While herbs are the leafy green part of plants, spices can come from the berries, roots, bark, fruits or seeds. Spices have been valued and traded for thousands of years and as a result, spices have made their way into cuisines around the world. What would Mexican dishes be without chili powder or Indian cuisine without the aromatic spice blends garam masala and curry? Spices are essential to dessert, too. Holiday baking wouldn’t be the same without the smell of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. F&W’s guide to spices will help you choose which wines pair best with which spices and find recipes that make use of your spice rack.

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These Are the Essential Spices Every Kitchen Should Have

No idea where to start in the spice aisle? Here are the basic building blocks of any kitchen's spice rack.

The Spice Sommelier Fighting for Fairness

Burlap & Barrel cofounder Ethan Frisch breathes transparency into the spice trade.

Vadouvan Spice

Vadouvan is a super fragrant French-Indian curry mix that blends sautéed, roasted onions, shallots and garlic into the spices. Slideshow: More Spice Recipes

A Spice Guru's Top Tips For Summer Grilling

Lior Lev Sercarz's rule number one: Make sure everything is very properly seasoned.

More Spices

Fox Spice

Adapted from ON VEGETABLES: MODERN RECIPES FOR THE HOME KITCHEN by Jeremy Fox (Phaidon, $49.95 US/$59.95 CAN, April 2017) Slideshow: More Seasoning Recipes

Taco Seasoning

Food & Wine’s Justin Chapple prefers to mix his own taco seasoning at home; that way, he always has it on hand for Taco Tuesday. His recipe yields enough to season four pounds of ground meat. Plus, it can easily be doubled or tripled and kept in the pantry for up to 6 months. Slideshow: More Taco Recipes

Saffron Recipes

Saffron is known as the world’s most expensive spice due to the labor intensive process to cultivate just a single ounce but a little goes a long way. Once used to make medicines and dye cloth a dark yellow, this pungent and aromatic spice is used to flavor drinks as well as foods such as paella and risottos. In this collection you'll find our favorite recipes including saffron lassi, creamy saffron risotto and coconut cake with saffron cream.