10 Essential Spices

I was reading a post from Ella at thewackyspoon.com recently and she mentioned a “Well Stocked Spice Cabinet” and that made me think about my ten essential spices.  It didn’t take me very long for to come up with my ten.  These are the things I use nearly every day.  I’m taking a certain liberty by adding some dried herbs because I treat them like spices.


black pepper corns

garlic powder

chili powder


cayenne pepper





I believe many of these would find their way on many cook’s essential 10.  What I find interesting (and sad) is what didn’t make the cut.

onion powder, bay leaves (laurel), paprika, turmeric, parsley, mint, sage, chocolate (yes, chocolate!)…  The list goes on and on. 

Spices and herbs are the things we, as cooks, use to make mundane food exceptional.  All manner of vegetables, fruit and meats are heightened by the spices we add.  What would our world be without our favorite spices?

Thank you, Ella for giving me something to ponder!

I am adopting a new kitchen motto: 

Keep it simple, but add lots of spice!

I’m interested to see what others might offer for their top ten…