types of spices

Various Types of Spices for Different Needs

You sometimes need to add some spices to make your food better, so you need to know these types of spices to be chosen correctly.

Spices are crucial for making some delicious or pretty dishes. They need to be chosen correctly based on particular dishes; otherwise, those dishes would taste far from appetizing. Sometimes, it is better not to use additional spices than the wrong ones that will ruin the food.

That is why these types of spices can help you understand more about the spices you are going to add to your cooking. Spices can be classified based on the flavor, so you will know what to expect about what you get from particular spices. There are four spices flavors: sweet, hot, tangy, and pungent.

sweet spices

Sweet Spices

Sweet spices, of course, have the sweetest flavor compared to the other types of spices. These spices with a sweeter taste are allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, mace, nutmeg, saffron, and vanilla.


Allspice or Jamaica pepper is made from dry pimenta dioica berries. The sweet and combined cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves flavor makes this spice great for baked foods, beverages, dips, sauces, vegetables, and many more.


Cardamom is a green pod with black seeds. It has a unique combination of sweet, spicy, and sour flavors, making it great for savory and sweet food. This spice is commonly used in bread, cakes, cookies, curries, puddings, and others.


Cinnamon is one of the sweet-flavored types of spice from Burma, India, and Sri Lanka. This one of the most well-known names of spices can be used for desserts, stews, and various beverages.


Cloves originated in Maluku, Indonesia. One of Indonesia’s spices is the dried forms of a clove tree’s flower buds. It has a sweet and aromatic flavor, which is excellent for baked foods, marinades, and even beverages like teas.


The part of the coriander plant that can be a spice is the dried coriander seeds. The plant itself is a part of the parsley family from Southern Europe. Coriander seeds are sweet and a bit sour, which is great for chilis, curries, marinades, sauces, and vegetables.


Mace is a spice from the nutmeg seed. The nutmeg seed can be a spice by itself, but mace is something covering the seed. It has a sweet flavor similar to nutmeg, albeit more subtle. This spice is popular to be used in sauces, baked treats, soups, and others in Asia and the Caribbean.


This seed from the nutmeg tree originated in Indonesia. This brown and oval seed is ground to be a powder spice. This spice is dark brown and has a sweet flavor with a strong aroma, which can be used for many recipes. Some food examples include baked goods, beverages, meats, puddings, sauces, and vegetables.


The spice of saffron is taken from the saffron crocus flower, which is a native greek flower. Saffron is the most expensive of all types of spices, and it has a slightly sweet flavor and fragrance. This spice is great for cuisines based on chicken, pasta, rice, seafood, and others.


The part of the flower that can be a spice is the vanilla beans. Vanilla is often used to be made as vanilla extract. This spice can also be used for cooking straight away, but due to the rarity of the spice, people stick to using the vanilla extract instead.

hot spices

Hot Spices

This particular one of types of spices will give a hot sensation that you can taste in your cooking. Some examples of hot common spices that you can get are black pepper, cayenne pepper, chili flakes, and paprika.

Black Pepper

Probably among the most popular types of spices, black pepper is often used in so many dishes around the world. The hot flavor from the dark ground peppercorn is a favorite burning sensation for most people. This spice is great to be used in marinades, meats, pasta, salads, sauces, soups, and vegetables.

Cayenne Pepper

As the name suggests, Cayenne pepper is a type of pepper from Cayenne, French Guiana. It is a 10-25 cm long chili pepper that is green when it is young and red when it is ripe. This pepper can be dried and ground for hot soups, stews, and other savory cuisines.

Chili Flakes

Chili flakes are the result of chili peppers like jalapeno, cayenne, and others being crushed. The fiery flavor of chili flakes is perfect for eggs, sauces, soups, pizzas, tacos, and other typical food.


Paprika is a ground form of several kinds of red peppers such as bell pepper, cayenne pepper, poblano pepper, and others. This spice is usually not too hot, and it is good to be added to eggs, soups, stews, potatoes, and many more.

tangy spices

Tangy Spices

Compared to the other types of spices, tangy spices have a tangy and sour flavor that fits some specific dishes. Lemon peel and tamarind powder are some examples of tangy spices.

Lemon Peel

While the inside of a lemon can refresh your body, the outside can be made into a spice like some types of spices. The outer peel of lemon contains essential oils that make it have a unique flavor and aroma.

Tamarind Powder

When African tamarind is dried and ground, it will become the brown tamarind powder. This spice has a sweet, sour, and tangy flavor, which is great for many dishes like curries, sauces, and others.

Pungent Spices

The last type which has the most potent flavor among the types of spices is pungent spices. The pungent flavor is not everyone’s favorite, but it will make some food taste better with the correct amount. Some examples of savory cooking spices are garlic powder, onion powder, and turmeric.

Garlic and onion powders are similar to each other. Both popular spices are used even as the main seasoning ingredient for many dishes. Turmeric, on the other hand, is mainly used to make food yellow. If added too much, turmeric can somewhat ruin the taste of the food from its pungent flavor. Now that you know the suitable types of spices for your cooking, you can make your dishes much more delicious or colorful. You can visit Spice and Co. to find the right spices and herbs to cook for you.


On Spices and Co

Related Posts