Which herbs do not go together in cooking?

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “Which herbs do not go together in cooking?” We will also discuss how to determine if two herbs or spices go well together. Moreover, we will also describe some common profiles of herbs and spices.

Which herbs do not go together in cooking?

Different herbs have different flavor profiles and not all of them can be used together while cooking. Some of the herbs that do not go together in cooking are as follows:

  • Basil doesn’t go together with horseradish and cloves
  • Anise doesn’t go together with pungent herbs.
  • Cilantro doesn’t go together with anise, fennel, and dill
  • Cardamom doesn’t go together with chives and lavender
  • Cinnamon doesn’t go together with rosemary and thyme
  • Coriander seed doesn’t go together with spices having floral flavors
  • Garlic doesn’t go together with dill as it overpowers the mild flavors of dill
  • Chives don’t go together with spices having floral flavors
  • Ginger doesn’t go together with very herbaceous and woody herbs
  • Lavender doesn’t go together with very pungent and bitter herbs
  • Lemongrass doesn’t go together with other citrusy and floral herbs
  • Mint doesn’t go together with bitter and hot spices
  • Nutmeg doesn’t go together with citrusy herbs
  • Oregano doesn’t go together with pungent herbs and spices
  • Parsley doesn’t go together with bitter herbs since it’s already bitter
  • Rosemary doesn’t go together with overly bitter spices and herbs
  • Sage doesn’t go together with spices having floral and citrus flavors
  • Thyme doesn’t go together with too pungent herbs

It has to be noted that combining spices with similar flavor profiles is not a good idea. This will only add more similar flavors which may mess up the balance of the food. Never pair two bitter herbs, pungent herbs, and citrusy herbs.

How to determine if two herbs go together while cooking?

It is important to learn about the flavor profile of the herbs and spices before you combine them or use them together in your recipes. Always start with small amounts, you can always add more if the flavors are not strong enough but adding too much at the same time can spoil your dish for good. 

Likewise, combining two strong herbs or spices is never a good idea. Instead, combine one herb with stronger flavors with another having mild flavors. This will balance off the flavors perfectly.

What are the different flavor profiles of herbs and spices?

There are different flavor profiles of different herbs and spices that should be considered before you decide whether to go well together or not. Some of them are described as follows:

Refreshing

Refreshing or cooling herbs give a cool and fresh sensation to your mouth. This cool sensation you get from herbs like mint is termed chemesthesis. This phenomenon occurs when particular chemical compounds in food stimulate certain receptors in your mouth. Herb and spices like spearmint, dill, fennel, sweet basil, and anise fall under this category.

Bitter

It is usually described as a pungent flavor. These kinds of herbs give off a strong aroma before you even taste them. This is also considered a defense mechanism but not all bitter things are harmful. Cilantro is one such example of an extremely pungent but healthy herb. 

Ajwain seeds, bay leaves, black cumin, celery seed, fenugreek seeds, oregano, lavender, mace, marjoram leaf, thyme, mustard, turmeric, etc fall under this the bitter or pungent spices or herbs.

Floral 

It can be compared with the fragrance of flowers. They are strong and peppery spices that give an ethereal scent. Spices like lemongrass, rose petals, saffron, sweet basil, thyme, and lavender are floral.

Nutty

These kinds of flavors are often found in high-protein seeds. They give off a buttery and fatty texture. Ajwain, black sesame, caraway seed, coriander seed, cumin seed, fenugreek, mustard, sesame seed, etc have a nutty aroma.

Woody

They give off warmth and some woodiness. Cinnamon slicks literally come from the bark of a tree, but not all woody spices necessarily come from the bark. Some examples of woody species are Cardamom, ceylon cinnamon, cloves, lavender, rosemary, sichuan peppercorns, etc.

Earthy

Earthy spices give deeper flavors. It provides great intensity to the dishes when combined with heat. Achiote, cumin, saffron, and turmeric are some of the earthy spices. Learn more about the most expensive spice saffron here.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “Which herbs do not go together in cooking?” We have also discussed how to determine if two herbs or spices go well together. Moreover, we have also described some common profiles of herbs and spices.

Citations

https://spicesinc.com/blogs/flavor-characteristics-spices#Earthy-Spices

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.