So you’re heading to the store, or you already have your spices. Awesome! Here are some tips to make shopping and cooking a little bit easier.
1. Does buying individual spices and mixing them sound intimidating? The spice companies make this easy for us. Check out the spice aisle in your grocery store. Lots of companies make pre-mixed spices for regional dishes:
(3)Herbs de Provence
(6)Chinese 5-spice powder
To experiment with these, buy a couple of them and try a new one every time when you cook something. Put it on something basic like eggs or baked chicken so you can start to taste the difference between spices from different areas of the world.
2. Salt and pepper don’t do the same job. Salt makes your food taste MORE like what it is. It enhances the flavors of the food that are already there. If you over-season with salt, of course it will make your food taste salty, but that’s not the function of salt in the culinary world.
If you’re adventurous and have a little extra cash, buy some fancy looking sea salt. There are Hawaiian pink sea salt, fleur de sel, coarse sea salt, fine sea salt. There are even weird stuff like truffle salt, grey sea salt, and black pyramid salt!
The best advice for making pepper is to buy whole peppercorns and a pepper grinder.They even sell disposable ones with peppercorns already in them at the grocery store. You don’t have to get fancy. This is what I have. Fresh ground pepper makes all the difference in the world. If you like pepper on your food, this is the way to go!