For those who are just starting to learn the basics of home cooking, an understanding of how various spices can make or break a dish is essential. Using the right combination of herbs and spices can be quite tricky for amateur cooks – but have no fear, Prime is here.

Here is a list of some of our favorite spices, along with the ingredients they work best with.

1- Ginger

Ginger was a very popular medicinal and culinary element over 5000 years ago, and it is still used today in cooking and homemade remedies – as we all know, ginger and honey tea works wonders when you’re feeling under the weather. Ginger is also a keystone ingredient in Asian cooking – whether it’s fresh ginger root or store bought ginger powder, it delivers a blended flavor of sweet, hot and somewhat tangy.

Best Paired With: Honey, lime juice or fish dishes.

Prime Tip: Fresh ginger root can stay in your fridge for about two weeks, but freezing it is always an option.

2- Nutmeg

Nutmeg comes from a tropical evergreen nutmeg tree – it is harvested for the first time after it has been planted for seven to nine years. Rumor has it that a few hundred years ago in England, a small number of nutmeg seeds could bring financial stability for life. Its nutty flavor takes desserts to a whole new level.

Best Paired With: Cinnamon, chocolate or fruit dishes.

Prime Tip: Keep your nutmeg in an air tight container and ground some right before you start cooking to preserve its fresh flavour.

3- Garlic

Garlic is too good to be categorized – whether you think it’s a spice or a herb, we can all agree that garlic can make your dish taste ten times better. It’s rich in manganese (an essential mineral) and several other vitamins, giving it incredible health benefits. Whether you choose to cook it with vegetables, protein, or any kind of sauce – garlic will surely take your dish from 0 to 100 in a second.

Best Paired With: Roast dishes and Chicken

Prime Tip: Store garlic bulbs in a well ventilated dark place at room temperature to extend its shelf life. It normally lasts from three to 6 months.

4- Rosemary

Rosemary is a green herb with aromatic and evergreen leaves that originates from the Mediterranean region. In Italy, rosemary is generally used to spice tomato sauces and different meats. Whether it’s fresh or dried, rosemary is rich in nutrients such as potassium, manganese, and calcium.

Best Paired With: It tastes especially good with roasted potatoes, lamb and vegetable dishes.

Prime Tip: When buying fresh rosemary, make sure the leaves are not yellowish or falling off the stem because these are traits of dried rosemary.

5- Turmeric

Turmeric has a blended aroma of zesty ginger mixed with a tangy flavor similar to that of oranges – it’s the main ingredient in most curry powders and pastes. Turmeric is native to Southeast Asian countries such as India and Indonesia.

Best Paired With: Egg or fish dishes.

Prime Tip: Keep your turmeric powder in an air tight container and preserve it in a cool kitchen cabinet.

6- Red Pepper Flakes

Dried pepper flakes are an amazing addition to any dish if you like your food spicy. It has become a staple ingredient in spicy Italian and Asian cuisine. It’s made of dried red chili peppers that are crushed to tiny bits and pieces. It’s an amazing addition to your staple spice mix because not only does it add heat to the food, but it also enhances the flavours of different spices.

Best paired with: Ginger or beef dishes.

Prime Tip: Dried red pepper flakes are similar to chili powder but not the same. Red pepper flakes provide a slightly sweeter taste, unlike chili powder which most of the time is blended with other spices such as cumin.

All these herbs and spices aren’t hard to come across, they’re all available at any large super market with moderate prices so get ready to spice up your lives!

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