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Spice tips

Guide to spices, cut, rubbed, ground and granulated

Chopped, stripped, ground or granulated spices - what are the differences?

Online shops and supermarkets offer you a diverse and colorful selection of domestic and exotic spices. Some varieties are rubbed or granulated, while others are offered in whole pieces or cut. But what does that actually mean? Perhaps you are wondering when to use which type of spice?

With our informative guide about the different forms of spice we want to support you in your next decision.

The basics of the different forms of spice

Various parts of plants such as flowers, leaves and bark are used to make spices and herbs. First of all, the spices are dried. Further processing depends on the nature of the respective part of the plant.


Whole spices

Many spices are great for keeping whole. The advantage of whole spices lies in their natural flavor protection. If you want to use a whole spice to season your food, you can either grate it fresh with a spice grater or crush or grind it in a mortar.
Spices that you can store unprocessed:

  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • anise
  • Pepper
  • Caraway seed
  • cardamom
  • Star anise
  • chili
  • Vanilla pods


Freshly grated, crushed or ground spices smell particularly intense. Because thanks to their intact protective cover, they do not lose their essential oils. You can use whole spices for seasoning even after a long time ago shopping.


Ground spices and herbs

Ground spices are crushed, finely ground spice powder. With the help of a practical shaker you can easily dose it.
Popular ground spices:

  • Pepper
  • nutmeg
  • cinnamon
  • chili
  • paprika
  • garlic
  • turmeric
  • coriander
  • Onions
  • Lemon peel
  • Caraway seed


Finely ground spices are ideal for seasoning sauces, soups, hearty stews or dressings. You can extend their shelf life by storing each spice separately in a spice jar.


Regulated herbs

The aromas of dried herbs can be retained for the longest time by stripping the leaves and flowers.
Frequently used stripped herbs:

  • marjoram
  • basil
  • thyme
  • Savory
  • chervil
  • tarragon
  • Lovage


The flowers and leaves of sensitive herbs are nowadays stripped from the plant stems either by machine or by hand.


Chopped herbs

Kitchen herbs such as rosemary or mugwort are easier to cut than reel due to their needle-like or elongated leaf structure.
Kitchen herbs that are offered cut:

  • rosemary
  • chives
  • Mugwort
  • Bay leaves


Granulated spices

The fine grains of spice granules have a loose consistency. Granules of onions, garlic, carrots, chilli or ginger are popular. The vegetables used are cut, cleaned and then dried and chopped up after these steps.
Granulated spices have a much more intense taste. Be a little more careful when seasoning and rather add a little more seasoning.


Freeze-dried herbs

During the gentle process, the water is removed from the herbs after freezing using a vacuum. This preserves nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
Common freeze-dried herbs are:

  • garlic
  • Onions
  • Wild garlic
  • basil
  • oregano
  • thyme
  • marjoram
  • chives
  • rosemary


A pinch of freeze-dried herbs is usually enough to season or season a dish.

As you can see, it depends on your personal preference which spice variant you want to use when cooking your dishes. Basically, you can stick to this simple rule: the more crushed a spice is, the more practical you can use it. However, ground, rubbed or cut spices and herbs lose their aromas more quickly. It is therefore worthwhile to use whole spices from time to time. Because you can really spice up your dishes with freshly grated or crushed spices.