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Peggy's Top 20 Herbs and Spices

Someone asked us to list our Top 20 dried herbs and spices found in our kitchen cabinets on our Message Board. Here's my personal list. Your personal favorites will probably vary depending on your tastes. Some of the following are technically not herbs or spices, but they reside in my cabinet for seasoning purposes. I don't have any particular favorite brands, except where indicated. The most important thing to remember is that they be fresh. Most dried herbs and spices lose their potency after six months on the shelf. It's wiser to buy small amounts that you will use up more quickly than bulk amounts that will sit around too long and go stale. The links go to featured articles I've written on the subject.

Peggy's Top 20 Herbs & Spices
RankHerb / SpiceComments
1Garlic PowderI use it in nearly every savory dish. Lawry's preferred.
2Whole PeppercornsGet a grinder and you won't use pre-ground pepper again!
3OreganoRub between palms before adding to release more flavor.
4BasilGoes with oregano well.
5Dill WeedEssential for fish.
6PaprikaSweet Hungarian is my favorite. Sgezed preferred.
7CuminEssential for Mexican dishes.
8CinnamonBaking and curries.
9NutmegBaking and cream sauces. Better to grate your own.
10RosemaryPoultry basic.
11SaffronTruly worth the expense. A little goes a long way.
12SageA must for poultry.
13ThymeGood with meat and poultry.
14Parsley Good for adding color. Mild flavor.
15Bay LeafA must for soups and stews.
16TarragonGood with seafood and poultry.
17Onion PowderI used this as a flavor booster instead of salt.
18Chile PowderGet the real thing, not a blend.
19Celery SeedMy potato salad has to have it.
20ArrowrootGreat for thickening sauces.

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