlic, and can be added to yoghurts to produce a tasty dip, or can be glazed over kebabs for a savoury, yet minty flavour that seeps deep into the meat. Delicious.
Another country for lamb connoisseurs, Morocco loves infusing its meats with various warming spices, such as paprika, cumin and cinnamon. Traditionally adding dried fruit and fresh mint to spicy savoury Moroccan dishes adds to the flavour and provides variety.
Are you a fan of warming spices like paprika and red pepper, or do you prefer overpowering flavours such as garlic? Perhaps you like to match your flavours to your kitchen style? Or maybe you are a fan of them all and your cupboards are overflowing with delicious spices! Let us know in the comments below.