Halloween is just right around the corner and we are already excited with the ghoulishly good stuff we have coming your way. This time of the year, we are not only decorating our front porches but also our kitchens! In fact, when we’re cooking it’s not the pumpkins that we crave, but also the combination of spices that comes along with it!
Cinnamon and pumpkins have become the themes of the fall season. Even candles, coffee latte and other household products feature these scents signaling this time of the year. If you’re already planning for that spooktacular feast on October 31st, here’s a list of spices that you definitely should have in your cupboard to make your dishes extra magical.
Black Pepper – Boldly called the king of spices, a pinch of black pepper is enough to enhance the flavor in any recipe you can imagine. As the other half of salt, black pepper is taking the front seat this season. It has a piquant flavor that when paired with other spices on this list, simply elevates the food profile in all fronts. From salads to pizza to cookies, and that holiday rib roast you’re planning to make – Halloween is the time to raise your kitchen from the dead and experiment with an out of this world culinary creation!
Ginger – It’s not quite spicy and not quite sweet. Ginger is about to make a return this Halloween to give you its distinct fresh flavor. This is indeed the season to go big or go home. So a bit of fresh grated ginger can actually add another layer of heat than dried spice alone couldn’t muster. Plain sugar cookies just won’t do! A holiday so festive and spirited calls for cookies with an added kick and a spooky twist, Halloween ginger cookies anyone?
Nutmeg – Popularly used in pumpkin pies and cakes, nutmeg’s versatile flavor can be used to enhance both sweet and savory dishes. Not to mention its warm, peppery flavor that lifts spinach and cheese dishes, béchamel sauces, Greek lamb casseroles, and Italian vegetable stews to delicious new heights.
Clove – They call it the Christmas spice but fortunately we don’t have to wait that long to get our hands on one of these! The popularity of this spice dates back to early European traders where spices were scarce and even expensive. Back then, cloves were a sign of indulgence and wealth that was reserved for special occasions such as Christmas and even Halloween. Clove has a warm, bold aroma and a sharp, almost hot flavor which is accentuated further when is cooked.
Cinnamon – The air smells like cinnamon, and every door is decorated with a pumpkin sitting on the porch! For those celebrating Dia de los Muertos (Nov 1), Cinnamon is added to everything. A favorite drink, Chocolate Para Mesa, is paired and made special by a little sprinkle of fresh cinnamon. Sometimes cayenne pepper is added as a twist on the classic plain chocolate caliente!
Maple – Limiting Maple to Breakfast hours is selling it short. This time of the year, maple lends its distinctive tang to satisfy the sweetest cravings of kids and adults alike. Used as a glaze for sweet dishes and cocktails, no wonder shops like Starbucks and Dunkin added Maple to their menus for that holiday flavor feel. Maple bacon sandwich, maple pecan latte, candy corn and maple peanuts? This shows that it pairs well with all the food you have in your pantry.
Cardamom – They say cardamom makes everything taste better! This spice is prized for its complex flavor and best used in curries, stews, desserts, and drinks. This intensely aromatic spice is so distinct that it’s both floral, crisp and zesty. If you’re looking for a secret ingredient to elevate that dish into something memorable, this spice will not disappoint!
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