Cooking Spices List
Spices have been used in cooking throughout history. Traces of common spices have been found in Egyptian tombs and prehistoric Persian cave art. Depictions of saffron are seen in Greco-Roman frescoes from the Bronze Age. We also see spices referenced repeatedly in both the Hebrew Tanakh and the Christian Bible. The spice trade began in the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, and East Asia around 2000 BCE. The earliest cooking spices are believed to be cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, and nutmeg followed shortly by ginger, cumin, and saffron.
A spice is an aromatic plant substance used to flavor, color, or preserve food. Spices are typically derived from the seeds, fruit, root, bark or other parts of a plant. For example, cumin and fennel come from seeds, cayenne and paprika come from peppers (fruit), ginger and turmeric come from rhizomes (root modifications), and cinnamon comes from tree bark. Herbs, on the other hand, generally come from the leafy greens of a plant. For a list of common cooking herbs, visit our dried herbs collection.
This collection of cooking spices includes items we consider to be essential kitchen spices along with items that may be considered less common or at the very least, new to some. For more curated lists of spices, check out a few of the following collections: Indian Spices, Italian Herbs and Spices, French Herbs and Spices, Dessert Spices, and Blended Seasonings.