Types of Spices: Ultimate List of Spices with Pictures and Names

Spices are the backbone of the food that we eat and if we do not add spices to the food then no one can eat it like that for more than 2-3 days. So, spices play an important role in food preparation whether you go anywhere in this world. There are a lot of spices that you can use for food preparation and every spice has its taste and aroma that can change the dish into something else as per its usage. Some fragrant spices to give aroma to your food may include Garlic, Cinnamon, Cumin, etc. However, to make your food a little hot, crispy, and chili spicy, you can have options like garlic, chili, ginger, and mustard seeds as well.

Some spices look like one another so it may be hard for you to distinguish between them like it may be challenging for you sometimes if you want to distinguish between Cumin and Coriander seeds. You need to make sure you have a complete list of spices before you start preparing any dish.

Humankind has been using the spices in their food since ancient times however at that time, the spices were limited and they were only Black pepper and cinnamon however the other species like pepper, cumin, cloves, coriander, etc came from different parts of the world through trading when they went there and exchanged their spices with those, they were available with.

In this article, you will learn about the different types of spices present and their usage in making different types of meals and desserts all over the world. So, these few minutes will help you a lot to know about the different types of spices present with their usage and related information.

List Of Spices According To Their Origin:

The spices are distinguished according to the part of a plant from which they are obtained. They are categorized according to that. For example, Jerk spice and garam masala are spices that are obtained with a combination of different spices.

The list of spices according to the flavors are categorized as Popular Spices, Sweet Spices, Hot Spices, Exotic Spices, etc. The spices that come under these categories are also listed here like Popular spices contain Black Pepper, Paprika, Garlic, and Chili. Similarly, Sweet Spices include Cinnamon, Saffron, and Coriander, Hot spices include: Hot Paprika, Chilli, and Fennel, Exotic spices include Sumac, Turmeric, etc. So, every category further consists of many spices included in it.

Different types of spices with their Pictures and Names:

As we know there are a lot of spices present across the globe so let’s have a look at them one by one as to how they are important and how you can use them in your kitchen to make your food more interesting and tasty:



The botanical name of Garlic is Allium sativum. It is the spice that is very common and you can find it in almost every meal and cuisine in the whole world. Though its smell is pungent yet it is the favorite spice for the meals. It gives a different taste and a beautiful seasoning to your meals when you add it to that. Garlic can be used in several ways. Some use it by crushing it, some use it by chopping it and you can also use garlic powder to add to your meals to enhance the taste and give it a good seasoning. With powdered garlic, you can add different spices to it to make a combination of spices to use in your meal.

Fresh Garlic is also very helpful for your body as it has many antibacterial properties as well as it helps to keep your stomach good and prevent it from infections.



The botanical name of Cinnamon is Cinnamomum Verum. Cinnamon has the right to be called one of the oldest spices in this world. It is the best aromatic spice that provides seasoning to the meals. Cinnamon in powdered form can be sprinkled on pastries, cakes, savory dishes, and also on coffee. Cinnamon has different types and the best quality Cinnamon is Ceylon cinnamon and it is costlier than the other one which is also has a similar taste but cheaper which is known as Cassia Cinnamon.



The botanical name of Ginger is Zingiber officinale. Ginger is also an important spice that is used in many cuisines across the globe. It is a flowering plant from the roots of which ginger is obtained. It is spicy and sweet at the same time. It can be used by chopping, grating, and also by converting it into powdered form. It can be used in many Chinese, Thai dishes. You can also make hot drinks with ginger. It can also be used in honey with hot water as it has antiviral properties so it helps to give relaxation to sore throat, during cold and cough.



The botanical name of Turmeric is Curcuma longa. This is an aromatic spice that is used in many cuisines in India and it is like Ginger that is often used in Indian cuisines. Turmeric is used to make curries, rice, and many dishes to give them the best vibrant color and due to its yellow color, it is also called Golden Spice. Turmeric is not only used in cuisines however it has many antibacterial properties due to which it is widely used in milk which is very beneficial for health and this milk is called Ayurvedic Golden Turmeric milk. Turmeric is also used in many ointments for beauty treatments and in soaps too. It is also used as a very important ingredient in many Ayurvedic medicines.



The botanical name of Saffron is Crocus Sativus. It is the spice that has been used by humans from ancient times. This is the most expensive spice in the world. It looks like small thin orange threads and are the stigmas of the saffron crocus. These are delicate-looking lavender plants that produce stigma and this is harvested and dried, then these stigmas create saffron. As it is obtained from a flowering plant so it has a sweet and flowery taste. It is aromatic and its aroma gives vibrant color to the food as well as giving it the best taste. It is listed under the sweet spices and it is slightly orange. It is also used in sweets as an additional taste and to give a beautiful aroma to them.

Saffron is used in Middle Eastern and European cuisines. The best thing about saffron is that though it is expensive yet if you have it in a very small quantity, it will go a long way. You need a minute quantity of it while using it in your cuisines.



The botanical name of Pepper is Piper Nigrum. Pepper is not a single word that can be explained however it can refer to many species that can add heat to the food making it very spicy. Pepper can be of many colors out of which the major ones are Pink, Black, Red, and Green. When they are used on the food or any meal they give it a burning taste and over-usage may let you feel that your mouth is on fire if you taste it. These come in different forms and tastes like mid-tasting include Sweet bell peppers and burning effect producers include Jalapeno that can make your mouth feel like it is burning if you taste it.

These spices are grounded in powdered form and they are called Paprika or Cayenne Pepper. You can check on google for more information about the peppers however we will try to cover them here in the list as well. So, please be with us as many spices are waiting for you to have a look at.



Mace Spice consists of Aril which is a dried or lacy covering of the nutmeg fruit, so it comes from the almost same place where the nutmeg comes from. Because of this origin, it tastes almost the same as Nutmeg but a little milder than that. Nutmeg has a slightly warm taste as compared to Nutmeg. When you dry the Mace spice it becomes yellow and a little brown combination is also there. As Mace is milder in taste so it is widely used in desserts to give a small sweet hint of lemon and an amazing taste of nutmeg flavor.



The botanical name of Nutmeg spice is Myristica. As per its name, it is a nut or seed that can be grounded in fine powder to be added to sweet and savory food to give it a warm spicy flavor. Nutmeg has a fragrant aroma and a warming sweet taste to be added to the different cuisines. Nutmeg usually combines with cinnamon in spices and this mixture is added in different Indonesian, Indian, and European Cuisines to give them an amazing taste and aroma as well.

If you ever want to use Nutmeg in cooking, it will be the best with tomato dishes and due to its warming and soothing aroma, it can be used in cold weather drinks like mulled wine, etc. As it will give the best taste and fragrance to it so makes it more enjoyable for you.



Paprika is grounded from dried bell peppers and these are not hot chilies. So this is the major difference between Paprika and Cayenne Pepper. Sweet Paprika can be used in dishes to give them a sweet taste however except this, it also gives an earthy taste to the food.

There are a lot of Paprika kinds that are available like Hot Paprika and this is the main ingredient of many dishes all over the world. There is also another kind of Paprika that is smoked Paprika which you can use with many dishes if you want to give them some smoky taste. Like you can use it on chicken items and also in barbeque sauces.

Cayenne Pepper:

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is a red and hot spice that is finely powdered from the dried leaves of cayenne pepper. It is used to give a hot and a biting taste to the food to which it is added. It is very popular with the people who love to eat spicy food and this spice is added to the meals of those people to experience the best taste.

Cayenne Pepper is also a pungent spice but can be mixed with a lot of other spices to make a great combination. This is used in many cuisines all around the world. You can also make it less sharp by adjusting the combination as per the choice.



The botanical name of Fennel is Foeniculum vulgare. It grows in Mediterranean countries so it will be available in the dishes of France, Italy, and Spain too. It is basically in the category of sweeter spices which have a sweet taste and light aroma. Fennel spice is almost similar to the anise seeds so these two spices often confuse everyone so it is difficult to distinguish them from each other if they are placed together. In exotic dishes, the ground fennel seeds are used as a spice mix for Chinese cuisines. Moreover, it is the main ingredient of Garam Masala that is used widely in India in home kitchens as well as restaurants.

Due to its light and beautiful aroma, it is there on the list of Aroma herbs in cooking.

Chili Pepper:

Chili Pepper

Chili pepper is almost similar to that of cayenne pepper and it is the perfect ingredient to make any cuisine additionally hot and spicy like in the Caribbean, Indian and Mexican dishes.

This can be obtained by the blend of species that are used in Latin American cooking techniques and ingredients. Chili Pepper includes all these spices like Paprika, chili powder, garlic, and oregano, etc.

Coriander Seeds:

Coriander Seeds

Coriander seeds are also another kind of spice that is sweet citrusy in taste and it is used in many Indian and Mexican dishes. The lemon flavor of any spice can be enhanced by adding a small amount of Coriander Seeds. The best part of this is its aroma can be used to dry-fry with other small seeds to get essential oils too.

Onion Powder:

Onion Powder

The botanical name of Onion is Allium cepa. Onions are the major ingredient in any cuisine in India and all over the world. Dried onion grounded in fine powder is very popularly used for the seasoning of foods and many dishes globally. Onion powder is used in many handmade spice mixtures to use a combo in many cuisines.

This dried onion powder can be used with pizzas, burgers, soups, etc. So, it is a very important spice that can encourage the taste of your meals as well as make you excited whenever you think to have that food or cuisine again.

Caraway Seed:

Caraway Seed

The botanical name of Caraway Seed is Carum Carvi. This is related to cumin so it is also known as Persian Cumin. It will be very difficult for you to distinguish if you place both together as they look almost identical to each other. It has been found that all these caraway seeds are used in desserts, cakes, and also rye bread. This is also a pungent smelling spice that is like anise seed and is very popular in Eastern European cuisine where it is used in flavor cheese and flavor liqueurs.

Black Cumin:

Black Cumin

The botanical name of Black Cumin is Nigella sativa. This is an important spice and is used in India on a very large scale. It is also from the family of Caraway Seeds. Black Cumin has some bitter taste. So, it is added to the meals and dishes to give them some different tastes however in limited quantities. This is also good to obtain black seed oil. There is also a category of black cumin that gives a smoky taste to the food and it is also widely used in many places all over the world.

Mustard Seeds:

Mustard Seeds

The botanical name of Mustard Seeds is Brassica Alba. Mustard seeds are black, white, and yellow and these are small seeds that are used in many cuisines. These are combined with vinegar and water to make mustard. These are used with cucumbers and other vegetables while pickling.



The botanical name of Cumin is Cuminum Cyminum. In many Asian, African, and Indian cuisines it is used in very high demand. It is used together with Coriander and other aromatic spices. These are used to give an earthy and nutty taste to the meals to which they are added.

As this spice was widely used in Roman Cuisine so there are some of the countries that still call this spice Roman Cumin.



Cloves are dried buds of clove trees that are having an intense aroma and sweet taste. This spice can be used in many cuisines across the globe. These are used exceptionally in desserts and sweets to give them a perfect aroma and taste too. This spice is majorly used in apples, pumpkins, etc.



As the name suggests, Allspice is a mixture of spices. The botanical name of this spice is Pimenta dioica. This spice is unripe berries obtained from the Jamaica Trees pepper or myrtle pepper. As it has different aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves so this spice is known as Allspice.

Star Anise:

Star Anise

The botanical name of Star Anise is Illicium Verum. This spice is almost similar to that of Anise in terms of flavor, appearance, and aroma as well. These are originated from China so they are natives of China. As they are natives of China so they are used in different cuisines that are prepared in China to give them the best aroma and flavor.

Poppy Seeds:

Poppy Seeds

Poppy seeds are another type of spice and they can be seen on the toppings of cakes, pastries, and also on muffins. These are oily seeds and these tiny black seeds are not just for decoration purposes. They have a nutty and amazing taste when you bite into them.



The botanical name of Sumac is Rhus Coriaria. These are red-colored berries that are obtained from the Sumac plant. This is a flowering shrub and it is found in Africa, Eastern Asian regions, and also North America. These deep reddish-purple berries have a tangy lemon taste. It is known for its zesty tartness.

As you are aware of all the major spices available globally and their usage with interesting facts. They all have different tastes and some are identical in some aspects however every spice has its characteristic and aroma with flavor. Happy Seasoning with the best spices and give a new taste to your meals and cuisines to enjoy it.

Different spices, different tastes, and different moods!

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