Spy on my Spices, and see my favorites too!
This is my "classic standards" spice rack, right on the counter by the stovetop. Here I keep all the usual things like dried basil, oregano, thyme, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, turmeric... any of the major basics that I use super frequently.
After the countertops started overflowing with more and more oddball spices, I had to create a spices drawer. Here are a lot of my spices for Indian and Mexican food - and some various spices I picked up in New Orleans too. For me, it's helpful to organize spices by the types of recipes that call for them - rather than alphabetically or whatever.
Then, for my birthday, my dear friend JJTWH got me an amazing present including a bunch of exciting Indian and Persian spices. Along with some great goodies from my PPK swap partner, it was soon time for spice zone #3! I also put all my different special kinds of salts and peppers in this drawer, to reclaim still more countertop space.
In spite of all these spicy riches, I do have a few standout favorites. Aside from the basics, of course, I have been especially delighted to learn about the exciting world of chili powders and chili flavors - especially smoked flavors like dried chipotle peppers, smoked paprika, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. LOVE! I feel like discovering these flavors really enhanced the depth of flavor and complexity in the meals I was cooking. Humdrum dishes were suddenly so much more rich and interesting and YUMMY. I even love weird ol' liquid smoke. Yes I do. Also in the picture is cumin, because I love cumin. And lastly, a big out of context, is Chinese Five Spice. CFS is a lovely and interesting combo of flavors and I have made some really wonderful dishes (from stir fry tofu to tasty cookies) with it.
What are your favorite spices?