Spice Up Your World

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The tandoori masala and curry of India, the oregano and thyme of the Middle East, the anise and ginger root of China, the mustard of France, or the Japanese poppy seed.

Spices have been valued by men throughout history, and trading them is one of the world's oldest professions. They were a luxury during the Middle Ages, imported to Europe all the way from Asia and Africa. These days, spices might be readily available to all of us, but they are still praised for their ability to add flavor, color and aroma to our favorite dishes.

Whether you're interested in cooking or just want to fill up your spice rack, it's helpful to understand the spices and herbs that you should always kept on hand.

Salt and pepper are an obvious starting place. You might think these spices are simple, but there is a great variety from which to choose. Still, whether you like using sea salt or prefer ground black pepper, the important thing here is to find out which ones suit your tastes.