Skip to main content
66 votes
Accepted

Why doesn't Greek cuisine use a lot of spices, compared to neighbors?

The question of "why not" is difficult to answer definitively, or really at all. We can't ask folks 2000 years ago why they didn't care about cumin. However, there are some historical ...
FuzzyChef's user avatar
  • 65.3k
61 votes

If you add spices to boiling pasta, will it absorb spices/flavours?

Poorly. Pasta doesn't absorb all that much flavor from spices in the water, other than maybe salt (and even then you must add excessive amounts of salt to make the resulting pasta evidently salty.) ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 3,023
48 votes

Is there such a thing as a dish being bland from too many flavors?

I think the description you're looking for is what is often described as "muddy flavors" or "fighting flavors" or "muddled flavors" (though the latter is also a term used ...
AMtwo's user avatar
  • 9,017
45 votes
Accepted

Is there any advantage to combining spices before applying them to meat?

If you premix to make a rub, it's easier to apply spices evenly. Otherwise, you must individually apply a small amount (for example, 1/4 tsp) of several spices evenly. With a rub, you make the spice ...
mattm's user avatar
  • 2,474
41 votes
Accepted

Why stud an onion?

It's convenience, and actually doubly so: It helps to find the cloves (biting down on a clove is horrible, imho, much more than on a stray peppercorn) and it especially if you are using onions with ...
Stephie's user avatar
  • 60.1k
38 votes
Accepted

What exactly is "Japanese" Salt and Pepper?

They may have been trying to describe "salt and Japanese pepper". Japanese pepper is unrelated to black pepper, but closely related to Sichuan pepper; its flavor has been described as "lemony" and it ...
Sneftel's user avatar
  • 29.5k
36 votes

What is the name of the tool which involves a ball inside a sealed container that is shaken to grind up spices?

I haven't seen this type of device as a home spice grinder, but in commercial/industrial settings, this type of device is called a ball mill. Industrial ball mills will have a cylinder filled with ...
AMtwo's user avatar
  • 9,017
32 votes
Accepted

What is this seed pod?

Looks like cardamom to me, regularly used in Indian and other South Asian cuisine and often left as whole seed pods in dishes for unsuspecting diners to accidentally chew on.
Blargant's user avatar
  • 2,431
31 votes

If you add spices to boiling pasta, will it absorb spices/flavours?

One important fact to note here is that many spices are oils or oil-soluble. Pepper, for example, will dissolve effectively in oil, and thus the flavor of pepper can be imparted into other things ...
Joe M's user avatar
  • 5,673
29 votes

Why does my curry taste flat

Ideas Old spices? If you are not making curry often maybe your spices are aged. They lose their pop. Your mix looks good. Try again with new. Buy whole spices when you can - they keep better. ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 6,616
29 votes

Why does my curry taste flat

The answer is definitely a lack of salt. Particularly if you're new to cooking or new to cooking dishes like curries and stews, you might not be accustomed to the amount of salt you need to add to ...
Banjoe's user avatar
  • 391
28 votes

How can I remove whole peppercorns from a sauce after cooking?

Strain it, or put the peppercorns in cheesecloth which you can easily remove. Obviously both ideas would work better if the sauce was thin then thickened after the peppercorns were removed.
MaxW's user avatar
  • 2,649
28 votes
Accepted

Is there such a thing as a dish being bland from too many flavors?

With your longer description, I can understand where you are coming from and why you don't like this version of the dishes (and also why somebody else might prefer them). But the term "bland"...
rumtscho's user avatar
  • 139k
24 votes
Accepted

What does "lightly crushed" mean for cardamon pods?

I'm pretty sure it's just crushing the husks a bit so they crack open - that's how I do it when I see "lightly crushed" for cardamom pods. It gives access to the seeds inside so flavor can infuse out ...
Megha's user avatar
  • 11.8k
23 votes

Why are bay leaves used whole and then removed rather than crushed up like other spices?

Dried bay is sometimes left in, for example this herb mix from Schwartz includes bay leaves (at less than 3%). Dried they can easily be crushed and added as a powder, but you don't often want a lot ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 44.4k
23 votes

Do certain spices really go bad? or will people without refined palates usually not tell the difference, specifically chili powder?

tl;dr : it's complicated. If you're relying on cooking by blindly following recipes, and hoping that they come out the same every time, then yes, you probably want to replace old spices. So ...
Joe's user avatar
  • 80.9k
23 votes
Accepted

Why does my curry taste flat

In addition to Willk's answer, which may have discovered the age of some of your spice rack contents - cumin & other short-life ground spices can sometimes be flat even when new, from supermarkets....
Tetsujin's user avatar
  • 29.8k
22 votes
Accepted

How to deal with strong, sizable spices?

Simple: spit them out. You're not supposed to eat whole cardamom pods or cloves, any more than you'd eat whole cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, or slices of dried galangal. Each diner is expected to spit ...
FuzzyChef's user avatar
  • 65.3k
20 votes
Accepted

How can I remove whole peppercorns from a sauce after cooking?

One way to steep peppercorns in a sauce is to put them in a tea ball or a tied up piece of cloth which is submerged into the sauce and then removed before serving. If they are just dropped into the ...
GdD's user avatar
  • 76.7k
20 votes

Is there some "trick" to be able to eat jalapeños without getting an "upset stomach"?

Well... First of all, no. As alluded to in a comment, as one gets older, one's digestive system tends to be less accepting of what one puts in it. Nevertheless, "the dose makes the poison". ...
Sneftel's user avatar
  • 29.5k
18 votes
Accepted

Can I cut chili powder with Paprika?

This recipe list chili powder as: 2 tablespoons paprika 2 teaspoons oregano 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder 3/4 teaspoon onion powder 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (...
MaxW's user avatar
  • 2,649
18 votes

Is sassafras root and licorice root the same thing?

Sassafras is the plant with the botanical name Sassafras albidum, which is native to eastern North America and eastern Asia. Licorice/Liquorice is the plant with the botanical name Glycyrrhiza glabra, ...
Spagirl's user avatar
  • 3,244
17 votes

Is there any advantage to combining spices before applying them to meat?

An additional factor is prep time. You can make a large batch of spice mix quickly, spooning tablespoons rather than quarter teaspoons and then it's made ready for many portions. Dry mixes keep as ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 44.4k
17 votes
Accepted

Mild chili powder?

As you have found, often the generic chili powders that are sold in the US by the major brands like Schwarz aren't pure chili powder, they have other additives like oregano, salt and garlic. The best ...
GdD's user avatar
  • 76.7k
17 votes

How to deal with strong, sizable spices?

For whole spices which are hard to pick out, you could try make a bouquet garni. Wrap the whole spices into a bundle, using cheesecloth, a piece of muslin (undyed, loosely woven fabric), a coffee ...
csk's user avatar
  • 3,148
16 votes
Accepted

How to clean a mill

The amount of salt that would stick to a dry mill is very small. Salt is also quite abrasive, cheap and water soluble. So to get pepper out I'd grind salt. For most savoury mixes a little salt won't ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 44.4k
16 votes
Accepted

Do I need to remove clove stems before grinding?

One clove is "the berry part", as you describe it, and the "stem". Use the whole thing.
moscafj's user avatar
  • 75.8k
16 votes
Accepted

What is the name of the tool which involves a ball inside a sealed container that is shaken to grind up spices?

The product name (as it says on the side) is the 'Flavour Shaker', and it is a (now discontinued) product marketed by the celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. I read through a few reviews (e.g. here) from ...
dbmag9's user avatar
  • 12.1k
15 votes
Accepted

Are cardamom husks edible?

The entire seed pod is edible. With a coffee grinder, you may not be able to reduce the husks to powder (that’s more of a job for a burr grinder), which may affect the mouth feel of the final dish ...
Sneftel's user avatar
  • 29.5k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible