Spice It Up

Looking to get creative in the kitchen? Here are some of the spices and ingredients the cooks use in their recipes and more information about them.

Coriander seeds in closeupCoriander
The leaves are known as cilantro, but coriander seed, whole or ground, produces different tastes to different people. At its best, coriander has a refreshing, citrus-like flavor. Others, however, have described the taste as “soapy.”

Azafran, or saffron, has a complex flavor that many people may describe in various ways, although many say it’s slightly bitter and semisweet. It also gives food a distinct yellow-orange coloring.

Ginger with leaves
Ginger with leaves

Ginger is mainly used in sweet delights such as ginger ale or gingerbread in Western cultures, but many others add its hot, fragrant taste to meat, fish, soups and curries.

A staple in South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking, turmeric is commonly used with savory food. In South Africa, turmeric is used to give a golden color to white rice.

Cumin may be most familiar as an essential spice in South Asian and Latin American cuisines, but it can also be found in some cheeses and traditional French breads. Cumin has a bitter taste when eaten raw but, when cooked, lends a warm and earthy taste to food.

While not a common meat in the United States, goat is used heavily in Africa, Asia, South America and Central America. Savory and less sweet than beef, goat has become more available – check with your local butcher.

plantain bananaPlaintains
Belonging to the banana family, plantains are starchy and low in sugar, and require cooking before eating. Plantains are popular in western African and Caribbean countries.

Specialty Grocery Stores

No matter the size of a grocery store, sometimes it doesn’t have what you need. These stores specialize in stocking diverse ingredients.


  • Al Sultan Grill and Bakery
    9515 E 51st St.
  • Ali Baba Mediterranean
    4709 E. 51st St.
  • Asian Mart
    12919 E 31st St.
  • Ebute-Metta Tropical Market.  
    6930 S. Lewis Ave.
  • El Mercadito.  
    2136 S. Garnett Road
  • Hornbill Oriental
    7282 S. Lewis Ave.
  • Jerusalem Market
    6124 E. 51st Place Suite B
  • Korean Oriental Food
    12771 E 41st St.
  • Laxmi Spices of India 
    5555 E 41st St.
  • Las Americas
    2118 E. Third St.
  • Middle East Market
    5459 S. Mingo Road
  • Nam Hai Oriental Food Market
    1924 S. Garnett Road
  • Siegi’s Sausage Factory
    8104 S. Sheridan Road
  • Supermercados Morelos
    2119 S. Garnett Road

Oklahoma City

  • Chinatown Supermarket
    1228 NW 27th St.
  • El Mariachi Supermercado
    3020 NW 16th St.
  • Feria Latina Supermarket
    4909 NW 23rd St.
  • Indian Grocery Store
    1901 E. Reno Ave.
  • Korean Oriental Market 
    1224 N. Eastern Ave., Moore.
  • Mediterranean Imports and Deli
    5620 N. May Ave.
  • Nunu’s Mediterranean Café and Market
    3131 W. Memorial Road, Suite B
  • OK Halal Meat and Grocery
    3620 NW 39th St.
  • OK Oriental Foods
    6000 SE 15th St.
  • Panaderia La Mexicana 
    909 SW 25th St.
  • Rosa Blanca Mexican Grocery
    1028 SW 29th St.
  • Sabri Foods
    13 E. Fourth St., Edmond
  • Saigon Taipei Market
    1648 SW 89th St.
  • Spices of India
    3810 NW 39th St.
  • Super Cao Nguyen
    2668 N. Military Ave.
  • Sweis Bros
    2115 N. May Ave.
  • Terry’s El Mariachi Supermercado
    3020 NW 16th St.
  • Travel by Taste Deli and Market
    488 N. MacArthur Blvd.
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