My Favorite Spices [Top Picks]

I remember being published in my favorite Pinoy food magazine 'Yummy' when I answered their question (via their Multipy site) "What are your favorite spices?" in their August 2009 issue.

My answer was ginger and my explanation was well...shortened. Haha! Anyway, to give myself full liberty to explain myself, I am dedicating a full blog post  for this. Hahaha!

First off, what are spices? Wikipedia says, 
spice is a dried seedfruitrootbark, or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for flavor,color, or as a preservative that kills harmful bacteria or prevents their growth.. Flavoring may be to hide other flavors. In the kitchen, spices are distinguished from herbs, which are leafy, green plant parts used for flavoring.
An example of a spice from back is cinnamon; from the seed is nutmeg; from the root is ginger; from the fruit is paprika. We usually see spices on the ingredient list of our favorite recipes along with herbs. 

Through the years, I have developed some liking to specific spices. I most of the time have them in my kitchen - and they are almost always at the top of my shopping list once they run out.

Superboink's Top 3 Favorite Spices

1. Ginger - What I love about ginger is that it has flavors varying from tangy to slightly spicy to mildly sweet. Ginger has a wide array of uses. In cooking, I'd usually add them to my tinola, nilaga or paksiw. It can also be pickled or candied. 
          My lola boils some to make salabat (ginger tea) which is said to be good for the throat and voice. Another liquid yet carbonated version is the ginger ale, is used as a home remedy for upset stomachs and motion sickness. 
photo from [HERE]
2. Peppercorns - My peppercorn know-how I found out was limited, because all these time I only know of three kinds - the black, white and green. Once, I was on the 'imported/international' aisle of a supermarket I cannot remember where, I saw a bottle of McCormick Peppercorn Medley (which is a mix of peppercorns) and made me realize that there are red and pink rare varieties. 
          Anyway, it is usually the black (whole and ground) and white (ground) that I have. I prefer the white one on the table because of its lighter flavor and aroma compared to the black one. For spice rubs and one-pot meals, I use the black pepper. All in all, I don't think there's any dish I have cooked that never received a dash of pepper.
photo from [HERE]
3. Cinnamon - Cinnamon for me has been a symbol of sweet breads and aromatic coffees. It is the powdered form that I often use, but I know for a fact that cinnamon rolls would taste better if the bark is used. I sometimes find myself putting cinnamon to make curries and stews (kaldereta is one). I love cinnamon for being useful both in cooking and baking.

photo from

These are my Top 3 Picks. How about you? =) Would love to read your comments below.




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