Imagine what would be like if we didn’t add spices and condiments to our food. How sad and unsatisfied our taste buds would be and how bland our life would really be. Without these little herbs the food we eat every single day would not have, even remotely, the same taste. The role of these spices is to enrich the flavor of the ingredients we use to cook. They add that extra something to the dish we prepared and can radically transform a banal food into something extremely exotic. And besides the taste value, spices are also very good for our health since they are packed with antioxidants. You may be familiar to the most common used condiments, but we want to show you a list of 10 exotic spices you should try.

10. Green Cardamom – exotic spices for your dessert

green cardamom exotic spices

You may have heard of cardamom, but how many of you have ever used it in a dish? Or smelled it? It has vague smell of menthol and camphor and if you inhale the smell after it’s freshly ground you will feel a deep sensation of coolness. Green cardamom is often used in Middle Eastern Indian and African foods but you can also use it for less exotic cuisine as well. Put some in you apple pie or bread. Tired of the same old cinnamon? Substitute it with green cardamom and your recipes will be taken to a whole new level.

9. Panch Phoran – exotic spices for exotic recipes

panch phoron exotic spices

Are you a fan of Indian food? We sure are. If you are too, than you should definitely try the panch phoran spice. It’s actually a combination of 5 whole seeds including mustard, cumin, nigella, fennel and fenugreek. It’s amazing for beef, chicken or lentil recipes. Make sure you fry the spices until they’re golden to fully release their flavor.

8. Black Truffle Salt – king of exotic spices

black truffle exotic spices

This one is truly an exquisite specialty. Some people believe that the black truffle is also an aphrodisiac thanks to its musky, heady flavor. They come from an underground fungus and are very well prized for their unique aroma. Black truffle salt can be added to most foods, from steak, to rice or even scrambled eggs.

7. Fennel Pollen

fennel pollen exotic spices

One of the most loved exotic spices in Tuscan cuisine is the fennel pollen spice. It comes from the flowers of fennel plants and it is harvested by hand. It’s similar in taste with that of fennel seed but it has a more floral, herby aroma. It goes perfectly with all kind of meats, from poultry to pork, delicious with seafood and even vegetables. Oh, and don’t forget to add some in you favorite bean dish. You’ll thank us afterwards.

6. Ghost Chili

ghost chili exotic spices

Some like it hot, we like it flammable. Extremely flammable. The ghost chili is the hottest chili in the world and you can add it to any kind of food that goes well with some extra heat. But be careful, use it accordingly because it’s very, very hot. We warned you.

5. Grains of Paradise

grains of paradise exotic spices

This should definitely should be in our top exotic spices, simply because is almost unknown in the U.S. Also known as melegueta pepper, it comes from a plant that grows in the western part of Africa. It tastes like a combination of black pepper and cardamom. It’s used both in African and European dishes like curries, spirits, beer. It’s also used in some desserts. Add some grains of paradise in your cookies to spice up their taste.

4. Asafetida

asafetida exotic spices

This exotic spice is known as the king of Indian cuisine and it’s very used in Pakistani and Afghani cuisine. It looks like a root, it’s dark brown and it smells like onion and garlic mixed together. Use it for lentil dishes because it gives a great taste and it’s also a digestive aid.

3. Urfa Biber

urfa biber exotic spices

Urfa biber is actually Turkish for pepper and it’s a rich, fruity crushed pepper that is amazing in all kinds of recipes. The taste is a bit hot and tangy with a little raisin taste that will compliment vegetables as well as meats, fruit dishes and desserts. Add some in you broccoli soup, mashed potatoes or pasta. Deeeelicious.

2. Sumac


This one could not miss from our list of exotic spices you should definitely try. It’s one of the most underrated spices that it’s actually a berry with a tangy, lemony taste. It’s best used as a finishing spice and it’s one you can use for all kinds of salads. In Persian cuisine it is used a lot in rice dishes. So try it next time when you cook rice.

1. Saffron

saffron exotic spices

Saffron is the most expensive exotic spices in the world. It comes from the stigma of the blue flowering crocus. It takes a lot of stigmas (200-500) to make just 1 gram of saffron. This explains why it’s so expensive. Saffron is used in many dishes like rice, seafood and sauces.

This was our list of exotic spices from around the world. What is your favorite one?