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The Spice Rack

Spice History

Spice Book:   A to Z

Which to Use

Seasoning Mixes

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Spice Book

Here you will find information and descriptions on a large number of herbs and spices. You may even find some photos and recipes along the way. Click on the letter of the seasoning in which you are interested and enjoy your tour of the Spice Book.




Much of the information in the SpiceRack section of our website has come from material provided by Penzeys Spices as well as a number of other resources around the Internet.

Photos throughout these pages come from a variety of sources around the Internet. Many came from an excellent spice site, "Gernot Katzer's Spice Pages," while others came from Penzeys catalogues.

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Penzeys Spices

Lavender in Flower

Lavender in Flower


Lamb Seasoning: A Greek-style blend that does not cover the flavor of lamb, but rather works to bring out its true richness. Ideal for lamb kabobs and roast leg or shoulder of lamb. Turkish oregano, rosemary, cumin, celery, sweet paprika, black pepper, onion, garlic, spearmint and ginger.

Lavender Flowers: Although lavender was widely used in the past to flavor a variety of dishes, including wines, teas and many sweets, it is slowly regaining popularity in kitchens. Photo to the left. Lavender is used primarily as a seasoning for sweet dishes and is an ingredient in Herbes de Provence. It makes an attractive garnish for light colored sauces.

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Lemon Balm: The leaves for this perennial plant taste identical to lemons, except for a honey-like sweetness. Photo to the right. The leaves make a wonderful addition to fruit and vegetable salads and fruit and vegetable juices. The dried leaves produce the lively Melissa herb tea that has a calming effect resulting in a peaceful night's sleep. Lemon balm is a health remedy for reducing nausea. It grows easily in the backyard.

Lemon Grass: A key seasoning ingredient for the foods of Southeast Asia, lemon grass is also used, but to a lesser extent, in India and China. Chop or crush the stalk before using to release its aromatic oils. If possible, use fresh lemon grass, because much flavor is lost in the drying process. If fresh is not available, dried cross cuts of the lower stem make the best substitute. The lemony flavor combines well with the ginger-garlic mix that is the backbone of most Asian cuisines. Lemon grass can be thrown into soups and sauces or ground with other spices to make the traditional Thai-style curry paste.

Lemon Peel: Extra fancy California zest (all outer peel) with excellent lemon flavor and bright yellow color. Minced is preferred for muffins and cookies while powder is nice for cheesecake. To rehydrate: Use 3 parts water to 1 part peel, let stand 15 minutes. Substitute 1/3 as much dry as recipe calls for.

Flowering Lemon Balm Plant

Flowering Lemon Balm

Dried Licorice Root

Dried Licorice Root

Licorice: This herb was well-known to the ancient Greeks, Egyptians and Romans for its therapeutic effect on coughs, colds and chills. It originally came from China and the Mediterranean countries. Often its strong flavor is used in sweetening bitter medicines. Besides being an effective cough medicine, it is an effective and gentle laxative. Research has shown that licorice juice has a pain-killing effect on stomach ulcers. Photo to the left.

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