Cooking Basics ~ Spice Spotlight: Saffron, Cardamon, Curry and Turmeric

The spice trails taken by the Europeans can be traced backwards from India to Arabia (formerly Asia Minor) to Africa to Egypt and all the way to the ancient Greco-Roman world. Wars were fought over precious spices and in the end … we all won! Because the end result of the wars and the global spice trade is that these days, exotic spices are readily available, either via online shopping or maybe even at your local grocery store. If you would like to learn about the history of spices, here are a few links of interest.

History and Politics, East India Company

Spices – History and Mystery (Pt 1)

Spices – History and Mystery (Pt 2)

India is not the only country that supplies herbs and spices to Europe and the USA, however, these days, it is a major exporter. The spices which were introduced to the West by way of India include, but are not limited to, cardamom, cassia, ginger, tamarind, curry, and turmeric.

Cardamon is referred to as the “queen of spices”.

Do you know which spice is called the “king of spices”? Saffron!

(Although some say it’s black pepper. Not me! I’m in the saffron camp.)

The origins of saffron are disputed. (History of Saffron.) But not its flavor, health benefits, or its recognition as the most valuable spice in the world.

Were I to recommend four (4) spices to turn my mundane everyday meals into un-everyday dining experiences, it would be saffron, cardamon, curry, and turmeric.

Were I thinking of a gourmet food gift for an aspiring chef or a friend or relative who wants to improve their cooking skills, it would be one or more of these delightful spices.


Kiva Gourmet, Spanish Saffron – La Mancha, Premium/200+ Grade (3-Gram Bottle)

Afghan Saffron Threads (250+ Grade A) World’s Premium Quality, Organically Grown, Non-GMO, Vegan Saffron (.05 once/1.5 gr)

Mehr Saffron, Premium All Red Saffron / 0.18 Oz (5 Gram)

The Gathering of Saffron Brand Saffron, Pure Spanish, 1 Ounce


Natural Green Whole Cardamom Pods (elaichi, elachi, hal) – 7 Oz, 200g. by Ganeshaspice

Simply Organic Cardamom, 2.82 Ounce


Not Just for Indian Food

Kitchens of India Paste for Butter Chicken Curry, 3.5-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 6)

Curry Spice Kit – 10 Authentic Spices Refill + A FREE Packet of Fenugreek Seeds

Pride Of India – Organic Curry Powder, Half Pound

Thai Style Green Curry , T09271936367he Gourmet Collection Spice Blend


Jiva Organics USDA Organic Turmeric Powder, 1 Pound

Organic Turmeric Root Powder (2lb) by Anthony’s, Certified Gluten-Free & Non-GMO (32 ounces)

Spicy World Turmeric Powder (Ground), 14 Ounce

Food To Live Turmeric Powder (Curcumin, Ground Turmeric Root) (2 Pounds)

This webpage was created by Everyday Exotic Spices (EES)

Please Visit EES Elsewhere on the Web

EES shares recipes, cooking tips
and all things foodie!


Do you have a favorite recipe using any of these spices?

Find your ancestors at

250x250 Gourmet Gifts

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If you have time, please visit my other pages for more gift ideas. My Wish List for You

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