Ask Evan: What Spices Should I Always Have in My Spice Cabinet?

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Every Tuesday I answer a question from a Good Food listener. You can email me a question, leave one on Facebook or add one in the comments section here. This week’s comes from Peter: 

Do you have a list of essential spices for the home kitchen? I’m remodeling, and now seems like an excellent time to refresh and update my staples. Thanks!

Hi Peter. I’m a big believer in replacing spices every year or so. Each of us has a list that we hit hard and then a secondary list that we use infrequently. Think about what you use a lot. Since we have so many fresh herbs in Southern California, when it comes to dry spices my essential list is: Maldon Salt, Black Peppercorns, White Peppercorns, Saigon Cinnamon, Whole Nutmeg, Greek Oregano, French Whole Thyme, Dalmatian Rubbed Sage, Chile Pepper Flakes and New Mex Chile Powder. I cook a lot of Indian food at home so I also have Whole Coriander Seed, Cumin Seeds, Black Mustard Seeds. Whole spices keep better and you can roast and grind them when you need.