All over the world, there are more than three hundred types of various flavorings of plant and other origin, which are widely used in cooking. These are spices, seasonings and spices that reveal the taste of a dish or form it. Different types of spices and seasonings differ in origin, composition, and application, but they are all widely used in different cuisines of the world.

Seasonings are usually served with the finished dish or are an integral part of it. In their composition, they often contain a certain set of spices. These include sauces, mustard, horseradish, food acids (different types of vinegar) , etc.

Spices are a broader concept that is synonymous with spices and seasonings. Spices include salt, sugar, soda, starch, which affect the taste and consistency of the dish, as well as pepper, Bay leaf, and others. These are flavoring and aromatic additives that are available in every kitchen.

Most of the spices are herbs that have different geographical origins. Some types of spices and seasonings are widely recognized around the world and are used in the preparation of classic dishes. It is difficult to imagine the process of cooking without the use of black, red and allspice, Bay leaf, cinnamon, oregano and other spices. Depending on the type of plant, different parts of it can be used as a spice that have certain taste and aroma qualities: root (ginger), flowers (cloves), bark (cinnamon), leaves (Bay leaf), and others.

Various fresh or dried herbs and vegetables can act as a spice or as a single-component seasoning. This group also includes multi-component compositions in different States: in the form of a paste, liquid or dry mixture. Varieties of seasonings include a huge number of different sauces, mayonnaise and flavorings, the range of which can be expanded almost indefinitely.

The most common are spices of mineral origin (salt), vegetable (herbs and vegetables), obtained artificially (sugar, vinegar, vanillin, sodium glutamate) and mixtures (hops-suneli, adjika, curry and others). In recent years, various extracts are gaining popularity, which are extracts from spicy plants with a longer period of validity in contrast to dry spices. They are used not only in cooking, but also in other sectors of the economy. For example, Melissa officinalis is widely used in folk medicine, which is produced not only as a dry mixture, but also as an extract.

The secrets of using spices are as follows:

Spices for a dish should be chosen on the principle that if each spice is suitable for the product separately, then they will all be combined together. For example, the chicken is suitable for onions, garlic, savory, star anise, cinnamon, Bay leaf, black pepper, both individually and as part of the mixture.

One incorrectly selected flavoring additive can spoil the taste of the entire dish. For example, when baking fish, it is strongly not recommended to use cumin, which is able to interrupt the flavor of any other spicy herbs.

Salt always enhances the action of spices.

Different spices can set off the taste of the dish in different ways, depending on what is taken as a basis. For example, black pepper, cinnamon, and cloves can be added to both sweet and salty dishes, making them taste more interesting. But there are exceptions, such as garlic, vanilla, and others. The taste of a neutral product (rice, potatoes, pasta) is determined by spices.

In the process of cooking, seasonings are most often used not separately, but as part of a mixture of aromatic herbs and seasonings. Over time, through trial and error, the compositions of ingredients that are most suitable for certain dishes were determined:

for goulash: onion, red, black and allspice, cumin and cloves, thyme and marjoram, turmeric;

for poultry: rosemary, sage, thyme, Basil, marjoram;

for fish: white and allspice, ginger, Bay leaf, onion, coriander, mustard, dill and thyme;

for fruit desserts: cinnamon, cloves, ginger, star anise;

for a side dish of potatoes: onion, parsley and celery, black pepper, marjoram, nutmeg or color, cumin and thyme, dill;for home baking: cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom or nutmeg.