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18 Must-Have Herbs and Spices for Your Commercial Kitchen

There are certain herbs and spices that no commercial kitchen should be without. Here are 18 of the most essential.

Are you looking to expand the herbs and spices in your commercial kitchen? Whether you’re a restaurateur just starting out or you’re looking to add a new touch to your menu, this list of 18 must-have herbs and spices is for you. From classics like black pepper and salt to more exotic options like cumin and turmeric, these herbs and spices will give your food the flavor it needs to stand out. 

Must-Have Herbs and Spices

1. Salt: This humble ingredient is a powerhouse when it comes to flavor. It can enhance sweetness, round out bitterness, and bring out the natural umami flavors in food.

2. Pepper: Black pepper is the most common type of pepper used in commercial kitchens, but don’t be afraid to experiment with other varieties like white pepper or green peppercorns.

3. Garlic: Aromatic and flavorful, garlic is a key ingredient in many dishes. It can be used to add depth of flavor to soups and stews, or simply roasted and served as a side dish.

4. Onion: Another aromatic and flavorful member of the allium family, onions are essential for adding sweetness and depth to dishes. They can be used in everything from savory sauces to sweet desserts.

5. Ginger: Used fresh, ground, or pickled, ginger adds a unique zing to any dish. It’s often used in Asian cuisine, but can be added to sweet or savory dishes for an extra flavor boost.

6. Cinnamon: This warming spice is commonly used in baked goods, but can also be added to savory dishes for a touch of sweetness. Try it in curries or stews for a unique flavor profile.

7. Nutmeg: Nutmeg is another spice that’s often used in sweet dishes, but can also be added to savory dishes for a touch of sweetness. It’s especially nice in creamy sauces or soups.

8. Turmeric: This vibrant yellow spice is perfect for adding color and flavor to any dish. It’s often used in curries, but can also be added to soups, stews, or rice dishes.

9. Cumin: A common ingredient in Indian cuisine, cumin adds a warm and earthy flavor to any dish. Try it in curries, rice dishes, or even roasted vegetables for a unique flavor profile.

10. Coriander: Also known as cilantro, coriander is commonly used in Mexican and Asian cuisine. It has a fresh, citrusy flavor that can brighten up any dish.

11. Basil: This sweet and fragrant herb is a mainstay in Italian cuisine. It’s often used in tomato-based dishes or pesto, but can also be added to other dishes for a touch of flavor.

12. Oregano: This pungent herb is commonly used in Italian and Greek cuisine. It has a strong flavor that can stand up to heartier dishes like stews and pasta sauces.

13. Thyme: This delicate herb is often used in French cuisine. It has a subtle flavor that works well in lighter dishes like soups and salads.

14. Rosemary: This woody herb is perfect for adding flavor to roasted meats or vegetables. It has a strong flavor, so use it sparingly.

15. Sage: This earthy herb is often used in Italian cuisine. It has a strong flavor that can be overwhelming if used too much, so use it sparingly.

16. Parsley: This bright green herb is commonly used as a garnish, but can also be added to dishes for a touch of color and flavor.

17. Dill: This delicate herb has a fresh, slightly sweet flavor that works well in lighter dishes like salads or fish.

18. Bay leaves: These aromatic leaves are often used in soups and stews to add flavor. They should be removed before serving.

Spice it Up

There are seemingly endless options when it comes to stocking your spice rack, but these 18 herbs and spices should be a staple in any commercial kitchen. From classic flavor foundations like salt, pepper, and onion powder to international spices like cumin, ginger, and turmeric, these seasonings will help you create delicious dishes your customers will love. 

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By Leslie Radford
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