Everyone who cooks even a little bit should have a few staple spices, right? If you’re just beginning to stock up, you need to know the best basic spices for your kitchen. Which spices will be the most useful and versatile? And where should you buy them? Can you get quality spices online?
First off, the answer is yes - you can definitely go online shopping for high-quality spices. In fact, many spices that you find online are of much higher quality than those you find on supermarket shelves. Especially here atZest & Zing, you can be sure that our spices haven’t been sitting around for ages losing their potency and flavour. In fact, we make them in small quantities and don’t stock huge amounts of inventory so that you get only the most vibrant, premium spices to use in your cooking.
Here is our list of the best basic spices to buy for your kitchen that you can conveniently find online. As a bonus, we’ve also included some of our favourite seasonings for when you feel like taking a leap into more advanced spices and blends!
Cayenne Pepper.This is an essential spice if you’re looking to add heat to a dish. You can use it in everything from soups and stews to meats, sauces, and chutneys. Even if you’re not a fan of spicy foods, your marinades will benefit from a dash of cayenne pepper to give just a bit of tingle to your palette.Zest & Zing’s Cayenne Pepper is potent and intense for maximum effectiveness.
Cumin.If you want to create smoky flavours, reach for cumin. This spice is a staple in Indian, Middle Eastern, and Mexican food. It adds a layer of richness and smoke to any spice rub. Add it to chili con carne or dust your vegetables with it before roasting for added deliciousness.Zest & Zing’s Cumin is gently toasted and perfect for a variety of foods.
Curry Powder. Whether you’re creating an authentic curry or just looking to add some earthy, warm heat to your meats, fish, and vegetables, you’ll need curry powder. It’s a must for any kitchen, especially if you like cooking exotic dishes or creating complexity. TryZest & Zing’s Curry Powder, a tantalizing blend of turmeric, cumin, mustard, paprika, cinnamon, cardamom, chili, and fenugreek.
Sweet Smoked Paprika. Every kitchen needs a quality paprika. Not that red, tasteless dust you find on supermarket shelves, but a smoky Spanish blend that adds a sweet heat to any dish, particularly your meats, stews, potatoes, rice, and eggs. Made from smoked ground red chilies, a good paprika likeZest & Zing’s Sweet Smoked Paprika infuses any dish with its vibrant, surprising flavour.
Garlic and Parsley Sea Salt. You’ll value a good herby sea salt blend when it comes to cooking and finishing your dishes. Add a savoury, garlicky note to fish, pasta, and vegetables, particularly Italian and Spanish dishes. It’s great blended with extra virgin olive oil and then served over salads or with a crusty loaf of fresh bread. TryZest & Zing’s Garlic and Parsley Sea Salt and you’ll be addicted to sprinkling it over everything that comes out of your kitchen.
Cajun Seasoning. We dare you to try this blend without falling in love. It’s a warm, smoky, slightly spicy blend of salt, paprika, onion, garlic, chilli, pepper, and herbs. Make a traditional Creole dish like jambalaya or create a compound butter. Add it to fish or meat or simply top your chips with it. For barbecue aficionados, ourZest & Zing Cajun Seasoning is a necessity for any dish that’s heading for the grill.
After you’ve accumulated the basic spices - or before, who cares? - we’d recommend some of our favourites and bestsellers to really elevate your spice rack. These blends and spices add a touch of luxury and complexity to your cooking with impressive and authentic flavours that you can only get from good quality spice blends. You can find all of them online withZest & Zing.
White Truffle Sea Salt. You’ll get a touch of elegance, earthiness, and indulgence all in one pinch ofWhite Truffle Sea Salt. It’s perfect for simple ingredients like eggs and mushrooms but also sprinkled over mains like pasta and steak. See why it's one of our customer favourites.
Aleppo Pepper. Enjoy a sweet, tangy hit of spice from this chile that’s sure to become your new all-purpose heat source.Aleppo Pepper is becoming popular around the world for good reason. Read more about how to use it.
Tandoori Spice. After you’ve mastered a basic curry powder, tryTandoori Spice for all your meat, grilling, and roasting needs. It lends a spicy, fruity, smoky blend of ground chilies, herbs, and more to your more exotic dishes.
Za'atar. Create authentic Middle Eastern food and deceptively simple appetizers with ourZa’atar, a blend of thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, oregano, cumin, fennel seeds, and marjoram. We've got lots of uses for it here.
Pesto. Everybody loves pesto. Try our nutty, aromatic veganPesto Blend for roasting or creating a savoury spread by just adding olive oil. It’s perfect for vegetables and pastas.
Since it's Global Entrepreneurship Week, I thought I'd explain exactly how the idea for Zest & Zing came about. I learned to cook some years ago back when I was living in France simply because I was so inspired by the quality of the truly fresh produce available there...