Spice Blends for Home Cooked Happiness


Spoonful of Cajun Seasonings

Spice blends are a great way to punch up the flavor in home cooking without need for a whole lot of culinary knowledge.  There are many to choose from, but there are certain culinary traditions that offer some complex and mightily tasty combinations to choose from.  Some of them have heat, some are earthy, and some are herby, but tasting one's way around the world is part of the adventure.  Brave these blends and find something healthier and tastier to be in love with in the kitchen.

Cajun spice blends are an easily accessible spice blend that has become popular outside the bayou over the last few decades.  Cajun spice blends can be used like seasoned salt, on meats and vegetables of all types.  They tend to add heat and flavor.  Mixing one's own Cajun spice blends can help to reduce the amount of salt, sugar, MSG, and heat that comes along with the Cajun spice territory, otherwise it is wise to carefully read the ingredients.

Berebere or Berbere is an African regional spice blend, common to the cuisines of several different nationalities, including Ethiopia and Somalia.  It adds a punch of concentrated flavor and  heat to grilled meats, soups, stews, vegetables, and other dishes.  Its combination of spicy, bitter, and sweet easily becomes an addictive addition to the spice cabinet.  It is a combination of chili pepper and black pepper, coriander, fenugreek, allspice, cardamon, clove, paprika, salt, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon, among other things.  This amps up grilling in a way that is unexpected and exotic.

Trying out some Cajun spice or berbere can add heat and interest to an otherwise boring regime.  For an even more satisfying flavor journey, get a good recipe for the blend and toast and grind it at home.  It is easy to do, and there is nothing like freshly ground spices to make the ordinary extraordinary.

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