Discover a world of flavours

Each of the world's cuisines has its signature dishes that set it apart from the food of other countries. But what most defines a cuisine is the blend of seasonings and spices that it utilizes. We'll teach you more.

Discover a world of flavours

Learn what makes Chinese cooking distinct

  • Chili paste: a peppery condiment that varies in intensity depending on the brand. Test before adding it to food.
  • Five-spice powder: a blend of cinnamon, fennel, cloves, star anise, and Szechuan peppercorns. Often used in marinades or as a seasoning for soups, stews, and stir-fries.
  • Sesame oil: light sesame oil has a slightly nutty flavour. Add it sparingly at the end of cooking. Dark sesame oil is fragrant and intensely flavoured. Nut oils tend to turn rancid in hot environments, so store in a cool place.
  • Soy sauce: this is the most important and commonly used seasoning in China and all of Asia. It's a salty sauce made from fermented soybeans and comes in several varieties.

Discover the hallmarks of French cuisine

  • Chestnut purée: used to add rich, nutty flavour to sauces, baked goods, and vegetable side dishes.
  • Mustard: the most popular is from the Dijon region, which is sharp and of a medium intensity. Serve at the table or use to add piquancy to sauces and salad dressings.
  • Nut oils: these are richly flavoured seasoning oils made from hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, and pine nuts. High heat destroys their flavour and also puts them at risk of catching fire. Add a few drops to other milder oils such as peanut oil to impart a little of their flavour. Also use in vinaigrettes or drizzle over cooked vegetables.
  • Peppercorns: green and pink peppercorns feature in dishes where a milder pepper flavour is desired.

Go Greek with these ingredients

  • Kalamata olive spread: a purée of olives, olive oil, capers, and herbs used as a spread on different breads.
  • Olive oil: extra virgin olive oil with its distinctive strong and fruity flavour is a basic condiment in Greek cuisine. It's always used in vinaigrettes and drizzled over vegetables.
  • Pomegranate syrup: this tangy fruit sauce is used in vinaigrettes, sauces, and marinades.

Add some Indian flair

  • Chutney: a spicy, sometimes sweet condiment that's used as a relish with rice dishes and curries. Coriander, mango, lemon, mint, and date are among the most common chutneys.
  • Curry powder: an aromatic blend of seeds and spices used to flavour curries, lentils, meat, poultry, sauces, and vegetable dishes. Some powders are much hotter than others.
  • Garam masala: a blend of cumin, cinnamon, black pepper, coriander, cloves, and cardamom that's used to flavour curries, rice, beans, potatoes, eggplant, and meat dishes.

Discover Italian flavours

  • Balsamic vinegar: the intense flavour of this vinegar comes from boiling down white grapes to about 50 percent of their original volume and fermenting the resultant "must." Flavour depends on the type of wood used to make the casks.
  • Olive paste: a rich purée of black or green olives and olive oils. Add it to pasta sauces and salad dressings. Olive paste is also used as a spread for breads and toast.
  • Sweet pepper paste: a purée of roasted peppers, olive oil, vinegar, and soft cheese.

Try Japanese ingredients

  • Miso: fermented soybean paste used in soups, salad dressings, and marinades.
  • Tamari soy sauce: darker and more intense than regular soy sauce.
  • Wasabi: an extremely hot, slightly bitter powder or paste. Use sparingly in dips, dressings, and sauces.

Enjoy Korean cooking

  • Chili sauce: a garlicky sauce used on salads and also as a marinade.
  • Korean barbecue sauce: sweet soy-based sauce for glazing food for grilling or as a condiment to pass at the table.

Learning more about the spices and seasonings used by different cultures will make you a more well-rounded chef. Try making your favourite recipe but with some ingredients from foreign cuisine. You'll be surprised and delighted by the way new flavours intermingle with familiar favourites.


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