Herbs and Spices Cookery - Pepper to Savory

PEPPER, WHITE or BLACK (Spice):  Totally unrelated to the capsicums (cayenne, paprika, red pepper, etc.) these peppers are the small dried berries of a climbing vine. World's most popular spice, they are native to the East Indies. Black pepper is ground from the whole outer dried berry (peppercorn). - White pepper is made from the same peppercorns with the outer hull removed. It is milder, liked especially in light foods where the, black specks might be unattractive. Grind your peppercorns in your own little pepper mill for the most pungent flavor.

Uses: General seasoning except baked goods.

POPPY SEED (Spice):  Seed of a plant of poppy family, native to Asia; however, Holland is the home of the best of these tiny blue-black seeds used so much by bakers. They have a nut-like flavor, no narcotic properties. Sold as dried seeds.

Uses: Whole seed used as topping for rolls, bread, cakes, cookies. Good in salads, with noodles, with cottage cheese.

POULTRY SEASONING (Blend):  Mixture of herbs and spices, often of sage, thyme, marjoram, savory, rosemary. A "must" for seasoning poultry.

Uses: For poultry, veal, pork, fish stuffings. Use in meat loaf. Add 1/8 teaspoon to batter for French fried onions.

PUMPKIN PIE SPICE (Blend):  Blend of spices, often of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, ready-mixed for finest flavor.

Uses: For pumpkin pie, cookies, gingerbread.

ROSEMARY (Herb):  The herb "for remembrance" is a native of Mediterranean regions. Leaf of mint family plant. Sold fresh, ground or dried sprigs. It is a sweet, fresh tasting herb resembling curved pine needle.

Uses: Good with roast beef, lamb, beef and lamb stews. Try it in green salads, with fish, in soups. Delicious with green beans, potatoes, turnips, cauliflower. Used commercially in meat packing, and in pickles and perfumes. Dried rosemary needs to steep in liquid before its flavor is fully aroused. Add it to the dressing for salad instead of directly to the salad, or steep it in the vinegar for a few minutes.

SAFFRON (Spice):  Dried stigma of 'plant of crocus family'. World's most expensive spice. Only 3 stigmas to a plant and it takes 225,000 to make a pound. Yellow color, pleasantly bitter flavor. Sold stigmas or ground. Imported from Spain and, other Mediterranean regions.

Uses: Saffron is valued chiefly for the color, for the flavor is very delicate. Saffron breads and cakes are popular in England. In Latin American countries, saffron is used for such dishes as arroz can pollo (to color the rice) and in France it often is used in various dishes, especially chicken fricassee. For a golden color and Oriental flavor, add a dash to water in which rice is to be boiled.

SAGE (Herb):  Leaf of herb of mint family. It's America's most popular herb leaf. Aromatic, slightly bitter. Sold fresh or ground. Romans called it the "sacred herb".

Uses: It's an old-time favorite for stuffings and sausages. Use with poultry, baked fish, and in salad greens. Goes well with pork.

SAUSAGE SEASONING (Blend):  Blend of herbs and spices including white pepper, coriander and nutmeg.

Uses: Excellent ready-mixed seasoning for the home sausage maker. Used also in meat loaf, veal birds, etc.

SAVORY (Herb):  Dried leaf of widely grown herb of mint family. Aromatic, sharp, piquant. Sold fresh or ground. Rub on for insect bites.

Uses: Good in stuffings, stews, egg dishes, meat sauces, gravies, and casseroles which include meat, seafood, garnish, soups, and marinades. Savory is sometimes called the "bean herb" because it dresses up so many kinds of beans including all fresh and dried beans as well as peas.