8 Spices from Around the World


As Millennials look for new ways to eat, we realized that spices from around the world would be a hot food trend this year. As more and more people look to expand their taste buds, they’re looking outside of the U.S. to flavor their food. From Ethiopia to Thailand, France to India, let’s savor the flavors from around the world.

Dukkah: Hailing from Egypt, Dukkah is a mix of toasted nuts, sesame seeds, coriander, and cumin. It can be sprinkled on virtually everything from roasted vegetables and pasta, to cheese, and is often used as a rub on lamb, chicken, and fish.

Togarashi: Original sold as an herbal medicine, togarashi—which means “seven-flavor chili pepper”—is a spicy blend from Japan. Ingredients often include Sichuan pepper, dried citrus peel, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, hemp seeds, ginger, garlic, or shiso (also known as Japanese basil), as well as nori (seaweed). It can sprinkled over meats like chicken and pork, rice, and—for an extra kick of flavor—popcorn.

Quatre Epices: Translated as “four spices” in French, this blend can sometimes contain a mix of five spices, such as white peppercorns, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. A staple in France, along with Herbes de Provence, it wonderfully flavors stews, bread, and even gingerbread.

Makrut lime leaves: The makrut, or kaffir, lime is a citrus fruit found in Southeast Asia. The leaves are the most commonly used part of the plant, particularly in Thai, Laotian, and Cambodian cuisines. It adds a pungent, lime flavor to rice, soups, stews, and stir fries. And you cannot make Thai curry without them. (Trust me: I’ve tried, and it doesn’t taste the same.)

Khmeli Suneli: This traditional Georgian spice is popular all over the Caucasus region. While it’s typically used in stews and on meat, it would go great sprinkled on vegetables and popcorn. Typical spices include fenugreek seeds and leaves, coriander, savoy, and black peppercorns but can also include dill, bay leaves, and mint.

Garam Masala: If you’ve had Indian cuisine, then garam masala was probably in there. A mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, mace, peppercorns, coriander, and cumin, garam masala is often added to traditional Indian recipes like curry and tikka, but it can also be added to meats, vegetables, or sprinkled in bread.

Za’atar: A spice blend originating in the Middle East, Za’atar is a mix of thyme, toasted sesame seeds, sumac, and salt. Dip bread in olive oil then za’atar for a tasty snack. It’s also great sprinkled on some yogurt for a savory taste or mixed into dips.

Berbere: Bring on the heat with this spice blend! Berbere means “hot” in Amharic and is a popular spice used in many Ethiopian dishes. Consisting of chilies, allspice, coriander, paprika, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, onion, and fenugreek, it is sprinkled on everything from meat to vegetables, and even used in dips.