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BUILDING A STARTER SPICE DRAWER

The Story

Spices of Fall

Fall has become a time for pumpkin spice everything. The latte version owns the spotlight; however, there are countless other variations out there now which vary in their palatableness (think pumpkin spiced salsa). Pumpkin gets a lot of the run when it comes to the flavors of fall, and rightly so. With Halloween and Thanksgiving so focused around the gourd, it’s no surprise they are incorporated into so many delicious dishes. That said, there are plenty of other spices that are quintessential to the fall season. Here’s five that’ll help you feel ready to jump in a pile of leaves.

Clove

Whole Clove

Whole cloves deliver an intense flavor that can be slightly bitter with fruity stabs of peppery flavor. Unfortunately, they must be removed before eating, which is why many cooks prefer ground cloves. They impart a milder flavor as only the stem is ground. It can be added to all sorts of baked goods, fruits, sweet potatoes, winter squash, rice, sauces, curries and meat without issue.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon Stick

Cinnamon sticks give off a wonderful aroma and make great ‘stir sticks’ in hot apple cider and hot cocoa. But for 99% of cooking and baking, ground cinnamon is the spice to use. It’s easily measured and can be added to all types of baked goods, beverages, and vegetables.

Nutmeg

Ground Nutmeg

Nutmeg is perfect for pumpkin pies and cocoa anymore. That said, it’s not just considered a dessert or baking spice. Abroad, it’s used as an intense spicy-sweet flavor with lamb, stews, vegetables and jerk seasonings. Nutmeg has the ability to amp-up flavor interest so it’s increasingly likely to be the secret ingredient of top chefs in eggs, mashed potatoes, creamy soups, and meatballs.

Star Anise

Star Anise

Star anise isn’t just a decoration. Add it whole to marinades and slow-cooked meats, stews, and soups (just be sure to remove them before serving) or add with whole cinnamon and cloves to steep in a pot of tea.

Allspice

Allspice

Allspice is not a spice blend but a dried berry that can be used whole as a pickling or mulling spice. The flavor is similar to the spices it is often paired with: a mixture of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and pepper.

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