People Debate Which Spices Are The Best
Paula Barreca Barnes/Unsplash

Here we go starting food fights again.

No regrets, we love watching you all lose it in the comments section defending your weirdly obscure food hills. We love dying on those hills right there with you because we're just as passionate about snackage as y'all are.


Reddit user JuuuEi asked:

"What's the best spice?"

Did you know there are people out there who think paprika is flavorless and that black pepper is too spicy?

Yeah, this article is about to be a journey.

Paprika

"Paprika, but there's a caveat"

"Most of what’s sold in supermarkets is flavorless dust. Paprika needs to be high quality and fresh."

"It’s actually very easy to make - you take red bell peppers and dry them in a dehydrator or a low oven. Then grind them into powder."

- murrion

"You have to actually get fresh paprika."

"If you're buying some store brand you are probably getting super stale, flavorless powder."

"I never thought much of it for a long time until I got nicer quality. I use it in so many Southern recipes."

- superdave820

"Agree. Paprika and it’s relatives around the world, like bere bere and powdered chilis, for instance - so many cuisines have a similar spice - are great and Red Pepper flakes aren’t to be disrespected either."

- RDAM60

Paprika GIF by HOFER SlovenijaGiphy

Cumin

"Cumin"

"I regularly grind cumin, salt, and pepper together and season everything with it. Gives food such an earthiness and it just plain smells amazing."

- cyclenaut

"It’s SO good. Not spicy enough to hurt, but warming and so good in both sweet and savoury dishes… chefs kiss"

- AmIRightPeter

"Cumin all the way every day."

"The smell just makes me happy and the taste brings me back to being 20. Growing up we had very bland - good but terribly bland food like bacon and cabbage, stew, coddle, all types of potato and the odd salad."

"I left home at 17, by the age of 19/20 I was a regular at the Hare Krishna Sunday feasts and cumin blew my mind. I absolutely love it."

- galwaycitydub

"Cumin. Few spices alone can completely transform a dish’s flavor profile like cumin."

"In Indian food, the amount of cumin literally affects what dish you are making. It’s a standout ingredient in Mexican food. It separates Central Asian food from its western and eastern cousins."

"I’d wager Cumin is so powerful that it’s prevented from having center stage on the table like pepper. But not in a 'too much makes it inedible' way like clove. More so like 'I didn’t plan on my burger tasting like a kabob today' way."

- mrglass8

Curry GIF by MasterChefAUGiphy

Fresh Black Pepper

"I love spices and had a good think on the question before looking at the responses... but I had to settle on pepper. It's practically universal."

"Garlic comes in as a close second but I personally categorize it as an aromatic instead of a spice."

- legendariel

"Fresh ground black pepper, pick your coarseness, it's good on everything. Even a lot of sweet dishes can benefit from a pinch of it."

- Android69beepboop

"This is it right here. Most people have had terrible pre-ground pepper or just as bad, low quality cheap peppercorns that taste like dirt."

"It is the best spice that has suffered the vanilla treatment. So ubiquitous people ignore it and is usually found as a low-quality alternative despite being so popular for a reason."

- Cha-La-Mao

"I cannot taste pepper, only feel the “heat” from it. If a food even has the smallest bit, it makes the entire meal entirely inedible because I taste nothing and only feel my mouth on fire."

"I can eat all the garlic, horseradish, etc, but no black pepper or chili peppers. I literally can’t tell the difference between a jalapeño or ghost pepper, it’s all just pain to me lol."

"I wish I understood what the rest of the world tastes when then eat pepper :( "

- ElleCay

bart simpson restaurant GIFGiphy

Cinnamon

"Cinnamon."

"Anytime something tastes good and someone asks what’s in that… the answer is invariably cinnamon. It should be on tables in restaurants along with salt and pepper!"

- CarbonSteelSA

"Yes! Cinnamon desserts are of the gods."

- hmbmelly

"Cinnamon in coffee grounds before brewing makes for DIVINE coffee !"

- lookonthebrightside7

"I love doing this – makes the kitchen smell heavenly."

"Just be careful when sleepily making coffee - I’ve grabbed cumin without noticing more times than I’d like to admit lol"

- shirleysparrow

Iced Coffee GIF by CinnabonGiphy

Turmeric

"Turmeric, tasty and anti-inflammatory"

- norfolkdiver

"It's the 'secret' ingredient in a lot of Latin American cuisine, not just Indian."

"It's not just one flavour, it can be changed into dozens of different flavours with very little help."

- Captcha_Imagination

"Turmeric is basically a wonder drug."

"It’s a potent anti-cancer agent, shows significant benefits for diabetes, is as beneficial to artery health as regular exercise, and much, much more."

- ashomsky

Cardamom

"Cardamom."

"Seriously, tho: add some cardamom to your pancake or waffle batter, game changer."

- Remoru

"Ever tried black cardamom?"

"It is like the most intense, smokey, woody, fragrant spine you will ever try. I put them in curries and eat them whole, it is amazing."

- Iwanttosleep8hours

"Try it in spice cookies like Snickerdoodles! Deelish!!"

- silvervm

"Add it to sugar cookie dough, vanilla ice cream, or hot cocoa."

"You can also put a handful of whole cardamom pods into basmati rice when making rice to go with curry. You don't eat the pods, but it makes the whole batch of rice taste and smell fancier."

- tractiontiresadvised

Cardamom Ahmed Amin GIF by NETFLIXGiphy

Saffron

"Depends on how you define spice but I’m a big fan of Saffron."

"I know it’s expensive, but god damn just a tiny pinch of it can completely change a dish in my opinion."

- tortillakingred

Celebrity Masterchef Saffron GIF by MasterChefAUGiphy

Almost Bacon

"Smoked paprika, if you haven’t tried swapping it in, definitely do so."

- undead_opossum

"Smoked paprika has the most amazing flavour. Regular paprika is flavourless."

- Apprehensive_Egg6077

"Straight up smoked paprika."

"Since I’ve stopped eating as much meat it’s as close as I can get to bacon flavoured vegetables."

- DarthJiveTurkey

"When I first discovered smoked paprika in a meal kit, I was blown away by the flavor. It almost smelled bacon-y. I now make that recipe all the time."

- a-tiny-pizza

"Smoked paprika. Makes everything taste like you added sausage!"

- Tall_Mickey

food porn bacon GIF by HuffPostGiphy

Cayenne

"Cayenne pepper."

- adriatic_harmony

"Always gotta have cayenne on the spice rack."

- Hydra_Master

"Yes finally! It took me ages to find this one. Cayenne is the stuff off the gods."

- lularose1611

"Forgot about his love for cayenne!"

"To me cayenne pepper > black or white pepper."

- adriatic_harmony

season 1 netflix GIF by Gilmore Girls Giphy

Ginger

"Ginger for me."

- ok_im_trying_again

"Ginger supremacy."

- GRZ_KIMI

"I was all for Posh Spice myself"

- stevebobeeve

"Ginger embodied the overall spirit of Girl Power the most and had the best story arc (and a great autobiography) but I've always been particularly fond of Baby."

"Emma Bunton's first 2 solo albums were pop gems."

- PeterCrissOnTheDrums

ginger spice girl power GIFGiphy

Beyond Standard

"It’s a blend, but: Capetown Curry"

"Similar to standard curry, but a slightly broader flavor and just a tiny hint of tangy. Excellent on popcorn, also eggs, among many other things."

- holmgangCore

More GIF by Shorty AwardsGiphy

In Their Own Way

"There is nothing that can be labelled as a 'best' spice. Every spice is special and beneficial in its own way."

"Turmeric has anti-bacterial, anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also rich in anti-oxidants. The milk helps in easing body pains, menstrual cramps, boosting immunity and providing relief from cold and cough."

"Cinnamon has anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. It has a sweet and earthy flavour. You can add cinnamon to your curries, desserts, cakes, pancakes and oats."

"Ginger contains gingerol which has powerful medicinal and benefits like helping in digestion, reducing nausea, fighting common cold and flu. It may also help in weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and ease menstrual pains."

"Green Cardamom has high amounts of anti-oxidants, helps in reducing blood pressure, has anti-inflammatory properties, may help in improving digestive problems and help in treating infections because of its anti-bacterial properties."

"Jeera is a good source of potassium and iron, builds good immunity, is packed with anti-oxidants and has anti-bacterial properties as well. It helps in digestion, are a good source of iron, controls blood cholesterol, promotes weight loss and prevents food-borne diseases."

- AbhishekTSM

Bring It In The Goldbergs GIF by ABC NetworkGiphy

The Best Commercials

"Old Spice....I'm on a horse now."

- [Reddit]

"Old Spice"

- dependonmemes

"Old Spice of course"

- jennysook

Old Spice Yes GIFGiphy

Biased

"In my experience, cinnamon for sweets, garlic for everything else. You can't go wrong with them."

"People would think I'd be biased against garlic since I'm from Transylvania - but nope! Love it."

- SlothActionForce

Art Vampire GIFGiphy

Cumin Around

"I don't know about best, but I love cumin."

- Brieflydexter

"Cumin makes everything more delicious."

- gaybe88mph

"I’ve just discovered Black Cumin. I put it in everything now."

- ilikecatsandukulele

Cross Eyed Dan Aykroyd GIF by Jason ClarkeGiphy

So Salty

"Salt. Without it any food will not taste good."

- Hypn0231

"Salt … It’s literally in everything and that’s why it’s always on the table."

- BanannyMousse

Stephen Curry Reaction GIF by MOODMANGiphy

Classic Flavor

"Vanilla people, it’s vanilla."

"Vanilla is a classic. How is this not everyone's first choice?"

- SoyLuisHernandez

Ice Cream Eating GIFGiphy

The Green Lid

"Garlic salt."

"But specifically the one at costco with the green lid."

- livewumbo

"All garlic salt is good, but green lid garlic salt hits different."

- [Reddit]

Licking Jackie Chan GIFGiphy

This Moment of Honesty

"I'm too Indian to answer this thread. 🤣"

- milk_y_bae

Bollywood Indian GIF by SAATH MNGiphy

You didn't honestly think we were going to make it through a spice article without a Spice Girls reference did you?

C'mon now. Y'all know I live for a good late 90's/early 00s reference!

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