Which spices come from Europe

The world of spices 

Spices have moved people for millennia. For them they have traveled half the world, waged wars and paid for riches to get their property. The first traces of the use of spices can be found in Peru. Here remains were found in graves from the year 5000 BC. It is believed that the Indians embalmed their chiefs with this spice. The Chinese and Egyptians have spices as early as 2 - 3000 BC. Used. References to the use of spices were also found in the Indus culture in Pakistan.

Exotic spices from the Far East were coveted like gold and were transported to Europe via the old trade routes. The Silk Road, on which camel caravans fought their way through the hot deserts and over frozen mountain passes from China to the Mediterranean coast, was controlled by Arab merchants in ancient times. Since the Arabs began trading spices, we have known more about the quantities, types and routes of transport of the noble goods. In addition to the refinement of dishes, the Romans and Greeks also used spices as love and remedies, for preservation and for embalming. According to history, the Prophet Mohammed was once a spice dealer in Mecca. In the Middle Ages, the Arab world stretched from Turkey and the Middle East to North Africa and Spain. The spice trade flourished during this time, mostly with Jewish merchants as middlemen.

The spices from Indonesia and India were transported by ship. Around 1480 the Portuguese discovered the sea route around Africa. A few decades later they secured rule over the Spice Islands (the Moluccas) and thus the monopoly over the trade in nutmegs and cloves for the next 100 years.

The Spaniards discovered the new spices chilli, vanilla and allspice in America and the West Indies, where Christopher Columbus landed in 1492 believing that he had reached India. After a few wars, the Portuguese and Spaniards had to surrender dominance over the spices to the English, Dutch and French over the decades. As leading colonial powers, they had founded East Indian trading companies and began to systematize the transport of spices to the point of overexploitation.

Develop the full aroma of the spices

Spices and dried herbs that are offered ready-to-sprinkle and therefore pre-ground, lose their taste very quickly. Only freshly ground spices develop their intense, full aroma.

In order to release the aromatic oils from the spices, they must be mashed and ground. Always come for it mortar for use. The preferred materials were stone or ceramic because they are hard, clean and robust. If the spices are already crushed, they easily lose their aroma. It is therefore important to store spices that have already been ground dry and sealed. Spices should not be stored for more than 12 months.

This is how it was done over the centuries until the mid-19th century Pepper mill was invented. A great invention that has kept your design to this day. The grinder was made of steel. In order to grind salt, however, a mill with a plastic grinder had to be used, since salt, especially sea salt, is aggressive and the steel grinder coradates (rusts). The first mills with a plastic grinder made of nylon came on the market. Ceramic grinders were added over time. And with the introduction of stainless steel, stainless steel mills came for Salt mills for use.

Spices have a particularly intense taste if you first roast them in a dry pan. Basically: use spices sparingly and in doses. Do not mix too many spices together.

Spices from A-Z

The main growing areas are the warm Mediterranean regions, the Middle East and Central and South America.
Use: Known as a spice in pastries and alcoholic beverages. However, vegetables, curries, chutneys, as well as meat and fish dishes are also added.

In many variations, basil grows mainly in the Mediterranean area, but also in Thailand (Thai basil).
Use: Typical with tomatoes and mozzarella, pasta and pesto, but also with fish and meat dishes, eggs and rice.

Fenugreek (also Greek hay)
Mainly the Mediterranean countries, the Middle East, India and China are the cultivation areas.
Uses: Roasted seeds are used in authentic curry dishes. In the Mediterranean region, the herb is used to season cheese, quark and yoghurt dishes (tzatziki).

Cayenne pepper
Consists of dried and ground chili peppers or hot peppers. It is used in all kitchens around the world. Because of its sharpness, only small pinches should be used.
Use: It goes well with everything that should be hot: chillies, meat, goulash, fish, sauces and dips.

The chilli bush comes from the tropical Amazon region. Today it is grown in many tropical countries, especially India and Thailand. The plant can be grown like tomatoes.
Use: In Latin American cuisine, for chilli sauces and
Pastes. Ideal from the spice mill.

Curry is not a pure spice, but a mixture of spices consisting of pepper, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, allspice, turmeric and cardamom.
Use: Is mainly used in Asian and Indian cuisine to heat up various dishes and sauces.

Curry leaf
The evergreen curry tree comes from the southern Himalayas. It is mainly used in South India.
Use: The fresh or dried curry leaves are used for curries, vegetable dishes, soups and stews, rice pilafs, chutneys and marinades. You can get them in Indian shops under the name "Curry Leaves" or "Neem Leaves".

Dill (also "witch's herb")
Was already known in Egypt. Today, dill is considered the typical herb, especially in Scandinavian cuisine.
Use: for salmon and other fish, as well as seafood. Also for cucumbers, raw vegetables, to refine light sauces, salads and soups.

Was already a popular herb in ancient times. Today tarragon is mainly grown in France and Italy.
Use: For the typical sauces bearnaise, tartare and hollandaise. It also tastes good in salads, herb butter and quark, as well as veal and poultry ragouts.

Fennel seeds
Already appreciated by the Romans, it now grows in many countries with a moderate climate.
Use: In many countries there are typical dishes that are seasoned with fennel: Indian curries, English apple pie, Italian salami. The fennel seeds are very suitable for the spice mill.

Botanically, ginger is related to cardamom and turmeric. Ginger has been cultivated in Asia for thousands of years. It is a sharp root that is used fresh, pickled or freshly ground.
Use: It has a permanent place in Asian cuisine: with poultry, minced meat, game and rice, for curries, fruits, cucumbers, soups and sauces. Fresh or rubbed from the mill, it is becoming more and more popular with us too.

Is one of the oldest spices in the world and the third most expensive after saffron and vanilla. Cardamom is mainly grown in Vietnam, Cambodia, Tanzania and Guatemala.
Use: For sweet and savory dishes, but also with curries and many exotic dishes. In the Middle East, it is mainly served with coffee.

Originally from southern Europe, chervil is now grown all over Europe, Asia and America.
Use: With us the typical fast herb (chervil soup). Chervil also refines many dishes: herb sauce, poultry and veal dishes, herb quark and eggs.

Garlic was already popular with the Egyptians. It is cultivated worldwide today.
Use: Tastes whole cooked, pressed and dried as a condiment for meat, fish, pasta, stew and vegetable dishes for salads, soups and sauces.

Coriander (also bug herb)
Coriander greens and seeds have been popular spices in the Orient for thousands of years. Coriander green is used like parsley in Mexican, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisines. Coriander seeds are used for seasoning in Indian and Asian cuisine.
Use: For curries, chutneys, soups, sauces, fish, wok dishes, relishes, for guacamole and many authentic international dishes.

Originally from the Orient. Today it is mainly grown in India, North Africa and the Middle East.
Use: It goes best with chili con carne, couscous, aubergines and curries, but also with sausage and tomato sauces.

Caraway seed
Caraway has been known in Europe for thousands of years. The caraway root is the so-called "tap root". Caraway has an aromatic, bitter taste and should only be used in very dosed quantities.
Use: Makes roast pork, white cabbage, savoy cabbage, goulash, sauerkraut, potatoes and quark more digestible. It also gives carrots, celery, parsnips, cheese and soups a refined note. It is particularly fine ground from the spice mill.

Turmeric (also turmeric)
is an inger plant and is mainly grown in India, Indonesia, China, South America and the Caribbean.
Use: Solid component of curry spice mixes and Worcestershire sauce. It is particularly suitable for seasoning sauces. It goes well with eggs, dressings, seafood, chutneys and vegetables. When rubbed, it is very suitable for spice mills. It colors very intensely !!

Lavender comes from southern Europe and can also be planted here in warm, sunny places.
Use: Lavender blossoms must not be missing from any “Herbs of Provence mixture”. In France and Italy, lavender buds are a characteristic seasoning for meat, fish, pickled olives and cheese.

Bay leaves have to be dosed very finely due to their dominant, slightly bitter taste. Usually one bay leaf is enough for a large pot.
Use: Fits well in stews, sauerkraut, meat broths, fish soups and sauerbraten.

Macis (mace) see also nutmeg
Macis has a finer scent and more intense aroma than nutmeg and refines fish and shellfish as well as poultry, ragouts and pies.

Marjoram and oregano
are closely related botanically and grow throughout the Mediterranean in southern Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Use: Marjoram is ideal for roast goose, mutton and pork, game and offal. Oregano is considered the spice in Italian cuisine. When dried, it is sprinkled over pizzas, tomato sauces and grill marinades.

Sea salt is mainly extracted in Brittany, northern Spain and Greece. This coarse-grained salt is much more intense than road salt and is ideal for the ceramic mill, since ceramic does not corrode.

The nutmeg tree comes from the Spice Islands (Moluccas). They still supply the best quality spices today. Nutmeg has an intense taste that unfolds its full aroma, especially when freshly grated. Therefore use only in small quantities.
Use: Meat, casseroles, dumplings and ravioli fillings are seasoned with nutmeg. Spinach, cauliflower and stews are also given a fine aroma by nutmeg.

Mace see Macis

The evergreen clove tree is native to the Moluccas and is now grown in Indonesia, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Grenada.
Use: Cloves are used to pepper roast beef and pork, spiced onions and baked apples. Chutneys, pumpkin and braised dishes also have a special aroma.

Oregano, see marjoram

Spice peppers originally came from tropical America and are now mainly grown in Hungary and Spain. According to the degree of spiciness, a distinction is made between delicacy, rose, noble sweet, semi-sweet and hot peppers.
Use: Refines egg and fish dishes, also soups, goulash and meat dishes. When dried and rubbed, it has a more intense taste than powder

He is the king of spices. The main producing countries are India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brazil.
Use: Green pepper is usually offered in pickles. White, black peppers differ in their sharpness and aroma. White pepper is milder than black. It is best to always grind pepper fresh from the mill.

Is a standard herb in German cuisine. However, parsley is also grown in Russia, India, and North America.
Use: Parsley goes well with almost everything: soups and stews, sauces, vegetables, salads, meat, fish and egg dishes. Fried parsley is a special treat.

Allspice also clove pepper
The cultivation today is mainly in Central America and Jamaica.
Use: Allspice tastes good in spicy marinades, soups, fish and meat dishes. Allspice cannot be missing in mulled wine and gingerbread.

Was already known in ancient times. The homeland of rosemary are the Mediterranean countries. With us it also grows in flower pots.´
Use: For the Mediterranean cuisine in vegetable dishes, grill marinades, meat dishes and fried potatoes. Fresh or dried in the spice mill, rosemary unfolds its full aroma.

A dark spice with an intense red color. Mainly used for coloring dishes.
Use: For dishes that should have a slightly yellow color such as risotto, paella or sauces.

Is one of the oldest aromatic and medicinal herbs. Today it is widespread all over Europe and also grows in our gardens.
Use: For pasta dishes, stews, potatoes, vegetable dishes, veal liver, schnitzel, poultry, fish and lamb dishes.

Mustard seeds
White and black mustard comes from the eastern Mediterranean, brown mustard from India.
Use: Are used for fish marinades, chutneys and relishes, but also for sauerkraut and sausages.

Star anise
The star anise tree is native to Indochina and southern China.
Use: Star anise is used to season Chinese dishes, tofu, meat and fish marinades. We know it for gingerbread spices and plum jam.

Szechuan pepper (also Sichuan pepper)
is a tall shrub found mainly in northern China, Japan and Korea. It is also known as anise pepper. Szechuan pepper is part of the Chinese five-spice.
Use: Due to the peppery, fresh taste, the ground seed husks give all Chinese wok dishes a fine taste. Szechuan pepper can also be substituted for black pepper. Freshly ground from the spice mill.

Originally from the Mediterranean region and is also cultivated here today.
Use: Thyme is used to season grilled meat, fried potatoes, meat and poultry dishes. Cheese, olives, garlic and onions in marinade also go well with thyme. Lemon thyme goes well with lamb and has a lemon-like taste.

Juniper berries
They have a bitter, slightly resinous taste and can only be used in very dosed quantities.
Use: Juniper berries can be used in sauerbraten, game dishes, sauerkraut or goulash.

Cinnamon comes from the dried bark of the cinnamon tree. Cinnamon has recently been discussed because of its harmful effects on health, which are caused by the ingredient coumarin. If you use cinnamon, you should use Ceylon cinnamon, which contains very little coumarin.
Use: Cinnamon is used especially in desserts such as rice pudding, pancakes or compotes.

Comes from Southeast Asia and is now also grown in Africa and Central America.
Use: For authentic Indian, Indonesian and Ceylonese cuisine. Fresh or dried from the spice mill, it unfolds its fresh aroma.

Lemon balm
Lemon balm comes from the Orient and is grown all over Europe today.
Use: For fish marinades, herb sauces, salads and dressings.