Spices A to Z

Caraway Seeds

Caraway Seed has a warm, pungent, slightly bitter flavour with aniseed overtones. Caraway is popular in central European and Jewish cooking and compliments cabbage, potatoes, onion, carrots, coleslaw, sauerkraut, pork, goulash, dumplings, cheese, pickles, cakes, biscuits and rye bread. Dutch caraway seeds are regarded as the best.
Spice up cabbage by adding a sprinkling of lightly roasted caraway seeds on top or stir into soups.

Sichuan Pepper

Sichuan peppercorns do not belong to the same family as Western black and white peppercorns. It’s a major condiment in Chinese cooking with a spicy woody aroma and a numbing taste.
The berries should be gently roasted to release their aromatic oils before crushing with a mortar and pestle or an electric coffee grinder. If a fine powder is desired, sieve to remove the husks and stalks. Used in making Chinese Five spice powder and cooked with chicken or duck used to make noodle dishes and soups mildly hot and fragrant.


Allspice is the dried, unripe berry of a tree indigenous to the Caribbean and Central America. As its name implies it tastes of a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Dried allspice berries resemble large brown peppercorns. Allspice complements beef, pork, chicken, fish, stewed fruit, cakes and biscuits. Tastes great sprinkled on gammon and pork steaks, just mix with orange juice, a little honey or brown sugar and a drop of vegetable oil and liberally brush on before grilling.
Sprinkle into beef or lamb casseroles for an extra warming flavour.
Stir into fruit salad or stewed fruit for extra flavour. It can be used in the preparation of apple pie spice.

Juniper Berries

Juniper berries have a bitter sweet, pine flavour with a peppery aftertaste. The berries are famously used as a flavouring agent in gin and luncheon meats. Northern France, Germany and Scandanavia use juniper berries in everyday cooking. Sauerkraut is traditionally flavoured with Juniper. You can lightly crush the berries and add to enrich beef, pork stews and casseroles.