9 Must-have Herbs and Spices in American Kitchens

Originating from Europe, oregano gained popularity in North America post-World War II with the rise of pizza. Its robust aroma enhances Mediterranean dishes and chili, but its strong flavor demands careful pairing.


A versatile spice with ancient medicinal uses, ginger alleviates nausea and cold symptoms. It adds a spicy-sweet kick to marinades and desserts like chocolate or shortbread.


Known for its aromatic leaves reminiscent of cloves, basil enriches Italian cuisine, especially tomato-based dishes. Lemon basil complements chicken and desserts, while its stimulating properties historically treated various ailments.


Though a vegetable, garlic’s pungent taste and aroma enhance countless dishes, from dips to seafood. It belongs to the onion family and is prized for its culinary versatility.


Renowned for its medicinal properties, sage treats ailments and enhances savory dishes like pork and chicken. It’s used in healing rituals across cultures for its cleansing properties.


This evergreen herb, with a woody flavor, complements meats, root vegetables, and soups. Its oils are infused into wines and cooking oils, adding depth to dishes.


Beyond its sweet flavor in desserts, cinnamon regulates blood sugar and preserves food naturally. It’s used globally in both sweet and savory recipes, including chili and beef brisket.


A staple in Indian, North African, and Mexican cuisines, cumin aids digestion and has antiseptic properties. It’s valued for its bold, warm flavor in spice blends and meat dishes.


From India, black pepper is widely used for its spicy kick. It’s applied after cooking to enhance flavors, with white pepper offering a milder alternative for cream-based dishes.

Black Pepper

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