Spices are essential for creating delicious, flavourful and colourful dishes. In Italian cuisine, spices are widespread and they are used when preparing almost all meals. For this reason, Italian spices are essential in Italian cooking.
The critical thing you need to master is which spice should be used for which dish and the combinations which taste great together. If you master this, you will be able to make mouth-watering cuisines. To help you out, here is a list of the top Italian spices and when and where you can use them to make your dishes flavourful.
Basil is one of the top herbs in Italian cooking. Its bright flavour and freshness work well will most of the Italian staples such as balsamic vinegar, cheese and tomatoes to make Caprese salad. You can use it dried and fresh. Dry basil is most commonly used to spice dishes that cook for a long time such as sauces and soups. The fresh one is commonly used in cold dishes or added after the meal is ready. Also, basil is an antibacterial which is an added health benefit.
The spicy flavour of oregano is better felt when dried than when it is fresh. This makes dishes taste great when you use the dried one, preferably over the fresh one. The spice is most common in Sicilian dishes and southern Italian cuisines. It goes well with tomato-based pasta sauces.
Rosemary is a natural herb that you can grow by yourself and use it fresh in your culinary. Traditionally, it was used in Italian cooking when roasting meat and for the addition of a floral and peppery flavour to the stock. To use rosemary, you need to add a fresh one in your dish when you start cooking. Eventually, it will lend your meal a woody and peppery flavour. It goes well with homemade focaccia.
Thyme belongs to the mint family and it is commonly used across the Mediterranean to flavour different cuisines. When added to meats before roasting or vegetables or potato dishes like maple sweet potato dishes, it gives a flavourful taste. You can use the spice when fresh or dried. Fresh thyme has a pronounced pungent flavour. The spice pairs well with lemon. For instance, you will enjoy lemon and thyme chicken wings.
Parsley is another commonly used spice in Italian culinary. It is hard to find a bowl of soup, pasta or sauce without the herb. The herb comes in curly-leaf and flat-leaf varieties. However, the most common one in Italian cooking is the flat-leaf parsley. It has even been nicknamed Italian Parsley. You can use the spice to complement spicy elements since it can brighten other flavours in the food. It also comes with a health benefit as it has many vitamins and minerals.
Sage has been used for its health benefits around the world. It helps in digestion and it is an anti-inflammatory. The spice is commonly used in pasta dishes such as ravioli and risotto. The herb is better when fresh than when it is dried.
This article has given you six top Italian spices. Therefore, next time you want to give your food that flavourful taste and impressive appearance, you should try these Italian spices.