Exotic spices - anise, star anise, saffron, vanilla and ginger

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We all know this from the holiday: magically attracted by the beguiling scent of exotic spices, we have to stop by the spice merchants, take a rest here, sniff, marvel at the variety of color shades in their luminosity. From the burning red to warm brown to the gentle yellow, the color palette spreads before us - almost more than the eye can grasp.

Each of these spices has its own special flavor and its own, very typical taste. They not only improve our food through their spice, but also stimulate the appetite, stimulate digestion, enliven our senses with their scent - and raise our spirits.

Very interesting are also Indian spices.


... is one of the oldest spices, comes from the Mediterranean; The dried, very spicy seeds are similar to cumin, their pleasant sweet taste reminiscent of licorice. Anise is mainly used in baking, so for bread and pastries, but also in Far Eastern specialties, and gives Raki and Ouzo the typical aroma; Anise promotes appetite and digestion.

star anise

Known as a Chinese spice and medicinal plant - the seeds sit in the spikes of the star-shaped fruit. In the Chinese kitchen you refine pork, goose and duck - here we have Christmas baking, tea, mulled wine, plum jam, etc. the special touch. But it is also used to make cough syrup and even toothpaste.


... not only makes the cake good... but also spices and colors fish dishes, rice and pastries. Too long cooking, however, causes the fragrance to die off... Saffron comes from the eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor and is obtained from the dried scars of the saffron crocus.


The best variety, the bourbon vanilla - which takes its name from the island of the same name - is grown mainly on Madagascar. At harvest, the fruits (vanilla pods) are green and tasteless. Only by drying do they get their black-brown color and their aroma. The vanilla is obtained by cutting and scraping the pods. Refined cakes, pastries, sweets, ice creams and liqueurs.


Native to Southeast Asia, the dried rhizome supplies the spicy spice that is used for sweets, liqueurs, marmalade, beer and ginger ale. Ginger is available both fresh and as a powder.


Cloves are the dried flower buds of the Southeast Asian clove tree; They have a high content of essential oils and raise the flavor of gingerbread, liqueurs and compotes. But also in red cabbage, with meat and fish, they can be the icing on the cake. Even in the perfume and soap industry cloves are in demand. They are offered as whole cloves or ground.


The yellow fruits of the tropical

Nutmeg tree releases a kernel (nutmeg) after maturity. Soups, sauces, cauliflower and kohlrabi, sometimes also meat, are grated. Due to its high spiciness nutmeg may be used sparingly. Has an antispasmodic and circulation-promoting effect.


is a grassy spice plant - is fresh, dried or offered as a powder. The strong, lemon-like flavor is mainly used in poultry, fish and lamb dishes, but also in marinades and dips. As a fresh grass, the spice is usually cooked only - but not mitgegessen.

cayenne pepper

does not look like pepper - and is not one, but is obtained by grinding the dried chili peppers! Cayenne pepper is spirited as the population of its native South America - stimulates gastric juice production due to its sharpness, and may even irritate the stomach lining in case of over-growth. Is, with economical use, however, ideal for spicing up all meals. Also used in heat pots and rheumatism!


The West Indies is considered the country of origin, but the main exporting country is now Jamaica. The berry fruits are picked in the immature, green state and get only by drying their reddish brown color. Allspice, also called clove pepper, is a mixture of clove, cinnamon and nutmeg - with a touch of pepper. Gives mulled wine, liqueurs and bitters the special touch, but is also appreciated in sausage production, as well as pickled vegetables and spice pastes. Pimento oil is also in demand in the soap and perfume production.

Black pepper

India is the land "where the pepper grows"! Black, white and green pepper - all from the climbing plant "Piper nigrum".
Black pepper is made from unripe fruits, is sharper than white or greener, but quickly loses aroma when ground.
White pepper comes from the mature fruits and has less spice power.
Green pepper is used immature and green - and remains soft and unground.
Pepper is an incomparably popular spice, is appreciated all over the world and is almost universally usable with strong food.

Video Board: Cardamon tea with ginger and fennel.

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