6 Exotic Spices You Need In Your Kitchen Today

Whether you are an experienced cook or not, you are surely aware of the delicious effects spices can have on your foods. The right seasoning can elevate the taste and allow you to experience unique palates.

If you want to add depth of flavor to your dish, and impress your family or friends with your culinary skills, then you need to have these six exotic spices in your kitchen!

1. Saffron

It might be the world’s most expensive spice, but trust us, you need it in your pantry! You can buy a small amount of this hand-harvested spice, and we promise it will go a long way.

Besides giving a crisp golden color to your dish, saffron has an aromatic, earthy, and spicy flavor that leaves people wondering what your secret ingredient is. It is commonly used in Indian, European, Arab, and Persian cuisines and is available in whole or ground form throughout the year.

To use fresh saffron, crush its threads to introduce its color and flavor to the dish. If you want to add it to rice, mix a pinch of it in some water and add that to the rice. Saffron goes well with sauces and creams, enhancing their flavor.

2. Anise

Chinese native star anise is a pod containing a pea-sized seed. The pod of the seed can be used in either ground or whole form. It has a highly potent and distinct flavor, similar to that of black licorice, and is found in many Chinese dishes.

If you are keen on Chinese cuisine and want some authentic flavor, this spice is a must-have. Anise is a key flavor in the Chinese five-spice powder, often used in tea and to season meat. You can also use star anise to prepare excellent Vietnamese dishes. It is generally used in pho soup.

Other great uses for this spice are flavoring liqueurs, baked goods, sauces, soups, and marinades.

3. Sumac

A popular middle-eastern spice, sumac’s edible form is characterized by its red berries. It’s sold in a coarse powder form in the US. Sumac tastes similar to lemon juice, but adds a red color to whatever it’s added to.

If you want to give an authentic flavor to your Lebanese or Arabic dishes, sumac is an essential ingredient. It can also be used in vegetable flavorings, meat rubs, and hummus seasoning.

4. Turmeric

Turmeric is generally known as Indian Saffron and it gives the same golden yellow color as saffron. Turmeric is found in the ground and dried forms and is a common ingredient in curry powder and other curries.

Turmeric’s aroma is earthy, and it has a somewhat bitter flavor similar to horseradish or mustard. It enhances the overall flavor of a dish and is used in many types of spice blends.

It is great in curries, rice, salad dressings, vegetables, poultry, and chutney.

5. Cumin

If you are a fan of Turkish and Mexican food, then you’d want to have cumin in your pantry! You can use ground cumin to season your meat, sauce, curry, rice, or you can also roast the seeds and add them to any recipe.

Cumin’s earthy and warm flavor and aroma come with a bitter and sweet taste, which unlocks the flavor of the entire dish.

6. Lemongrass

Love that citrus-like flavor and aroma in Thai dishes? That’s lemongrass spice! You can use it in herbal teas, cocktails, soups, stir-fries, and with fish or poultry.

You can use lemongrass in either its fresh or dried form, depending on what you plan to use it for.


Spices are a great addition to many recipes as they help elevate the flavor and give an authentic taste of the cuisine they are used in.

Head over to Orrington Farms for some great recipes and products that will surely improve your everyday meal plans.