Spices in Cooking
Spices have a long and storied history in various cultures around the world—indeed, the trade of spices from Asia into Europe created one of the most significant loci of cultural interchange over thousands of years after Rome. Cuisines are profoundly impacted by the spices common to a region, or favored from longstanding trade routes. What would Indian cooking be without cardamom pods, or Jamaican recipes be without the many-flavored kick of allspice?
But there comes a time when the home cook simply must substitute for a spice in a recipe.
This chart will help you choose substitutions or alternatives that should work with your recipe. Realize that the flavor will not be as originally intended in the recipe. We’ve selected flavors that should harmonize or hint at the original. As such, it is wise to begin your substitution with half the specified recipe amount and then adjust to your own personal tastes. You should always feel free to adjust and add to any recipe to suit yourself and your family. Who knows? You just might create a new family favorite!
Cinnamon, cassia, dash of nutmeg or mace, or a dash of cloves
Fennel seed or a few drops anise extract
A dash of bottled hot pepper sauce plus a combination of oregano and cumin
Nutmeg or allspice (use only 1/4 of the amount)
Wasabi powder (1/4 to 1/2 as much since it’s hotter), horseradish powder, 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder = 1 Tablespoon prepared mustard