From our ancient times spices and herbs had a major role in the diet of the ancient Greeks. The power they had in improving and making the taste as well as in the treatment according to Hippocrates the father of medicine the saying: "Let your food be your food and your food your medicine", (approximately 460 - 370 BC .Χ.).
The use of spices in addition to food was essential in aromatherapy and essential oils in which it was the main ingredient for cosmetic use and medicine.
In Alexandria, Egypt during the period of the Roman Empire there was an international spice trade center as it was the center of all the surrounding countries that accepted spices (Asia India etc.) and from there the spices left for Greece and Europe.
Our homeland rich in soil ingredients has a great variety of spices and herbs to flavor but also to cure or shield our immune system.
The various types of peppers (black white red green etc.), boukovo, cumin, turmeric cinnamon, mahlep, curry, allspice, sumach and so much more, but also dried herbs such as oregano, thyme, laurel, rosemary, anise and many more , used worldwide in high consumption.
Characteristic are the combinations we have in some foods such as cinnamon with stew, cumin with meatballs (soutzoukaki) and some sweets with mastic that thrives only in our Chios, but also saffron that you grow in our northern Greece.
The apple with the clove, the nutmeg with the béchamel, the saffron with the fish, the laurel with the braised etc.
Store them in dry places without moisture in odorless packages that close airtight so as not to alter their taste and smell,
The country that is first in the production of spices is India and then Indonesia, Turkey, Mexico, Malaysia, France, Argentina etc.
To take each one separately. Which spice suits that.
The most common spice of the housewife. It goes well with everything and is combined with almost all spices and herbs.
The black pepper has a sparkle in its taste and goes well with all meats, fish, minced vegetables, sandwiches in some sauces and of course in pickles.
The red pepper sweetens a pleasant dish and is perfectly combined with minced meat, sauces, salads, even in confectionery in chocolate.
The green pepper in rice fish meat sauces.
White pepper is mild in taste and we put it in preparations that we do not want to look like white sauces, béchamel, omelet soups etc.
It adds a spicy taste to our dish and goes well with meat, minced meat, chicken, marinades, legumes, cheese soups and in the preparation of oriental and Mexican recipes.
It raises the body temperature and consequently increases the metabolism, reduces the appetite and fights germs.
The favorite paprika of young and old… in many versions. The hot one that goes perfectly with meat, minced meat, chicken, shrimp, eggs, potatoes, cheeses, etc. and goes very well with the chili, the sweet paprika that goes with almost all preparations and the smoked one, of course, the favorite that we incorporate with other spices and gives a smoky spark to our plate. Suitable for meat, chicken, pork and Mexican recipes.
Our Macedonian chili. It is quite spicy, and is suitable for soups (beef, tripe, etc.) but also for legumes (beans, giants, etc.) in sauces, cheeses.
A spice with a strong special taste that binds mainly with dairy products (béchamel, purees, white cheese sauces, etc.). An essential ingredient that stars in Christmas sweets (melomakarona, gingerbread, etc.) as well as in pumpkin soup or pumpkin pie. He wants to pay attention to its dosage because it has a strong taste and it is bitter if it falls on us a lot.
Whole grains that are suitable for hunting, state marinades, pickles, but also for sweets, fish, boiled vegetables, etc. We will see the grated spice in pork sausages, sweet creams, etc.
Special spice that comes to us from India. That is why we will find it in recipes that contain lamb, beef, pickled pasturma, and in some recipes with vegetables, legumes, etc.
Especially beloved in Smyrnaean cuisine and Cretan cuisine where they use it in scallops, in stuffing with rice in zucchini as well as in dolmadas with vine leaves.
The wonderful crocus in which we use the flower spots. It gives intense color and taste, has antioxidant analgesic and aphrodisiac properties and we use it in risotto, in seafood (essential ingredient for bouillabaisse and Spanish paella) in fish sauces, pilaf, and even as a drink.
But because it is a spice quite expensive in its cost, we can put water and 4-5 stamens of yolk in a glass bottle of 500 gr. In a short time the water will have the taste of yolk because it has a very strong aroma. Keep it in the refrigerator.
The special coriander aroma will be found in seftalies, pickled vegetables, goat fish marinades, lamb. Especially beloved in Cypriot cuisine and in the United States.
From our childhood, cinnamon accompanies our memories and our beautiful and festive moments. The main ingredient in all the houses from mom and grandma are cinnamon sticks and dust was an integral part of the festivities. Magic sticks from Indonesia and Ceylon are among the most popular spices. Its spicy bittersweet taste will be found in confectionery mainly, apple pie rice pudding donuts, cookies, cookies, candies up to hot chocolate, syrups, liqueurs, etc. In cooking we will find it in kokkino we see it in chicken and lamb, and in the United States in nuts and cereals.
However, do not forget to take out the cinnamon stick after cooking !!!
We can not imagine melomakarona or baklava without cloves. Oriental aroma with intense aroma that goes well with syrupy sweets, compotes, cookies, cookies, sweet pumpkin pie, etc. We can put it very carefully in sauces that accompany meat such as e.g. Braised or stewed, boiled marinades, and in red wine.
It is popular in Asian and Eastern cuisines. It is the yellow root grated and has a bright yellow color and goes well with rice, legumes, fish, poultry and binds with mustard sauces in pickled butter. In oriental recipes we will find it mixed with curry for a more intense taste and color.
A wonderful spice gift from our Chios. All chefs are fascinated by its smell and everyone in the kitchen has experimented with it. We will see it in ice cream, liqueur drinks, creams, buns and cookies and in light sauces that accompany shrimp, chicken. It has a delicate scent and leaves fragrances separate wherever we put it
A mixture of spices that produces a bright orange-yellow color, Used in Indian cuisine and is an ingredient in sauces, rice, chicken, shrimp.
In cooking, it enters the beginning of the preparation of a meal due to its intense aroma and taste.
A spice not so well known in Greece. It has an intense sour taste reminiscent of lemon and the color of crimson. Basic ingredient in oriental cuisines, where they have it together with salt and pepper. We use it in meat, lamb, kebab, lahmanjun, in hummus, in marinades.
A star in our kitchen. A star in brown color that gives us with the slightly sweet taste of the special peppery aftertaste. We will find it in liqueurs, sweets and syrups, up to beef, pork, rice and even duck.
It enters at the beginning of cooking to bring out all its aromas.
The king of confectionery. The "black gold" of cooking. An essential ingredient of confectionery where we will find it in cakes, puddings, ice creams, creams, liqueurs, syrups, chocolate, even in decoctions. Gives a nice taste to yogurt, milkshakes, fruit salads, coffee, etc. Its proper maintenance is in special tubes to maintain all its freshness and aromas.
We will find it in buns and royal pie. They are seeds that we break to give us this white powder with the special aroma. It comes to us from the east where they use it in sweets that are eaten during Ramadan.
In Egypt, powdered mahlep together with honey, nuts and sesame make a kind of porridge and spread it on the bread.
We can put it in cakes with dried fruits or in cookies or cookies together with vanilla.
In Cyprus we get into the traditional pie called flauna
Sweet spicy to lemony taste goes well with spicy salads in vegetables, cheeses, cold cuts, chicken, meat, fish but also in confectionery where we will find it in buns, cream cheese, coffee tea, etc.
She wants attention to consumption by pregnant women.
We use it in sweet pastries (pumpkin pie etc) but also in pastries for multigrain bread, rusks, in vegetable salads and rice, in fish and in pickled liqueur olives etc.
The spice that gives the special characteristic taste to ouzo. We can use it in bread doughs, rusks, cookies, breadsticks, but also in creations in pasta sauces for chicken shrimp vegetables.