What is everyone's least favorite spice in the kitchen.
By - drunkastronomer
TIL lots of people really can’t stand cloves.
I'm a freak and love cloves.
My pumpkin pie is... controversial.
Get an orange and stick a bunch of cloves in it and put it in your bathroom. It makes the room smell amazing.
the first time i ever met cloves was when i was in girl scouts and we were making christmas decorations, including clementines studded with said cloves. i have loved that smell combo ever since.
I think it's more that ground cloves will overpower anything they're in, unless you use a tiny amount. I use whole cloves all the time in Indian food, and that adds a nice, subtle element. But if a recipe calls for ground cloves, more than about 1/8 of a teaspoon, I'm going to prepare to get punched in the mouth by cloves.
Yeah I used the wrong spoon making pumpkin pie once - never did it again!
I wonder if there's a genetic component to liking or disliking it, the way some people can't handle cilantro or tomatoes. Seems to be a very love-or-hate kind of flavor.
I think a lot of it might be that people have only been exposed to ground cloves, which have a way stronger flavor than whole cloves. Traditionally cloves are used whole and then fished out before eating.
Best put in a sachet. I use fiber spice sacks that hang on to the side of the pot and you can pull them out like a teabag.
Yeah I don't get it myself. I love the aroma of cloves! A little goes a long way, for sure, but have always enjoyed their presence
I have a love/hate relationship with tarragon. I never think ah yes! I taste tarragon! It’s more like oh this is tarragon. Tarragon is what I am eating.
I’m trying to learn to like it, but it’s not helping.
I haven't tried to use the spice on its own too often, but there are some mustards (I know one mustard with it which is very popular in Austria, "estragon" being the spice's french/german name) with tarragon in it that taste very good, when applied correctly.
I've also encountered tarragon in a hot sauce by Chili Klaus, combining the tarragon with jalapeño and apple. It might sound gimmicky given the price and how (reasonably) famous Klaus himself is, but it was an amazing taste combination.
Sum of the cardamom: Tarragon is amazing, you just have to learn when to use it.
Edit: Grammar/spelling, and clarification.
Estragon sounds like a pharmaceutical for hormone replacement therapy
I don't normally like it but there's this recipe a friend made for me, it's basically a butter lemon sauce with chicken and linguine, and tarragon is just the thing for it.
I believe, intellectually, that tarragon could be used to make something good. I just haven't experienced it.
A couple of leaves goes a long way in chicken stock! But literally just a couple. One time I put about 10 of them in my chicken stock, and suddenly it tasted like tarragon stock. But tarragon *can* actually do wonders if it's allowed to be a team-player rather than the main character of a dish.
That's what I was going to add, some ground up with the spice blend for your roast chicken or in chicken stock. I grow it in my garden and dehydrate my own, but that's pretty much the only thing I use it with, I just like having a lot of fresh herbs planted as much as possible.
Fresh tarragon and lemon butter under chicken skin for a roast is phenomenal.
In the country of Georgia is a tarragon flavored, carbonated, sweet soda pop, Tarhuna. I love it!
I have just a hate relationship with it. Partly brought on by my mom's overuse of it(she's scared of most seasonings but loves that crap), but even if it's subtle it's still a flavor I would prefer not be present.
Tarragon tastes like black licorice/anise to me, which I'm not a fan of. If a recipe calls for tarragon, I almost always swap it out for thyme or something similar. Or just make something else.
I think most people don’t like the anise flavor. I do but I think most people don’t
Kitchen confession: I’ve never really figured out how to use Tarragon.
No or few recipes that I’ve encountered ask for it. I buy it occasionally just because, but what to do with it??? I half-heartedly add it to random no-recipe dishes when I’m improvising and want a different flavor profile and it seems tasty enough, but what should I really do with it??? Too lazy to actually look it up and use it purposefully. Based on these comments maybe I shouldn’t bother….
Make tarragon vinegar. A few fresh sprigs in a pint of white vinegar. Let it mellow on the shelf for three months. Use as a you would any salad vinegar. Great in cole slaw dressing, tartar sauce, vinegrettes or use on fried fish as you would malt vinegar.
I fell in love with it when my step-mother made a 4-ingredient chicken recipe with cream, white wine and tarragon. Still go light on the terragon, you don't want it tasting like licorice.
Rosewater. I can't use it without ending up making grandmother's underwear drawer instead of what ever dish I was attempting to actually make.
I put a tiny bit in kheer. It goes well with the cardamom in it.
Me and my homies love rose flavors
I LOVE the flavor of rose.
I remember the first time I had rosewater dessert at an Indian restaurant. "Ah, yes. Dove hand soap ice cream. Delightful."
Reminds me of reading Jeffrey Steingarten's book, where, while listing his most hated foods, he said that all Indian desserts invariably taste like cosmetic products. So that must be how he came to that conclusion lmao.
I really dislike rose anything, even most roses smell gross to me. It's a wonder to me that some people want it in their food much less in larger quantities.
You're not alone. I prefer the use of orange water.
Same. Hate everything rose smelling.
I used to be indifferent to the smell. But lately for some reason I’m obsessed. Last week I bought rose scented shampoo, conditioner, body wash and a leave in conditioner. The hair stuff actually works extremely well for my hair. My hair tends to get greasy pretty quick and I can’t get it to thicken back up to save my life. I’ve been using it for a week and have noticed definite improvement. It just looks and feels so much healthier all around! My buddy also gave me his rosy body spray that he stopped using once he found a scent he liked better. Today it was hand soap, body lotion, and face cleansing wipes. I almost bought a face mask and exfoliator as well. Had to force myself to put some back. Would have bought the deodorant if it smelled more rosy… it just makes me happy 💁♀️
Edit: forgot about the foaming facial cleanser. Bought that too.
Also just realized I’m in a cooking thread…
My co worker once put a few drops in my water bottle and when I took a gulp I thought I was having a stroke for a second.
So yea I second this
CARAWAY. There is no amount small enough to not be too much.
I despise the taste. Made me hate rye bread, I don't think I've ever had a rye bread that wasn't filled with caraway. I stumbled upon a place serving everything bagels but they included caraway with it, and it just completely overpowered everything else and ruined the bagel. At that point it was no longer an everything bagel, just a rye bagel.
The seemingly permanent association of caraway with rye bread is really upsetting. I think I might like rye bread, as in bread made with rye flour, if it wasn't always covered with that demon seed, but it always is.
Well then.. you are banned from Buffalo!
Have you ever had a beef on weck?
Yo wtf? You guys call your rolls weck in Buffalo? In Germany there are tons of regional words for bread rolls (it's like the pop/soda thing but with a few more variations). Brötchen, Brötli, Semmel, Brötla, Schrippe. Weck or Wecken happens to be the word for it in the region I'm from. Buffalo must have had a lot of German immigrants from that part of Franconia or Hesse for it to have been established. Crazy
I'm not sure that I have. I'll bite: what IS a beef on weck?
Roast beef on kummelweck (a roll with caraway seeds)
Take beef, put on weck, add caraway.
You realize it's the weck part that's confusing, right?
For those that don't know, weck is a variation on a Kaiser roll (kümmelweck).
I’m not a big fan of fennel. It’s too much for me.
Same, actually any anise-like licorice flavored seed doesn't suit me at all.
Try it out in an Indian dish and it might change your tune a little bit. [This](https://www.hookedonheat.com/intro-to-indian-part-2-a-lesson-in-lentils/) lentil dish is phenomenal.
I'm not a fan of fennel either. It's shame almost all "italian" style store bought sausage seems to have fennel in it.
It’s funny because that’s what I love so much about Italian sausages
Came here to say this. I made a tomatoe based sauce the other day and being that I'm new to cooking, I couldn't figure out what it was missing. My dad who's been cooking for years suggested fennel was to blame. I was pretty early in in the simmering process so I added ground fennel and man did it just compete the flavor. Which is weird for me cause I very much don't that particular flavor in candy.
I used to think I hated some sausages because of their intestine casing, but it turns out the rancid shit flavor was fennel all along
I have an extreme dislike of lavender, particularly the smell
I love everything that smells like lavender—it’s one of my favorite smells. But I don’t want to eat or drink it. Anything with lavender flavoring is naaaasty to me!
Ugh, I agree. I despise lavender flavored things. Feels like eating soap or perfume.
I know I’m objectively wrong in this, but I’m a very-little-and-only-in-specific-cases girl when it comes to cinnamon. Had a bad experience with fireball whiskey in college, and it pretty much ruined the whole flavor for me
Ceylon cinnamon might be worth checking out. Assuming your experience is with the common Vietnamese cinnamon (lighter color), I'd recommend trying ceylon because it definitely has a different flavor.
> Had a bad experience with fireball whiskey
Worst hangover ever involved this particular beverage. We were out at the lake in the dead of a Saskatchewan winter (-40) but their outdoor hot tub was running strong and I was the first one in there and the last one out but I ran out of my own booze early on so I started drinking someone's Fireball. Later in the evening, I am shown to my sleeping quarters, which is the boathouse that has a heater blasting everything up over 100 degrees in there that I can't drunkenly figger out how to turn off and there's no running water in there. Worst. Hangover. Ever.
Dear god, that sounds *bad*. Mine was at a college birthday party where the drink of choice was Fireball and peach Snapple. Yartzed explosively the next morning, and could *not* get the clinging taste of cinnamon to stop repeating on me all day. Hungover to within an inch of my life. It was *sickening*. Even now when I taste cinnamon, it’s like the Fireball is coming back to finish me off.
Some kind of Yiddish portmanteau?
Lol... portmanteau has more than one meaning. I read this and thought: "Why bring up sturdy, Jewish luggage?" 😆
This is the first time of heard of that other definition of portmanteau hahaha
Regional slang for throwing up, of course
yeah my worst hangover ever was when I was 18 and in my 2nd semester of college and this girl I wanted to go out with brought over Fireball and those bud light margarita in a can things. worst hangover I've ever had to this day.
I really hate cinnamon... and it’s everywhere in US, pies and dessert. It’s smell and tastes are just horrible to me.
I'm chewing cinnamon-flavored gum right now. First stick I've chewed in years, which weirdly makes me feel connected to you, when it should do the opposite.
Unless it's a cinnamon roll, I'm not a fan. It definitely needs a light touch.
Sage. It’s just too informative.
Ain’t nobody got thyme for that.
Rosemary has joined the chat.
My sister always hated poultry dressing - she tested positive to being allergic to sage.
That’s very convenient.
Ahh but the reason she always felt sick after
A big turkey or chicken supper.
I would advise against it.
Take my freebie, for this one, good sir.
Chinese 5 spice is way too heavy on the clove for my taste, same for Advieh.
In general, I only like a pinch of ground cloves in dessert spice mixes, hate it in savory dishes.
I also don't like anise seed, fennel seed, chervil, and anything that reminds me of liquorice.
I have a recipe for Chinese Five Spice baked chicken wings that are phenomenal
I don't believe you. Link it anyway, I am a masochist.
Judging from your second comment, are you sure it’s not the ANISE in Chinese 5 spice you don’t like?
I’m with you on the licorice flavor, although as I age I find my tastes have grown a little. I won’t eat italian sausage in quantity, but I can now tolerate a small amount.
Same with Chinese five spice. I was adding a little to eggroll filling the other day, and somehow added about twice what I intended. I liked it anyway!
It’s so divisive isn’t it? I personally love the “anise family” but so many people can’t tolerate it.
I think jt really must be something that we acquire a taste for in childhood. Older western and Northern European recipes used it much more, but it seems to have been dropped as a mainstream ingredient for the past 50-100 years.
I love licorice/star anise flavor but even o go super super light on 5 spice, it’s meant to be a hint, not like garlic powder or paprika where you can put a lot and be fine.
Celery seed. Can’t stand the stuff. I do like celery.
Hate fennel seeds, love raw fennel.
I love all of the spices everyone has mentioned. I am having a really harm time thinking of one that I don't enjoy.
Cloves…whole and ground
Reminds me of my college roommate who used to smoke clove cigarettes…in the house.
Mmm clove cigarettes, good ol high school days
I can still taste the Djarum Blacks.
Only thing whole cloves are good for is studding oranges for Christmas.
Pumpkin pie! Pepparkakors! ...Yep, that's about all I can think of.
I love it with dried orange in black tea. Or, you can just buy Stash's orange spice.
Fennel and cilantro. I have the gene where cilantro tastes like soap.
It doesn't taste like soap to me, but it does taste way too strong. Just a dash in a dish and it's all I can taste.
Same with lime.
They're like flavours with the volume turned up too high.
Had to scroll pretty far down for this. Cilantro tastes like soap. Can't tell me otherwise.
Allspice. Or cloves.
Flashing back to that time I was making enchiladas and grabbed the cloves instead of the cumin
Oof. Last week I grabbed the ground cloves and dumped it all over my avocado toast thinking I had grabbed the crushed red pepper instead. A solid reminder for coffee first, everything else later!
Ooooh that hurts
It was not good
What do you mean. That sounds clovely
Swedish background - we use lots of allspice, cloves, nutmeg and lots and lots of cinnamon.
Jerk flavor can be overpowering with the allspice, clove, cinnamon. I've had good jerk chicken but it's hard the order at a restaurant because I don't want to chance it tasting like pumpkin spice.
I don't even know what to use clove for
Ham is traditionally poked all over with cloves before being cooked. Clove is also used in Chinese 5-spice and garam masala so it's already in a lot of things you probably eat if you eat Chinese or Indian food.
It's quite common in British baking - things like fruitcakes (Christmas cakes) and spice cakes always have it.
If you get a small orange, poke whole cloves into the skin. Use as many as necessary to completely cover the orange. Tie a ribbon it and hang it in a closet. The orange will dry up, and your closet will smell wonderful !
Mulled wine is all that come to mind
Same for me. I could add nutmeg to this list as well. Add a little of these - no perceivable difference. Add a little more - dish ruined. I don't dislike the flavors but they are strong and can easily overpower everything.
Oh man nutmeg is like my secret ingredient to perfect alfredo sauce. Def makes a difference.
Try freshly grated nutmeg! I find the flavour much less pungent and more rounded, and it adds a nice kind of warmness. I add it to things like ricotta/spinach mixes (for rolls or lasagnas or whatever), in quiches, or in white sauces sometimes. Basically anything creamy it gives a good body too
Also whole nutmegs will last the average cook literally forever and still smell fresh whenever you need to grate a bit off. It's a much better long-term buy than ground nutmeg.
Do you have a good way to make it from scratch?
It's so much better than what you can buy in a store.
It's pepper with dried lemon zest. There's no non-labour intensive way to replace that.
Wow, I love that stuff. I put it on all my fish, and sometimes my chicken.
Star anise... A tiny bit goes a LONG way!
Not. A fan. At. All.
ever had long pepper? A relative of black pepper that the ancient Romans used. It was largely replaced over time by black pepper. Now it's fairly rare. I ordered some to try, out of curiosity. It's very pungent and not like anything else I've ever smelled. I found it kind of unsettling, maybe because of its unfamiliarity. I ended up wrapping it up tightly and stashing it away.. haven't done anything with it yet.
It's so strong. You can find it in Asian markets. That's what South Asians used before they acquired chiles (chillies). It was very popular in parts of East Asia too.
White pepper. I cannot get past the barnyard/manure smell of it.
Woah this is so weird to me. I’ve never heard this , and so many people that agree.
oof, agreed. the first time i bought and used white pepper i thought i got a bad batch bc it was just foul. then i learned that's what it's supposed to taste like and decided it's not for me.
Omg. Someone else thinks it smells like a barn! I thought I was crazy.
Oddly enough. I enjoyed it cooked.
Smoked Paprika doesn't blend it's flavor really well, whatever you make with it will just taste like smoked paprika
Any smoke flavor really stands out. I sometimes use liquid smoke to make BBQ tuna salad but it has to be several drops.
agree with this one, i try so hard to use juuuussst a little on recipes that ask for it, always ruins the dish for me
THIS. I always see recipes and people on here raving over it. I put a tiny sprinkle in my chili or what have you. Bam, all I taste is smoke, which I don't love. And not even a good smokey flavor.
Agreed. It completely overtakes - I also don't like regular paprika, but for the opposite reason. What does it even do? I can't even taste it in anything I've used it in. They're pretty much the two spices I never have in the house (I have a huuuge spice collection).
According to Hungarians the correct way to use paprika is to literally toss an entire handful in lol. Thier dishes (like gulyas, csirke paprikas etc) HEAVILY feature paprika. Paprika makes these dishes, and it's not quite the same if you use too little.
Generally any seasoning blend that contains salt. They always have too much salt for my taste and I would rather make the blend myself and separately put in the amount of salt I want.
I bought salt-free Tony Chachere's Cajun seasoning. Much better than the salty kind.
That's the one thing I really wish they'd leave it off the "Everything, but the Bagel" seasonings. It's a bit too much salt in an otherwise lovely mix.
White pepper- it smells and tastes kinda poopish to me
Always smelled like a barnyard to me. But I’ve learned to love it in some dishes, especially Chinese ones.
There absolutely are Chinese dishes that just won't work unless you add some white peppercorns. It's a pretty crucial part of the overall flavor of these dishes.
oh my god is it a genetic thing? My gf ordered a mixed pepper blend instead of our regular black pepper one time and the first 4 or 5 times I used it I thought I had failed to clean the pan or that something was rotting in the food. But she couldn't smell it at all
Yes! I've never understood this because I love regular black pepper, green and pink peppercorns... But white pepper smells like actual feces to me. I'll get a whiff in restaurants and think PFFWWWOOAARRRRR what was that?!!
One summer my family rented a house for a week, and there was this strong unpleasant smell in the kitchen I could not identify or localize. After 5 days I found a decomposed container of dill in one of the China cabinets . It had kind of melted and when I tried to pick it up the container broke and that old dill was everywhere.
i can smell this comment and i'm not happy about it
I used to have no opinion on dill, until I went to Greece and ordered a lamb dish at a restaurant that was loaded with it, and learned at the worst moment that I wasn't a fan.
The owner noticed I wasn't eating as eagerly I had been on the previous courses, and generously offered to have the kitchen whip up something else for me. I was completely embarrassed to be caught not enjoying their food (and was totally willing to force myself through all the dill), but they were beyond kind and insisted on making me something else.
So anyway now I know.
Yea this is my answer. It just overpowers anything it’s in. I refuse to make pickles with it because you don’t taste anything but vinegar and dill. Also refuse to make ranch with it, it drowns out any of the other flavors in the ranch.
What's your dill man?
Any amount of cardamom tastes too cardamom to me
Opposite problem: I am a slut for cardamom and I always think people don't add enough (or use dry ass pods), especially in desserts. I wish a Scandinavian Bakery would open near me.
Same. I routinely double it. And add it to any "warm spice" baked goods even when not called for. Freshly ground with freshly grated nutmeg? Bliss.
>Freshly ground with freshly grated nutmeg? Bliss.
In tea? Bliss.
In cocktails? Bliss.
Creme brulée? Bliss.
In curries? Bliss.
In poached fish? Bliss.
In white rice? Bliss.
My brain tried really hard to convince me you typed "poached piss"
Yeah, all the cardamom in the world wouldn't help with that 😅.
If you drink coffee, try dropping 3-4 cardamom pods in with the coffee grounds when you brew.
I use the glen and friends recipe to make kardemummabullar - it’s not as much work as it might seem and the results are will satisfy your cravings.
Source: am cardamom whore.
Same! Have you ever had Kheer? It's an Indian rice pudding just loaded with cardamom. It's life changing.
Love Kheer. It's so refreshing in summer. I make it with raisins and sliced almonds.
But have you ever had cardamom waffles? They are delish!
I made cardamom/cranberry/cocoa nibs Rice Krispies treats a couple times. 'Twas a huge success.
Agh, no. No way. Take it back!
I'm surprised how far down I had to scroll to find this, and that all the replies disagreed. It's fine as a background spice but so many curries are just "fuck you, get some cardamom in ya" and my tongue goes on vacation for an hour
Cayenne powder is worthless to me. I love heat but why on would you want heat with so little aroma and character from the pepper?
Chef John uses cayenne on most everything he makes. It's his schtick. He said he believes that it enhances the other flavors of the dish, although he admits there's no science behind this belief.
I use it the same way he does, just throw a dash in most everything I make. I have come to agree with him.
Exactly. I use it in everything. Add heat without messing with the flavor of your dish
Makes sense. Adding hot sauce adds acid, regardless of the brand. As someone that's bad about adding acid, it's generally the preferred route for me, but I'm sure there are places it doesn't make sense.
Do you have any alternatives you prefer?
I like using cayenne in dishes that are already spicy, to help kick the heat up a notch without making the flavor overpowering, but I'm curious if there's a better way.
Perhaps you want some heat from say chipotle peppers without being so overbearing on the chipotle flavor
Sometimes I want heat without altering the flavor profile of a dish. Then I reach for the cayenne.
Nutmeg. Evert time Is recipe calls for it, I don't like the dish.
Have you tried mace blade? It's the outer lace-like shell of nutmeg, it has a similar but more delicate flavor profile which is better suited for savory dishes.
I have not. I must look into this.
I nominate fenugreek seeds. They almost make me gag
Turmeric. And this opinion is bias - a friend of mine uses A LOT in their cooking so maybe if I had it in a dish “correctly” I could appreciate it.
Same, but because it's so easy to stain something with it, not because of the flavour.
Put whatever is stained out in the sun. It’s the best thing to remove turmeric stains. My SO was skeptical that this would work with a recently stained synthetic placemat, and admittedly it took 2-3 days in the sun, but it worked!
That's difficult when the stain is on your countertop.
Window and mirrors, adjust as needed. Ain't got no quitters in this house! 😤
I used it to dye some things on purpose. Very stable color 🤣
If you have an opportunity I would suggest trying it fresh some time instead of powdered. It's definitely not something I would just toss into any random dish though. And it's best used in relatively small amounts.
See, that's interesting, because I've always found that dishes using turmeric do so more for the colour/ health benefits then the flavour. Personally I can never really taste it, but I suppose the quantity must be making the difference there.
I have a love hate relationship with cinnamon. I love it in sweet/baked goods, I hate it in almost every savoury application, even if it's just a tiny sprinkle - I pick it out and it is always overpowering to me.
Saffron. There is almost no line between "can't detect" and "overpowering" for me. It also doesn't help that the latter case tastes like chlorine to me. 😝
Fortunately you're probably helping your wallet by disliking it.
Chipotle powder’s flavor is not stronger than the punishment I receive for using it.
Fennel. Once made this recipe that had far too much fennel in it whilst I was learning to cook.
Never felt more hatred for an inanimate jar that sits at the back of my cupboards.
I hate rosemary
Rosemary completely overpowers the dish and taste like pine cones to me.
We call it the 'tastes like you're eating a pine tree' herb. Not quite as concise as saying rosemary, but so much more accurate!
Been waiting for someone to say this
YES me too. In my early 20's I dated a girl who insisted on cooking dinner for me one night. The meal consisted of covering a block of cheese in lots of dried rosemary, butter and crushed up speculoos, then cooking it in the microwave for 7 minutes. Served with a side of supermarket bread. It was incredibly rubbery, burnt and crusty, but I still ate it to be polite. She loved it, while I was fighting to keep down every bite.
Before that incident, my relationship with rosemary was just fine. Now I gag just from the smell, whether it's dried or fresh. I can't even eat pine nuts anymore because they have a faint rosemary-like taste.
Omg this is so sad, she really wanted to impress you 😭
I don’t know what it is about Rosemary, but it tastes so “off” to me. On the verge of tasting like mould but not quite.
How. Dare. You. Sir. Or. Madam.
I just don't like it because of the smell. Primarily in the cabinet. My girlfriend tells me it smells like BO.