How the notes of spices add up to the melody of taste

Today, everything has become easier, bags with different charges are full of on the shelves of any store. But with all the availability, not every culinary specialist manages to create a successful bouquet. It is not enough to sprinkle “a little of both”, the combination of spices among themselves is a separate difficult art. But it can be mastered if you know some rules, or use those ensembles of taste that have already proven themselves and have become recognized classics.

The compatibility of spices with each other largely determines the basis from which they are used. The salty stew is tinted with cardamom, nutmeg and black pepper, and the same mixture with sugar is used to bake the gingerbread. There are, of course, exceptions: vanilla is used only on a sweet base, and red pepper and garlic will not decorate any dessert.

There are no strict rules in science – no, rather in art – about spices, any culinary specialist mixes spices like a perfumer, relying on experience and intuition. If the experience has not yet come, then use the rule “Less is better”. There must be one leading note in any composition! And although the famous Indian masala traditionally consists of 15 components, spices that are not friendly with each other can also get into your bouquet. For example, basil is a narcissistic narcissist, he can only come down to garlic in his environment, and cumin recognizes anise, fennel and pepper, and nothing more.

There are a number of historically established, time-tested and proven combinations of spices. You can assemble them yourself or buy them already in a kit.

Bouquet garni

They compose it as carefully as ikebana, but they are used not for aesthetics, but for the sake of taste. The classic version is 2 sprigs of parsley, 4 sprigs of thyme, green onion arrow. Herbs are wrapped in a couple of bay leaves and tied with a string. Then they are used according to the principle of a tea bag: they are dipped in gauze into soup or sauce and taken out when the spices give up their aroma. Optionally, the bouquet can include sage or rosemary, oregano or celery, depending on the season and national traditions. The garni bouquet is so exquisite that, in addition to its intended purpose, it can become a nice souvenir gift for friends.


This bright yellow mixture originated in India, where curry was originally created for rice, the staple food of the peoples of the Malabar Coast. Marching victoriously through the world, the oriental seasoning has undergone changes, but its heart has remained the same. It’s a curry leaf, as well as the obligatory turmeric root powder, to which the spice owes its sunny yellow color. The second violin is coriander, it can be 20-50 percent in the mixture. Red cayenne pepper has become a small but essential note in the bouquet. The remaining components vary, they can be from 7 to 25. More often, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, allspice or azhgon (zira) are added to curry.

Siamese blend

The recipe for this slightly burning mixture comes from the countries of Indochina – Cambodia, Thailand, Burma, etc. The second name of this seasoning is the Thai mixture. Its aroma is subtle and spicy. The basis of the Siamese mixture is shallots, which should be half the volume. Shallots are fried in vegetable oil and add: garlic powder, anise, turmeric, fennel, star anise, black and red pepper, nutmeg, cardamom, chopped seeds and parsley leaves. The Siamese mixture is mainly used for potato and rice dishes.


The hallmark of Georgian cuisine is green powder, not too spicy, but extremely fragrant. This mixture is traditional for the preparation of adjika, a popular Caucasian seasoning. The composition in the classic version includes: basil, fenugreek, bay leaf, coriander, hyssop, parsley, red pepper, celery, garden savory, marjoram, mint, dill and saffron. Khmeli-suneli is not only a unique seasoning, but also an effective medicine. The mixture improves the functioning of the heart, blood vessels and helps digestion. Suneli hops are used to prevent colds and flu, against puffiness, with hypertension, diarrhea and flatulence. Long-livers highlanders say that to be ready for love for many years, you need to eat as many spices as possible. So suneli hops are also a proven aphrodisiac.

Pumpkin Pie Mix

There is an opinion that pumpkin pie is a priority for Americans, who eat it exclusively on Thanksgiving Day. Not! Firstly, Americans love it so much that they are ready to eat for any reason and for no reason. Secondly, late autumn in our latitudes is so generous with pumpkin – a cheap and healthy vegetable, that pumpkin pastries have become no less popular in Russia. But the mixture “pumpkin pie” has not yet conquered our market. But it’s easy to make your own. Take Jamaican pepper, cinnamon stick, grated nutmeg, cloves, ground ginger. Mix all the ingredients in a coffee grinder or tar in a mortar. An important bonus – cinnamon stimulates the brain, baking with this spice is shown to those who are engaged in mental work. Moreover, not only fresh branches, but also dried powder have useful properties.

And who knows, maybe experimenting with jars in the kitchen today, you will invent a new unique combination? Any dish made with love is a melody, ingredients are notes, and spices are only chords.


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