Posted on by Aylsa Webster

What constitutes a pantry staple will vary from persons to person, but no one can argue the importance of having these basic go-to herbs and spices around, especially for those busy weekday dinners. However, after years of using the same go-to seasonings, many people may find themselves in need of a change. For those who are looking to expand their culinary horizons and spice it up a little, but don’t know where to start to buy fresh herbs online, here is a simple breakdown of some common, and some not so common, versatile pantry basics.

Cilantro

Cilantro is either a love it or hate herb, and it may have more to do with genetics and less to do with personal preferences. However, given the versatility of this herb, used in recipes from Mexico to Vietnam and South Africa to India, it is definitely worth a try. For those who love it, the flavour is described as fragrant, refreshing, and citrusy.

When buying fresh herbs online be aware that coriander is dried cilantro seeds.

Marjoram

This flavourful herb is a unique combination of woodsy, flora, and citrus. Used in a variety of recipes, from soups to vegetable seasoning, this multipurpose herb can often be used as a replacement for oregano, providing a slightly sweeter, milder flavour. 

Sage

Not just for seasoning your thanksgiving turkey, sage has a pronounced earthy flavour, combined with touches of mint and pepper, that when used sparingly, can add flavour and depth to many dishes, particularly those that are heavy, rich, and creamy.

Savory

Technically a member of the mint family, savory is one of the main herbs in Herbes de Provence, a very popular seasoning blend used in Europe. With an aromatic peppery taste, savory makes a great herb for meats and stews.

Dill

With a subtle, slightly lemony, and fresh aroma, this herb is very popular in Eastern European cooking, but often overlooked in North American kitchens. This delicate herb is a perfect complement to fish, soups, cucumbers, and cream based dips.

Rosemary

This herb has a pungent, distinctive scent that is easily recognizable in cooking. The woodsy flavour of evergreen combined with notes of lavender, pepper, mint, and sage make it a seasoning unlike any other. Used primarily in Mediterranean and Italian cooking, this fresh herb has also made its way into a number of trendy cocktails.