Herbs and Spices! List of herbs and spices in English with examples and pictures. Learn these herb names and spice names to improve and expand your vocabulary about fruits and vegetables in English.
If you have a passion for cooking and are in an English speaking supermarket, you are going to be confronted with rows and rows of herbs and spices labelled with their English names. Wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to read the labels and instantly know what was inside? By learning the English names of herbs and spices, you will easily be able to do this. It is important to note than in some cases the American and British versions may differ, for example in America they would use the word Cilantro, whereas in Britain the same herb would be referred to as Coriander.
Herbs and Spices
What are Herbs and Spices?
Herbs refers to the leafy green or flowering parts of a plant (either fresh or dried), they are used for food, flavoring, medicine, or fragrances for their savory or aromatic properties. A spice is a seed, fruit, root, bark, or other plant substance primarily used for flavoring, coloring or preserving food.
Any plant with flowers, leaves, or seeds that can be used to flavour food, used in medicine, or put into perfumes is considered to be a herb. When it comes to cooking, herbs are usually ground up into a powder form so that they can be easily sprinkled onto or into food. The herbs provide extra flavour.
Like herbs, spices are also used in powder form during cooking. But unlike herbs, spices are a strong-smelling vegetable substance. When food is described as ‘spicy’, it makes your mouth feel hot and encourages you to drink water with your meal. Spices are mostly present in curries, but you can incorporate them into any recipe to give the food more flavour or heat.
List of Herbs and Spices
- Bay leaves
- Mint leaves
- Spring onions/green onions
- Green chili
Herbs and Spices Names with Pictures and Examples
Coriander is an herb that is commonly used in cooking and has a citrusy, slightly sweet flavor. It is also known as cilantro in some parts of the world.
Example: I love to sprinkle fresh coriander leaves on my tacos for extra flavor.
Artichoke is a vegetable that is commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine. It has a unique shape with a prickly exterior and a fleshy, edible interior. The most commonly eaten part of the artichoke is the heart.
Example: My favorite way to enjoy artichokes is to steam them and then dip the leaves in melted butter.
Rosemary is an herb that is commonly used in cooking and has a distinct, pine-like flavor. It is often used to season meats, vegetables, and soups.
Example: I love to add fresh rosemary to my roasted potatoes for a delicious and fragrant side dish.
Bay leaves are aromatic leaves from the bay laurel tree that are commonly used in cooking to add flavor to soups, stews, and sauces. They have a slightly bitter taste and are usually removed before serving.
Example: I always add a couple of bay leaves to my spaghetti sauce for added depth of flavor.
Mint leaves are fragrant leaves from the mint plant that are commonly used in cooking and beverages. They have a refreshing, cool flavor and are often used to add flavor to desserts, teas, and cocktails.
Example: I love to add fresh mint leaves to my iced tea for a refreshing and flavorful drink.
Basil is an herb that is commonly used in cooking and has a sweet, slightly peppery flavor. It is often used in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, and is a key ingredient in pesto sauce.
Example: I always add fresh basil leaves to my tomato sauce for a delicious and aromatic pasta dish.
Clove is a spice that is commonly used in cooking and has a strong, sweet flavor. It is often used in baking, as well as in savory dishes like curries and stews.
Example: I love to add a couple of whole cloves to my mulled wine for a warm and spicy holiday drink.
An olive is a small, oval-shaped fruit that grows on trees and is commonly used in cooking and for making olive oil. Olives can be green or black in color, and they have a slightly bitter taste.
Example: I love to add sliced olives to my pizza for an extra burst of flavor.
A shallot is a type of onion that is smaller and milder in flavor than a regular onion. Shallots are commonly used in cooking to add flavor to dishes such as sauces, dressings, and soups. They have a slightly sweet and delicate taste.
Example: The recipe called for minced shallots to be added to the sauce for a richer flavor.
Turmeric is a bright yellow spice that is commonly used in cooking, especially in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It comes from the root of the turmeric plant and has a warm, slightly bitter taste.
Example: I added a pinch of turmeric to my rice to give it a vibrant yellow color and a subtle flavor.
Garlic is a bulbous plant that is commonly used in cooking for its distinctive flavor and aroma. It has a strong, pungent taste and is used in a wide variety of dishes, including soups, stews, and sauces.
Example: I love to sauté garlic in olive oil before adding it to my pasta sauce for a delicious and flavorful meal.
Ginger is a root that is commonly used in cooking and has a spicy, slightly sweet flavor. It is often used in Asian cuisine and is also known for its medicinal properties, such as aiding in digestion and reducing inflammation.
Example: Drinking ginger tea can help soothe an upset stomach.
Onion is a vegetable that has a strong, pungent flavor and is commonly used in cooking. It is often used as a base for many dishes and can be cooked in a variety of ways, such as sautéed, caramelized, or roasted.
Example: I chopped up some onions and added them to the pot to start the base of my soup.
Spring onions/green onions
Green onions, also known as scallions or spring onions, are a type of vegetable that belong to the onion family. They have long green stalks with small white bulbs at the end.
Example: I like to add chopped green onions to my omelet for some extra flavor and crunch.
Lemongrass is a tropical herb commonly used in Asian cuisine for its lemony flavor and fragrance. It has long, thin, and fibrous green leaves that are tough and not edible, while the bulbous lower part of the stem is used for cooking.
Example: I love the aroma of lemongrass in my Thai green curry, it adds a refreshing and zesty taste to the dish.
Chives are a type of herb that belong to the onion family and are commonly used in cooking for their mild onion flavor. They have long, thin green leaves that are hollow inside and are often used as a garnish or flavoring in salads, soups, and other dishes.
Example: I like to sprinkle chopped chives on top of my baked potato for some extra flavor and color.
Green chili is a type of chili pepper that is harvested before it fully ripens and turns red. It is commonly used in many cuisines around the world, particularly in Mexican and South Asian dishes.
Example: I like to chop up some green chilies and add them to my salsa for some extra heat and flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some common herbs used in cooking?
Some common herbs that we often use in cooking include basil, cilantro, parsley, dill, rosemary, oregano, and bay leaves. These herbs can provide a wide variety of flavors and aromas to our dishes, adding depth and complexity to our culinary creations.
Which spices are essential in a kitchen?
Essential spices in a kitchen can vary depending on personal taste and cultural preferences, but some common ones to have on hand include pepper, salt, cumin, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and paprika. Having a well-stocked spice rack can help us prepare a wide range of dishes from different cuisines.
How do you store herbs and spices for freshness?
To maintain the freshness of our herbs and spices, we should store them in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight. For dried herbs and spices, airtight containers are best to prevent moisture and air from affecting their quality. Fresh herbs can be stored in the refrigerator wrapped in a damp paper towel inside a plastic bag for short-term use, or they can be chopped and frozen for longer storage.
What are some aromatic herbs and spices to know?
Some aromatic herbs and spices that we should know include oregano, rosemary, thyme, basil, and saffron, for herbs, and cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, star anise, and nutmeg, for spices. These aromatic herbs and spices can greatly enhance the flavor and aroma of our dishes, making them even more enjoyable and satisfying.
Herbs and Spices Practice
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