1. Take your dish to West Africa with Tsire.
What it is: A blend of peanuts, chili powder, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon, Tsire is most commonly used on kebabs.
How to use it: Try dipping your raw meat skewers in oil then Tsire before grilling. (And add a little sprinkle of Tsire at the end for the perfect finish!)
Make your own Tsire here.
2. A dash of lemon myrtle, and you’re in Australia.
What it is: Nicknamed the “queen of the lemon herbs,” lemon myrtle is a multifaceted ingredient that can be used in fish, pasta, or even tea!
How to use it: Throw in a lemon myrtle leaf the next time you’re baking fish for a unique Australian flavor!
3. Explore the wonders of Morocco with Ras el Hanout.
What it is: It tastes as exotic as it sounds. Ras el Hanout literally means “the top of the shop” (aka it’s the best) and is one of the most popular ingredients used in Moroccan cuisine.
How to use it: These complex flavors do best in stews and soups, or — if you’re feeling ambitious — when cooked in a Moroccan tagine.
Make your own Ras el Hanout here.
4. A sprinkle of berbere will transport you to Ethiopia.
What it is: This chile-based blend is used in many popular Ethiopian dishes. In fact, “berbere” means “hot” in Amharic, Ethiopia’s native language.
How to use it: Season your chicken generously with it before giving it a nice sear to seal in those flavors!
Make your own berbere here.
5. If you can’t go to Italy yet, at least cook with oregano.
What it is: A country renowned for its food culture, Italy knows a little something about cooking delicious meals. And oregano is one of its main go-to spices! Dried oregano, in particular, packs a punch of flavor when cooking up a sauce or seasoning a protein.
How to use it: Go for the oregano when making your own pasta (or pizza!) sauce.
6. Sazon is one of Cuba’s best-kept secrets.
What it is: A spice blend unique to its region, sazon comes in many forms, and may contain cilantro, coriander, annatto, or saffron. It is often used as a spice rub for various meats or sprinkled into sauces.
How to use it: Sazon adds a wallop of flavor when cooking pork shoulder or stuffing a chicken!
Make your own sazon here.
7. A few sprigs of chervil, and you’re on your way to Russia!
What it is: There’s a reason it’s nicknamed “gourmet parsley.” The leaves of the chervil plant have a delicate flavor that is used to season soups, salads, seafood, and poultry.
How to use it: The subtle taste of chervil is well suited to cold soups and salads.
8. Turmeric’s bold flavor and vibrant color are an instant reminder of India.
What it is: One of India’s essential ingredients, turmeric has a luscious flavor and pungent perfume that you’ll immediately recognize. It is commonly used in savory dishes and curries, as well as in beverages and desserts.
How to use it: Don’t forget the turmeric next time you’re making a curry — it’ll taste more authentic and have a bold and beautiful color that only turmeric can bring.
9. Take a culinary trip to Spain with saffron.
What it is: Saffron is so valued in Spanish culture that it was once used as a currency. In fact, the majority of the world’s production of saffron is grown in Spain.
How to use it: Incorporate saffron into your rice dish for a paella-style meal that you’ll never want to stop eating.
10. Put a Middle Eastern twist on your meal with cumin.
What it is: A typical Middle Eastern seasoning, cumin is tangy and spicy and can be found in falafel, kofta, and stews.
How to use it: Kick up your lentil soup with a pinch of cumin or throw cumin into your ground beef recipe to try something new.
11. Wasabi is the quickest way to Japan.
What it is: We’ve all had wasabi with our sushi, but this Japanese root can be applied to many other dishes for that unique kick of spice that only it can bring.
How to use it: For a twist on a crunchy snack, coat roasted peanuts with a blend of wasabi power, salt, and oil.
12. Your dish will taste like Brazil with a bit of paracress in it.
What it is: The flower and leaves of paracress are loaded with pungent and aggressive flavor, most often found in Aboriginal and tribal dishes such as fried duck with garlic, or fish soup.
How to use it: Toss a few leaves of paracress into your soup and be prepared for its subtle heat and bold flavor!
13. Five-spice powder takes you straight to China!
What it is: Composed of five simple ingredients, five-spice powder is commonly used with fatty meats to bring out the meat’s natural flavors.
How to use it: Apply it as a spice rub to your duck or pork before cooking!
Make your own five-spice powder here.
14. Herbes de Provence tastes just like France.
What it is: A mixture of dried herbs from the region of Provence, this spice blend will elevate your dish with the flavors of savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and oregano. It is generously used in French cuisine, whether cooking meat, vegetables, or pasta.
How to use it: For that fresh French taste, sprinkle some herbes de Provence into your meat sauce, your roast chicken, and even an omelette!
Make your own herbes de Provence here.