Herbs and spices are the heart of every dish. Therefore, you shouldn’t just buy any old thing.
Take cardamom for example. It’s on the pricier side of spices, and it’s completely worth it.
Because it can transform anything into a fully flavorful dish and a little bit goes a long way. You can add a sprinkle of powdered cardamom to anything from plain white rice to basic sugar cookies to create a completely new, highly flavorful dish.
But what if you find it cheaper?
I am all about saving money. I plan my budget out and try my best to stick to it. To save money, I raise many of my own veggies, only buy meats that are on sale or in a particular price bracket, and rarely purchase things on an impulse. Herbs and spices are a bit of an exception.
Herbs and spices need to be dried well, stored, and used frequently to maintain freshness. If not, your dish will suffer. Sure, food flavors are relevant to a meal. However, it is the herbs and spices within them that transforms them into something memorable.
Think about is, would you want spaghetti sauce made only from tomatoes? Probably not.
Spaghetti sauce made with tomatoes, minced garlic, basil, oregano, and rosemary, though, that’s a dish I would be ready to eat in a heartbeat. Herbs and spices are what makes your dish taste and smell so good, and it’s why you absolutely should not skimp on the spices.
All spices are not created equal.
I learned this the hard way, when I started substituting sub-par brands because they were cheaper. Sure, I could eventually achieve the flavors I wanted, but at the cost of using two to three times more of the herbs and spices I needed. I saved nothing. So while I have no qualms purchasing cheaper meats and veggies, I make sure I buy good spices, even if they may cost me a little more and I may have to purchase them at unexpected times. It is more than worth the investment.
Anytime I can make something as simple as lentils taste like a five-star dish by adding one a sprinkle of one spice, I think I’ve more than won.
Have you tried substituting less than favorable brands of herbs and spices for better versions? Did you regret it in the end? Let me know below.