Scouted relentlessly tries new products and scours the internet to recommend the best things for upgrading your life – so you don’t have to. Whatever you’re looking for, we’ve got you covered.
A friend of mine once referred to her spice rack as “essential self-care,” and while I rolled my eyes at first, now that I have built my own and stocked it with flavorings I never knew existed, I see what she was talking about. A spice rack, drawer, whatever you’re into, is a magical place of aromas, scents, tastes, flavors, and I like to think, memories too. Whenever I open mine, I’m barraged with aromas from past meals I’ve made, my childhood, and places I’ve traveled to. We all know the basics, like Red Chili Flakes, Cumin, and Onion and Garlic Powder, but what about those other, lesser known spices? Now that I’m stuck at home, and all the restaurants around me have closed, those have become everyday essentials. Here is a list of some of my favorite spices that I use to give my meals a little more zing.
I have a rosemary problem. They know me at the grocery store because of how much rosemary I buy. From steak, to focaccia, to roasted veggies, rosemary creates, to me, an irreplaceably soothing scent. I’m smelling it right now as I write this, and I feel like I’m in a garden, not my apartment. Buy a bottle, whether you just need to relax, or if you’re planning on doing some cooking later on.
If you’ve ever been in a pizzeria, you’ve seen it, next to the red chili flakes: the oregano shaker. I never really understood the appeal, and then a friend recommended I try out some Mexican oregano. It comes in whole cloves, and produces an earthy aroma that’s great in any Mexican dish I can think of (seriously, sprinkle some of this inside your next cheese quesadilla), and is a fragrant, and necessary additive to your next DIY pasta sauce.
I found out the hard way that people who love Old Bay will defend it to the death. It’s great on seafood, but I can’t think of a food item it’d be bad on. Can you? It almost tastes like Cajun spice blend, but not really. It tastes singular. It tastes like Old Bay.
Tajin will do more than amp up your basic meal, it will take it to the next level. With a combo of lime, chili peppers, and salt, your taste buds will light up like a switchboard. I’m salivating just thinking about it all over fruits, meats, and veggies.
Does Za’atar help boost your immune system? I’m not a doctor. I just know it’s a delicious mixture of spices including sesame seeds and dried sumac. It’s great on meat and vegetables, and I try not to eat hummus without it. You can also steep it in boiling water to make a delicious herbal tea.
Gochugaru is an essential spice in Korean cooking, but you can use it on anything. Unlike red pepper flakes, these provide a little sweetness that round out the spice and give it more layerings than just heat. If you’re developing it in a sauce, it’ll show it’s true self, but if you’re just dusting it atop of your next dish, it’ll pack a punch, and an added smokiness that is excellent.
Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel
If you ever wanted to put what’s on an everything bagel, on, well, everything, this creation from Trader Joe’s will let you. I was skeptical at first, but this is seriously good stuff.
Scouted selects products independently and prices reflect what was available at the time of publish. Sign up for our newsletter for even more recommendations. Don’t forget to check out our coupon site to find deals from Macy's, Walmart, Nordstrom Rack, and more. If you buy something from our posts, we may earn a small commission.