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Our Herbs, Spices, Oil & Vinegar

Find out more about the wonderful herbs and spices available from Cole & Mason
Herbes de Provence
This staple of French cooking has only been available to buy elsewhere in the world since 1970. We have US chef Julia Child to thank for introducing it to home cooks outside of France when she used it in her classic cookbook.
Organic rock salt
Unlike sea salt, which comes from seawater, rock salt is mined underground, where ancient seas once flowed hundreds of millions of years ago. In the ancient world, it was so precious that people used it as currency. Over the centuries, it's been used in everything from religious ceremonies to Egyptian mummies. But we think it works best in the kitchen.
African pearl salt
As well as being one of the world's rarest and most unusual salts, African pearl salt has to be among the most beautiful. The salt crystals naturally form into smooth, round, pearl-shaped beads as they're tossed to and fro in the water. The locals harvest them by hand, wading waist-deep into the water and scooping the beads up in buckets.
Pink Himalayan salt
Pink Himalayan salt is a rock salt, not a sea salt. It comes from the salt plains of Pakistan, in the foothills of the legendary mountains. Hailed as one of the purest salts in the world, it's also the most eye-catching thanks to its naturally pink hue. Every crystal is mined, milled and sieved by hand, as it has been for thousands of years.
Hawaiian black salt
As the name suggests, our Hawaiian black salt is harvested off the coast of Hawaii, from the waters of the Pacific. Despite also being known as 'black lava salt', the colour doesn't actually come from volcanic lava. Instead, it's blended with activated charcoal, which some say is good for the gut. We don't know about that. But we do love the way it instantly livens up any plate.
Persian blue salt
Our Persian blue salt comes from just one salt mine in northern Iran. They only harvest a small amount every year, making it one of the rarest salts in the world. Unlike other coloured salts, the colour comes not from a mineral, but a trick of the eye – the salt's crystalline structure fractures light in an unusual way.
Truffle salt
Even in the classical world, truffles were a rare luxury. Despite countless attempts to grow them over the years, they stubbornly refuse to grow except in the wild. Luckily, a little bit of truffle goes a long way. A light shaving is enough to transform a dish. We make our truffle salt by infusing sea salt with black truffles.
Garlic salt
Thousands of years ago, the ancient Chinese, Egyptians, Romans and Greeks all used garlic as medicine. And while it's always been popular across Europe and Asia, we've been slower to embrace its charms on this side of the Channel. But today, we make our garlic salt by infusing sea salt with garlic grown right here in the UK.
Smoked salt
Originally, people used smoke to preserve meat and fish. In the days before fridges, it was one of the few ways to make meat and fish last through the winter. These days, we just like the taste. But smoking can be a messy affair. We smoke our salt over wood chips until they absorb the flavour, so you can just sprinkle it on.
Celery salt
In many cuisines, celery is a staple ingredient that forms the base of almost every dish – the Italian sofrito, the Spanish refogado, the French mirepoix. Its warm, slightly bitter taste helps lift tomato-based sauces and juices. Our celery salt is a blend of sea salt and celery.
Coarse sea salt
Sea salt has been around since prehistoric times: from China, to northern Africa, to the Mediterranean. Over the years, it's been used as a medicine, in sacred rituals and even as currency (it's where the word salary comes from). Unlike rock salt, which is mined, sea salt is made by leaving saltwater to evaporate in the sun. And that's still how we make ours today. The minerals and algae in the water flavour the salt, giving each variety its own unique taste.
Za'atar seasoning blend
This blend of seeds has been part of Middle Eastern culture for thousands of years. It's mostly used in cooking, but you can also find it in medicine and perfume. Za'atar's long-standing popularity is most evident in Lebanon. For many Lebanese people, it's the aroma of childhood and a symbol of national pride. A mixture of za’atar with olive oil is a common spread on Lebanese bread.
BBQ seasoning blend
The word 'barbecue' is hard to trace back to its roots. But it might well have come from the Spanish when they first encountered Caribbean natives slow-cooking meat over wood. Barbecue's history becomes much easier to track by the time it reached America in the late 18th century. The Americans took to it as a way of cooking lots of meat quickly – making it ideal for outdoor parties and religious festivals. There were plenty of pigs in the region, so pork was the most common meat on the American barbecue.
Steak marinade blend
This marinade brings together herbs and spices from all over the world, but we blend them here in the UK. Its kick comes from black pepper, red bell pepper, allspice pimento, dill, mustard and chilli. And for depth and earthiness, it has garlic, onion, salt, bay leaf and rosemary.
Pickling spice
Pickled foods are more diverse than many realise. Far beyond dill and cucumber, there are sweet, sour, salty and hot varieties of all kinds. Eastern Europeans eat sauerkraut, a fermented cabbage. Koreans make Kimchi, which has fermented cabbage and radishes at its core. The French eat spiced cornichons with pâté and cheeses. And in the Middle East, people pickle foods like peppers and lemons.
Ras el hanout seasoning blend
Ras el hanout roughly translates to 'top of the shop' in Arabic. Because it was generally seen as the finest blend of spices available in a merchant's shop. So the contents of this Moroccan blend can differ hugely, with anything from 10 to 80 ingredients. North Africa used to be an important hub for spice traders going between Europe and Asia. This is probably why Moroccans used such a diverse number of spices in their food – they had a lot to choose from.
Mexican fajita seasoning blend
Fajita means 'little strap', which is a reference to thin skirts of steak. Skirt steak is an affordable cut of meat, which started gaining popularity when ranchers gave it to Mexican cowboys as part of their wages. The Mexican ranch workers would flash cook the skirt steak on campfires. Then they'd cut the meat into the thinnest strips they could, to make it less chewy. They wrapped the meat up in warm tortillas, and sat around the campfire with their families for the first fajita nights.
Mexican chilli seasoning blend
Most Mexican cuisine goes back a long way. It goes back as far as the agricultural traditions of the Native Americans, Aztecs and Mayans, who ate meals based on corn, beans and rice. But tacos are probably the most famous street food in modern-day Mexico. They come with countless combinations of fillings, like red meat, seafood, guacamole, chicken, cheese and lots of others. The only universal ingredient is the tortilla wrap.
Tandoori spice blend
A 'tandoor' is a kind of oven traditionally used in India and all over southern, central and western Asia. It's shaped like a cylinder and is usually made from clay or metal. This is where the name 'tandoori' comes from. Naan bread is cooked by sticking it to the inside wall of the tandoor, where it bubbles up and goes brown.
Ghormeh sabzi seasoning blend
Ghormeh sabzi is the national dish of Iran, and this aromatic herb mix is the basis of its flavour. The name 'ghormeh sabzi' means ‘green stew’, which tells you how important herbs are to the dish. Unsurprisingly, the overall taste of ghormeh sabzi is herby. But it also has a touch of citrus and some smoky warmth from onion, garlic and fenugreek.
Chaat masala
Chaat masala comes from India and is used in many Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani dishes. As the quintessential Indian spice, it’s used almost everywhere, but is particularly popular on fruit and salads, and is served as a street snack from chaat carts.
Garam masala
From the Hindi for 'hot mixture', garam masala is the Ayurvedic (Indian medicinal system of beliefs) 'heat of the body’. This spice mixture dates from Mogul times and acts to raise the body's temperature. It’s used a lot in Indian cuisine, on its own or with other seasonings.
Italian seasoning blend
The main ingredients of basil, parsley, oregano, thyme and sage are sourced from around Europe and blended in the UK. The result: an uncomplicated, familiar flavour.
Thai curry seasoning blend
Thai food is a firm favourite amongst Brits dining out. But now more and more of us are cooking south east Asian dishes at home. In this seasoning blend you'll find all the spices synonymous with Thai cuisine.
Cajun seasoning blend
Cajun cooking originates from Louisiana in the US, but has its roots in rural French cuisine. It's all about rich, comforting flavours, often in a one-pot dish, designed to be shared.
Peri peri seasoning blend
The small but powerful peppers originally came from Brazil to the Portuguese colonies in Angola and Africa. It's now a flavour most Brits will be familiar with.
Jamaican jerk seasoning blend
During the time of slavery in Jamaica, a group escaped into the mountains. They blended many spices and herbs to marinate and cook the wild game they hunted. This led to the invention of 'Jamaican jerk'. Nowadays, all of the ingredients we use are grown in Jamaica.
Herbes de Provence
This staple of French cooking has only been available to buy elsewhere in the world since 1970. We have US chef Julia Child to thank for introducing it to home cooks outside of France when she used it in her classic cookbook.
Ground cumin
Though mostly associated with Indian curries and Middle Eastern stews, the ancient Greeks and Romans were fond of cumin too, in medicines and skin creams. And in the Middle Ages, people were known to carry a little cumin in their pocket to ward off bad luck. The seeds come from a herb that's in the same family as parsley, with an unmistakably musty aroma. Often used to season meat, you can also use it to add warmth and depth to vegetarian dishes.
Cloves
Cloves originally come from the Maluku Islands in Indonesia – also known as the Spice Islands. There, they mostly use them to make little cigarettes called 'kreteks'. But in ancient China, they were used as early breath fresheners. And in India, they're used to spice everything from sweet teas to perfumed pilaus, as well as in ayurvedic medicines. The little brown sticks are actually dried flower buds, which come from an evergreen tree. Their essential oils are so pungent, they can even be used as a mild anaesthetic to soothe toothaches, or in massage oils.
Cumin seeds
Though mostly associated with Indian curries and Middle Eastern stews, the ancient Greeks and Romans were fond of cumin too, in medicines and skin creams. And in the Middle Ages, people were known to carry a little cumin in their pocket to ward off bad luck. The seeds come from a herb that's in the same family as parsley, with an unmistakably musty aroma. Often used to season meat, you can also use it to add warmth and depth to vegetarian dishes.
Whole green aniseed
The ancient Egyptians were growing aniseed four thousand years ago, and it was the Romans who brought it from north Africa to Europe. Over the centuries, it's been used to make digestive teas, spiced breads and herbal liquors like absinthe and ouzo. The Romans used to hang it over their beds to guarantee a peaceful night's sleep, and it was used to perfume Edward IV's bedsheets to encourage sweet dreams, too. From the same family of herbs as dill, caraway and fennel, its fresh herby flavour works just as well with savoury or sweet dishes.
Whole star anise
Star anise is native to China and Vietnam, and one of the key ingredients in Chinese five spice. They're actually the seed pods of the fruit of an evergreen tree in the magnolia family. Despite being similar to aniseed, and often used in its place, the flavour of star anise is much more intense. Just one or two pods is enough to transform a whole dish. In southeast Asia, it's mostly used with savoury dishes, like pork or duck. But since the 16th century it's also been popular in Europe to spice up stewed fruits and preserves.
Ground paprika
Paprika is made by drying and crushing red capsicum peppers. It comes in a few different varieties – from mild to smoky to hot. The milder varieties are made by leaving out the seeds and stems. Though usually associated with Hungarian goulashes and Spanish chorizos, paprika came from the New World. Christopher Columbus brought it over to Spain and the Ottomans introduced it to Hungary, where much of the world's paprika is produced today. The mild version is good for adding colour and sweetness, without heat. You can sprinkle it directly into dips, or as a spice rub for BBQ meats.
Ground smoked paprika
Paprika is made by drying and crushing red capsicum peppers. It comes in a few different varieties – from mild to smoky to hot. The smoky varieties are made by smoking the peppers before grinding. Ours comes from Spain. Though most often associated with Hungarian goulashes and Spanish chorizos, paprika came from the New World. Christopher Columbus brought it over to Spain and the Ottomans introduced it to Hungary, where much of the world's paprika is produced today. The smoked version is good for adding a smoky sweet flavour, without heat. Sprinkle over eggs for a chorizo-like flavour.
Ground hot paprika
Paprika is made by drying and crushing red capsicum peppers. It comes in several different varieties – from mild to smoky to hot. To make the hot version, we blend ours with chillies, right here in the UK. Though most often associated with Hungarian goulashes and Spanish chorizos, paprika came from the New World. Christopher Columbus brought it over to Spain and the Ottomans introduced it to Hungary, where much of the world's paprika is produced today. The hot version is good for adding extra colour and bite to meaty casseroles and cheesy dishes.
Ground hot smoked paprika
Paprika is made by drying and crushing red capsicum peppers. It comes in a few different varieties – from mild to smoky to hot. Our hot smoked paprika is made by smoking the peppers before grinding, then blending them with chillies for extra heat. Though usually associated with Hungarian goulashes and Spanish chorizos, paprika came from the New World. Christopher Columbus brought it over to Spain and the Ottomans introduced it to Hungary, where much of the world's paprika is produced today. The hot smoked version is good for adding extra heat and smoky flavour to barbecued meats and spicy meat stews.
Kollanji black onion seeds
Southwest Asia’s kollanji, or nigella plant, belongs to the Ranunculaceae family. Its delicate pale blue and white flowers bloom once a year, producing a large capsule which is handpicked to collect the seeds inside.
Celery seeds
Native to India, celery seeds don't come from the same plants as the celery we eat. They come from a plant called 'smallage' or 'wild celery'. The seeds are tiny and dark green-to-brown, with a strong, spicy aroma. They're so tiny, you don't even have to grind them – you can, but it turns their taste much more bitter.
Ground cinnamon
Cinnamon typically comes from Madagascar, Indonesia, China and Sri Lanka. It’s taken from the inner bark of an evergreen laurel tree native to Sri Lanka. Use of cinnamon dates back to ancient times, where it was highly prized – a gift fit for royalty. Emperor Nero is said to have burned a year's worth of the city's supply on his wife's funeral pyre as an act of atonement.
Asafoetida
One of the world's most maligned spices, asafoetida has been neglected by many cuisines because of its pungent odour and flavour. But we prefer to think it’s just misunderstood. It’s made from the resinous gum taken from a few species of giant fennel. And, when used right, it brings a pungent kick of garlic with a lingering sweetness like pineapple.
Ground turmeric
Turmeric's bright golden hue means it’s often used to colour foods – but it's got more than that going for it. Often called a 'hero herb', turmeric has extensive health benefits. The spice has been credited with helping with a range of problems from joint pain to digestive issues. It comes from the root of a tropical, perennial plant native to southern Asia (ours is from India). Its roots look a bit like ginger, but they're bright orangey-yellow inside.
Saffron
Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice. It comes from the flower of crocus sativus, the saffron crocus. The plant is collected and dried to season and colour food. Spain is the world’s main producer of saffron (and that's where we get ours), but it originated in western Asia – possibly Persia.
Ground ginger
Ginger comes from the underground stem of a bamboo-like plant native to southeast Asia. The Romans brought ginger to Europe, making it an important spice for more than three millennia. Ginger was especially common in medieval times and as easy to find as ground pepper.
Curry leaves
The curry tree is a tropical to sub-tropical tree found in India and Sri Lanka. Its leaves are used in plenty of dishes in India, Sri Lanka, and neighbouring countries. Curiously, the aroma of the leaves is activated by a very gentle bruising. Even brushing past a curry tree will do the job.
Curry powder
Curry powder is a blend of a few different spices, including turmeric, chilli powder, coriander, cumin, ginger and pepper, and sometimes fennel, caraway, clove, nutmeg and asafoetida. Although curry powder makes use of classic Asian tastes, it’s thought to be more of a Western invention – an effort to replicate the flavours of Indian cooking.
Cayenne pepper
It's thought that cayenne peppers get their name from 'kynnha', the word for pepper in the ancient Brazilian language Tupi. The peppers are now largely grown in India, East Africa, Mexico and the US. They grow on small shrubs of different shapes and sizes, but all with their distinctive shiny reddish skin. The fruits are dried and ground to make what's become a classic spice.
Coriander seed
Coriander seeds are actually a fruit. They’re made up of two separate seeds in a crisp coating. The seeds have been used in different ways for thousands of years: by Romans, by ancient Arabs and by 18th century French chefs. They even received a stamp of royal approval, being found in among the gold and jewels in Tutankhamun's tomb.
Coriander leaf
Coriander leaf is found in dishes around the globe: from chutneys and salads in South Asia to salsa and guacamole in Mexico; via China, Thailand and Burma. Even though it comes from the same plant as the coriander seed, the two have quite different flavours. Coriander leaf is earthy and aromatic, but the seeds are citrusy and fresh.
Whole nutmeg
Nutmeg comes from the Banda Islands of Maluku, Indonesia – also known as the Spice Islands. It was traded by Arabs during the Middle Ages to cater for aristocratic tastes. Now it’s grown almost everywhere, though the trees do best in tropical conditions near the sea.
Ground nutmeg
Nutmeg comes from the Banda Islands of Maluku, Indonesia – also known as the Spice Islands. It was traded by Arabs during the Middle Ages to cater for aristocratic tastes. Now it’s grown almost everywhere, though the trees do best in tropical conditions near the sea. The seeds are sun-dried for six to eight weeks. Workers then break the shells, remove the nutmegs and grind them into a powder.
Nigella seeds
Nigella is known by many names: black onion seed, black cumin, black caraway, fennel flower and kalonji. They've been around since ancient times – some were found in Tutankhamun's famous tomb. The seeds start off white, only turning black once they're exposed to air. They have a naturally toasted taste, with a herby, oniony flavour that works well with breads, roasted root vegetables or scattered over salads.
Fenugreek seeds
Fenugreek comes from the same family as peas. It's native to India, and mostly found in Indian recipes, though the leaves are a key ingredient in the classic Iranian lamb stew. The small yellowy-green seeds taste and smell of sweet onions. Toasting them brings out their nutty side. And they're often used to help thicken dals and curries, as well as to add flavour to chutneys and pickles.
Yellow mustard seeds
Most of us think of mustard as the yellow sauce that comes in a bottle. But the seeds themselves are used to flavour everything from Indian curries to American-style pickles. The plant that the seeds come from is actually part of the cabbage family. They come in yellow, brown and black varieties. Yellow is the mildest, but still has a bite. Our own yellow mustard seeds come from India, but they're also grown across southern Europe, China and Canada.
Allspice
Allspice is the dried, unripe berry of an evergreen tree in the myrtle family. Christopher Columbus was the first to bring them to Europe, from Jamaica. Ours come from Jamaica too, as well as Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. The berries look very much like black pepper or juniper berries, and taste like a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Over the centuries, they've made their way into most of the world's cuisines, in both sweet and savoury dishes, hot drinks and cocktails.
Cassia powder
Cassia tastes similar to cinnamon, but even sharper and sweeter. And, like cinnamon, it comes from the bark of a tree. The tree's leaves have a similar flavour to bay leaves. There are a few different varieties: Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Korean. Ours is cinnamomum burmanni, which comes from Indonesia. Cassia has been used for thousands of years: not just in cooking but also as a medicine. It's said to be good for soothing upset stomachs and as a natural pick-me-up. It works just as well in rich meaty dishes as it does in sweet drinks and desserts.
Juniper berries
Juniper berries are native to Britain, but grow wild all over Europe. They come from an evergreen shrub that's in the same family as cypress trees. The berries start off green, and turn a purpley blue as they ripen. They're mostly associated with making gin – in fact, the word for gin comes from the French word for juniper. Their piney, citrusy flavour works particularly well with wild birds and game. But you can also use them to jazz up cabbage salads or pork.
Liquorice root powder
Liquorice comes from the root of a small shrub that originally comes from southern Europe – ours is from Spain. The roots are left to dry out in the shade for up to six months, then crushed into a fine greyish powder. In the UK, it's only really ever been used to make sweets, going as far back as the 1500s, to the days of Henry VIII. But these days, we're starting to appreciate the way it brings out the sweetness in savoury dishes and sauces, too.
Wasabi powder
When most people in the UK think of wasabi, they think of the bright green paste that comes in a little sachet with your sushi. Actually, those sachets are often just horseradish with a bit of green food colouring. Real wasabi is related to English horseradish, but it's a different plant that's much harder to grow, making it rarer and more expensive. Ours comes from China, and is blended with horseradish and mustard to round out the taste.
Vanilla pods
Vanilla pods are the fruit of a certain type of orchid. These days, most of the world's vanilla comes from Madagascar, but it originally came from Central America. Real vanilla is one of the world's most expensive spices, second only to saffron. That's because each plant has to be pollinated by hand, or it won't bear fruit. The freshly picked pods start off green, but turn dark brown and crinkly as they're left to dry in the sun.
Green cardamom pods
Green cardamom is native to the Western Ghats of South India. But it's often grown in Guatemala nowadays, which is where we get ours from. Civilisations have been using the pods for centuries, and often doing more than just eating them. The ancient Egyptians chewed the seeds to clean their teeth, and the Greeks and Romans used the natural oil as a perfume.
Black cardamom pods
Like the green variety, black cardamom pods are part of the ginger family. But they don't have a lot else in common. They're larger, smokier and more savoury, so work well as a way to add a grilled flavour to meatless dishes.
Fennel seeds
Fennel seeds are originally from Florence. Ancient Roman soldiers carried them throughout Europe, which gave the rest of Europe a taste for them. They're now used in lots of cuisines around the world and grown mainly in India, which is where ours come from. And they're certainly not just for one type of cooking. They add their earthy flavour to pickles, breads, curries and cakes.
Ground fennel
Fennel has a complex taste. It's piney, bitter and packs a punch of aniseed of flavour. For that reason, it's often used to cut through dishes. It can cut through hot, acidic or fatty meat dishes, which is why it's a handy palate cleanser if you're eating lots of spicy food.
Brown mustard seeds
Brown mustard seeds, or 'Brassica juncea', comes from a flowering plant in the same family as arugula, horseradish and wasabi. The seeds are more pungent than the yellow variety. They're darker and spicier, so tend to be used more in Indian, African and Japanese cooking.
Yellow mustard seeds
Mustard seeds are part of the cabbage family, and there's more than one variety. The brown seeds are more pungent, while the yellow ones are milder. And if you want to experiment with grinding them, they keep all of their aroma and flavour when ground.
Mustard powder
The English finessed making mustard powder in the 18th century. It's created by milling and finely sieving yellow, black and brown mustard seeds to remove the husks. And, unlike mustard seeds, it's the easiest form of mustard to try and make your own mustard condiment with.
Caraway seeds
Like coriander and cumin, caraway seeds come from a plant from the carrot family – one with finely divided, feathery leaves. They originally came from central Europe and Asia but are now grown all over: from Holland and Finland to Canada, the US and North Africa. The plant's fruits have an earthy, aniseed-like flavour, and the roots can be cooked like carrots.
Ground mace
Along with nutmeg, mace comes from the apricot-like fruit tree 'Myristica fragrans' – mace is the red part surrounding the kernel. Like many plants that give us popular spices, the tree's native to the Banda Islands of Maluku, Indonesia, also known as the Spice Islands. Once taken out of its husk, the mace-shrouded kernel is soaked in water. The mace is removed, pressed flat and dried for a few hours. The colour of mace depends on how it's stored: deep yellow if stored in the dark, or sunset-red if stored in the light.
Organic clear apple cider vinegar
Our fruity and wine vinegars come mostly from the Oster family – a small producer in Mosel, Germany. They've been cultivating and producing wines there for more than 15 generations. Mosel is a famous wine region on the banks of the river with the same name. Cultivators have been producing wine there since Roman times. The steep, verdant valleys and lively waterways give the region its own micro-climate that's perfect for vineyards.
Chardonnay white wine vinegar
Our Chardonnay white wine vinegar comes from the Oster family – a small producer in Mosel, Germany, who've been cultivating vineyards for there for 15 generations. They use white Chardonnay grapes, ripened in old oak vats. The result is a fruity, mild vinegar that still has the characteristic aroma of the base wine.
Riesling white wine vinegar
Our fruity and wine vinegars come mostly from the Oster family – a small producer in Mosel, Germany. They've been cultivating and producing wines here for more than 15 generations. Mosel is a famous wine region on the banks of the river with the same name. Cultivators have been producing wine there since Roman times. The steep, verdant valleys and lively waterways give the region its own micro-climate that's perfect for vineyards.
Cabernet sauvignon red wine vinegar
Our fruity and wine vinegars come mostly from the Oster family – a small producer in Mosel, Germany. They've been cultivating and producing wines there for more than 15 generations. Mosel is a famous wine region on the banks of the river of the same name. Cultivators have been producing wine there since Roman times. The steep, verdant valleys and lively waterways give the region its own micro-climate that's perfect for vineyards.
White balsamic vinegar
An oak-aged taste of Italy. The traditional 'balsama bianco' is cooked and aged in oak barrels for up to six years, for sweet balsamic notes and a golden colour. The artisan family producer Leonardi handcrafts ours in the ancient town of Modena, Italy.
Raspberry balsamic vinegar
We infused our white wine vinegar with pure, natural raspberry juice to make this popular vinegar, with 5.3% acidity. The bright, lively taste works well with sweet or savoury.
Cranberry balsamic cream vinegar
Italian barrel-aged balsamic vinegar is infused with tangy cranberry juice for a rich, fruity Balsamic glaze vinegar with a dark ruby-red colour. It works well in dark sauces and dressings, and for savoury as well as sweet salads.
Blood orange balsamic cream vinegar
A striking interplay of sweet and sour. We make our blood orange balsamic cream vinegar by infusing natural blood orange extracts with rich silan date syrup, a little brandy spirit vinegar and barrel-aged Italian balsamic vinegar from the ancient town of Modena, Italy.
Balsamic vinegar
In this Italian classic, Trebbiano and Lambrusco grapes are pressed and slowly reduced in copper kettles over an open fire. Maturing in wooden barrels gives the vinegar its colour, density, bouquet and bittersweet flavour. We source ours from respected family artisanal producers, who have honed their craft for more than a century.
Chipotle Chilli
The name chipotle comes from the Aztec word chilpoctli, meaning 'smoked chilli'. The smoke-dried jalapeños have a strong Mexican heritage, but plenty of other cuisines have been inspired by the central American flavours - like Mexican-American, Tex-Mex, and dishes from the Southwest US. We source our ingredients from Mexico and smoke them in the UK.
Chilli
Chilli peppers have been a classic part of the human diet in the Americas since at least 7500 BC. Christopher Columbus first encountered chilli peppers in the Caribbean at the end of the 15th century. He called them peppers because their heat reminded him of the black pepper he was already familiar with.
Birds Eye Chilli
Bird's eye chilli is found in Ethiopia, Southeast Asia and India, particularly in Mizoram, Meghalaya, Assam, and Kerala. It's ranked as one of the world's top ten hottest chillies, and is used in plenty of Asian cuisines to give a hearty kick: from Malaysia and Singapore to Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand.
Kashmiri Chilli
Kashmiri chillies take their name from the region of Kashmir in India where they grow. But they're also found in the surrounding regions of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and some tropical regions of Northern India during the winter months. The chillies are thin-fleshed, wrinkly and very mild - and they're typically only eaten dried. When ground, the powder adds a vibrant red colour and mild, fruity flavour.
Chilli Powder
Chilli powder is the dried, pulverised fruit of a blend of chilli peppers (usually red chillies or cayenne peppers), with added cumin seed, oregano, garlic and salt. It's used in cuisines all around the world - from Mexican and American to Chinese, Indian and Thai. And of course, it takes pride of place in a chilli con carne.
Chilli jam
We make our chilli jam with tomato and white wine vinegar to start, there's cornflour for some thickness and sugar for a bit of sweetness. Then to make it sing, we add red chilli, garlic, ginger and more white wine vinegar.
Horseradish sauce
Some people say horseradish landed in England from western Asia. But you can now forage for it freely on banks and in hedgerows. Its name has nothing to do with equine nutrition – in the 1500s, 'horse' was a common word to describe anything strikingly strong or coarse.
Mint sauce
Mint sauce was common in Europe as far back as Medieval times, although more in French and Italian cuisine than English. There are several theories on how the mint and lamb combination came to be. Some say it comes from the roast lamb and bitter herbs the Israelites ate before their exodus from Egypt.
Cranberry sauce
Cranberries are native to North America and they often appear in American history books. Native Americans used cranberries for food and as a dye. The first cultivation of cranberries by colonists was probably in Massachusetts, around the 1600s. For our cranberry sauce, we throw in some port and cinnamon to make it an especially warm, aromatic addition to a wintery dinner.
Strong traditional English mustard
The mustard plant originates from Eurasia and was first thought to be cultivated in India. It made its way to English kitchens in the 1300s. King Richard II's master cook mentions it in a cookery book he penned.
English wholegrain mustard
Our English wholegrain mustard uses whole seeds for more texture and a distinctive taste. The seeds are a mix of different varieties, to give a mix of flavours and strengths. But the overall punchiness of this mustard means it won't go unnoticed.
Classic mayonnaise
Mayonnaise originates from Europe, but it's unclear exactly where from. Majorca, France and Spain all make a claim. It's been popular in the UK for years, but recently outsold ketchup for the first time ever, to become Britain's favourite condiment.
Garlic mayonnaise
Mayonnaise originates from Europe, but it's unclear exactly where from. Majorca, France and Spain all make a claim. It's been popular in the UK for years, but recently outsold ketchup for the first time ever, to become Britain's favourite condiment. The garlic gives it a twist.
Hot chilli mayonnaise
Mayonnaise originates from Europe, but it's unclear exactly where from. Majorca, France and Spain all make a claim. It's been popular in the UK for years, but recently outsold ketchup for the first time ever, to become Britain's favourite condiment. The chilli gives it a kick.
Creamy tartare sauce
Tartare sauce has had a place in cookbooks since the 19th century. Originally from eastern France, it was happily adopted by British seafood fans long ago and became a fish 'n' chip shop staple.
Gourmet ketchup
Over the years, ketchup has been made from egg whites, mushrooms, oysters, mussels and walnuts, among other things. But for the vast majority of us, it’s tomato ketchup we see sitting proudly on the dinner table on a Sunday afternoon.
Onion chutney
An exotic and enduring colonial legacy: sticky, thick, sweet chutneys are an evocative taste of the east. Traditionally, Indian 'chutni' or 'chatni' is an aromatic paste of fresh ingredients, spread onto naan bread or chapatis and mixed into rice.
Apple sauce
It's hard to imagine a time before Bramley apples, but they've only been sold since the mid 1800s. The very first tree, which all Bramleys descended from, is still alive over 200 years later. You can visit it in Southwell, in Nottinghamshire. Today, they're the nation's favourite cooking apple. Over 95% of the cooking apples sold in the UK are Bramleys. And 100% of the apples in our apple sauce are too.
Redcurrant jelly
Back in the 16th century, redcurrant jelly was usually served with roast swan – said to be a favourite of Edward I. There's some disagreement about whether redcurrant jelly was invented on this side of the English Channel or the other. Either way, it's been a Sunday roast staple for over 400 years.
Harissa sauce
Harissa comes from North Africa. You'll find it in Tunisian, Algerian and Moroccan cuisine. Typically it's used in soups and tagines, or as a dipping sauce for flatbreads. Every chef has their own special blend. Some add a touch of cumin, others coriander. But the main ingredients are chillies, salt, garlic and vinegar. Our chilli of choice is cayenne.
Sweet chilli dipping sauce
Sweet chilli sauce hails from Thailand, but today you're likely to find a bottle lurking in most fridges in this country too. As the name suggests, the main ingredients are sugar, red chillies, vinegar and water. We get our scotch bonnet chillies – also known as 'bonney peppers' – from the Caribbean. Despite being one of the world's hottest chillies, they're also naturally sweeter than most.
Hoisin
The name hoisin comes from the Cantonese for 'seafood' – even though there's no seafood in it. That's because, traditionally, it was mainly served with seafood: though today it's usually associated with duck. The origins of hoisin sauce are shrouded in mystery. No one knows exactly how or when it came to be, but it's a Cantonese recipe. The key ingredients are mashed soy beans and Chinese five spice.
BBQ sauce
BBQ sauce comes from the southern United States, especially the two Carolinas. The first ready-made bottled BBQ sauces only hit the shelves in the early 1900s. But there are mentions of it going as far back as the 17th century. There have been countless variations over the years. Some with mustard, some with vinegar and pepper, some with tomatoes. Our recipe includes all of the above, along with molasses and Worcestershire sauce.
Thai-style sriracha sauce
Sriracha sauce takes its name from the town of Si Racha in eastern Thailand. Some say it was invented by a local woman called Tanom Chakkapak. Others say it was invented by the town's Burmese sawmill workers. Whoever created it, it started off as a dipping sauce for seafood – but these days you can find it in everything from spicy tuna rolls to cocktails and crisps.
Wild oregano
Oregano has been a cupboard staple for families around the world for thousands of years. And for a time, it was a medical staple too – 19th-century herbal doctors prescribed it as an all-purpose tonic. Farmers plant oregano in spring and pick it just after the pinky-purple flower buds form.
Bay leaves
Bay leaves mostly grow in Turkey and are native to the surrounding parts of Western Asia. The British first discovered bay leaves in medieval times. The Olympians of ancient Greece loved a good ceremonial wreath – and the leaves in them were often bay leaves.
Thyme
Thyme's uses throughout history are just as much medicinal as they are culinary. It's been put under pillows to improve sleep and used in antiseptic mouthwashes. And the Romans thought it kept them safe from poison. Food-wise, you'll find it in countless traditional dishes, from east to west. When thyme is dried, its flavour is most potent towards the end of summer, around August and September.
Rosemary
The rosemary plant is tough and a bit of a rebel. It's native to the Mediterranean, but it can survive both cooler and warmer climates. Its pink, purple, blue or white flowers usually bloom in spring or summer, but can bloom in wildly different times, like December or February. Throughout history, rosemary has been a symbol of remembrance. Its place as a staple of British kitchen cupboards probably started with the Romans.
Sage
Sage is native to the Mediterranean, but the British have long since made it their own. Sage and onion stuffing, Lincolnshire sausages – some British favourites that would be unrecognisable without sage. It grows best in well-drained soil, protected from the cold and rain. But the English have a long-standing alternative to this theory – they say sage grows best in households where a woman calls the shots.
French tarragon
With its fennel-like flavour, French tarragon tastes quite different to its Russian and wild cousins. And it's best known for its starring role in béarnaise sauce. It's native to Europe and Asia, mostly near the Caspian Sea. In Europe, its most prolific cultivators are Spain and, unsurprisingly, France. French tarragon goes back a long way – as far back as the Greeks in roughly 500 BC. The Spanish got ahold of it as early as the 1100s, and England and North America five or six centuries later.
Parsley
Parsley is one of Britain's truly homegrown herbs. It's widely used across the world, particularly in the Mediterranean – but it originated in the UK, where you can still find it in pie 'n' mash shops and on any respectable herb rack. Parsley's traditionally used in a Moroccan version of chermoula, served with grilled meats and fish. It also has leading roles in French persillade (mixed with garlic) and the herbaceous Italian sauce, salsa verde.
Chives
For Chinese Buddhist monks, chives excite the senses. So much so that they consider them one of the 'forbidden five', with onions, garlic, shallots and leeks. But chives originally came from northern Europe, particularly Germany. Their stems can grow up to two-feet high and have edible, purple flowers. For their travels, chives are often freeze-dried so they keep their verdant green colour.
Marjoram
Marjoram has been around for a long time. There are records of Egyptians using it as far back as 1,000 BC. It's not difficult to cultivate because bees and butterflies love its flowers. It grows wild in the Mediterranean, especially in Greece, Cyprus and Turkey. So you can find marjoram in sauces and soups, as well as meat dishes, in all of these places. Marjoram used to be used to make beer, but when brewers started using hops, it lost its place on the ingredients list.
Bouquet garni
In the 1600s, the bouquet garni was an essential part of French cuisine's move from spicy medieval dishes to more diverse, delicately balanced flavours. It didn't catch on in England until the 1800s. The bouquet garni can be endlessly adaptable to different cuisines. But the most common versions usually have thyme, parsley and bay leaves – sometimes also with rosemary and sage. How it looks varies a lot too. Some people tie their bouquet together with string, others with cheesecloth. Some wrap them in bacon.
Dill tips
Dill tips (or dill 'weed') originated in Egypt or Germany – history isn't quite clear on that. It's used a lot in cooking across the world, but most notably in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. It has soothing properties, and is used in gripe water to calm babies. Serbians have a saying 'a dill in every soup', which means the same as the British 'a finger in every pie'.
Dill seeds
Dill seeds originally came from India, but there are records showing they were used in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. They have a much stronger taste than dill tips. To keep their scent and essential oils intact, dill seeds are usually freeze dried after they're harvested. Churchgoers in colonial America used to chew dill seeds to keep them alert during especially long services. This is how it came to be known as the 'meeting house seed'.
Mint
Mint originally came from Egypt. But now there's barely a country you won't find it in. Its fresh, cooling notes make it popular in far more than just food. You'll find cosmetics, aromatherapy and medicine on the long list of mint uses. Mint can withstand being cooked for a long time without losing its flavour. So it's good for balancing against harsh aromas – both savoury and sweet.
Basil
Basil has a warm, peppery taste, with minty and grassy notes. The name 'basil' come from the Greek for 'royal' or 'kingly' – fitting, as basil is certainly herb royalty. Indians first cultivated basil in 1000 BC. But it doesn't go as far back in the UK as you might expect – it didn't reach British shores until spice traders brought it to Europe in the 1700s.
Kaffir lime leaves
The kaffir lime is a knobbly, avocado-shaped citrus fruit native to tropical Asia. It has some peculiar-sounding aliases – the Latin name is 'citrus hystrix' and in the Philippines it's often called the 'kulubot'. The fruit itself isn't used much in cooking. But you can find its juices in a lot of Asian cosmetics – especially hair products. The leaves themselves are small and hourglass shaped. Each of the plant's stems has two leaves.
Chervil
Historically, chervil has a reputation as a happy herb. Its name comes from a Greek phrase, 'herb of rejoicing'. Through the years, Europeans have used chervil for some very specific purposes (like helping digestion) and some very general ones (like boosting cheeriness and good humour).
Lemongrass
Lemongrass is a food of many names – it's also known as barbed wire grass, citronella grass, silky heads, fever grass and much more. It's originally from (and most commonly associated with) Thailand, where it's used as medicine and to preserve ancient manuscripts – as well as in plenty of dishes. Along with its citrus taste, lemongrass has a sweet, almost rose-like aroma.
Savoury
Savoury is from the mint family. It smells like thyme, but tastes more like oregano. Native to the Mediterranean, it's a bit of a forgotten ingredient in most national cuisines. But some countries still hold it dear. You can find it in the French and German versions of bouquet garni. The country that embraces it most is Bulgaria. There, you'll find savoury sat beside salt and pepper as one of the three condiments on most dinner tables. When all three go together, it's called 'sharena sol' – colourful salt.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The olive tree is native to the Mediterranean, and people have been eating olives for a long, long time – maybe as far back as 8,000BC. The idea of pressing the olives for the juice probably came to them pretty quickly. The label of 'extra virgin' olive oil is reserved for olive oils that have 0.8% free acidity or less. This gives it its pungent, slightly bitter taste.
Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The olives come from Cataluña and are harvested and processed by The Pons family in their Lleida province groves. They've been growing their 740 acres of Arbequiña olives for four ancestral generations. At the end of the process they infuse the olive oil with essential garlic oil.
Chilli Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The olives come from Cataluña and are harvested and processed by The Pons family in their Lleida province groves. They've been growing their 740 acres of Arbequiña olives for four ancestral generations. They infuse the end product with the essential oil of natural bird's eye chilli.
Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The olives come from Cataluña and are harvested and processed by The Pons family in their Lleida province groves. They've been growing their 740 acres of Arbequiña olives for four ancestral generations. Then they infuse the end product with essential lemon oil.
Basil Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The olives come from Cataluña and are harvested and processed by The Pons family in their Lleida province groves. They've been growing their 740 acres of Arbequiña olives for four ancestral generations. Then they infuse the end product with essential basil oil.
Pure Rapeseed Oil
Rapeseeds come from bright yellow rape plant that grows naturally in the large fields of the UK. It's been growing in popularity for the last decade, mainly as a healthier alternative to olive oil. But that's not all it has to offer on the health front. It has omega 3, 6 and 9 acids, for supporting joint, brain and heart functions. Rapeseed oil is one of the few oils that keeps its character, colour and flavour when you heat it up. Mainly this is because it has a lot of mono-unsaturated fats.
Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a natural vegetable oil that comes straight from coconut flesh. Our coconut oil is distilled and extracted in a vacuum, so it stays liquid at room temperature, instead of reverting to its usual solid state.
Avocado Oil
Avocado crops can grow all year, so a lot of oil processors switch to avocado when the olive season ends. On top of its many vitamins and minerals, avocado oil also helps your body absorb nutrients like carotenoids. It's important to store avocado oil in a cool, dry place – but also in a dark one. It helps to stop oxidisation turning the monounsaturated and saturated fats going bad.
Sesame Oil
The deep umami flavour of sesame oil has long made it a staple of Asian cuisine. We gently roast our sesame seeds to unlock their delicate oils and aromas. This care and attention to the raw ingredients helps us distill a powerful, nutty flavour booster.
Peanut Oil
We press together specially-grown peanuts from Spain, China and India. Then we treat the oil to give it its mellow flavour. The gentle flavour of our peanut oil gives your dishes room to breathe.
Almond Oil
Almond trees are native to the Mediterranean climate regions of the Middle East - from Syria and Turkey to Pakistan and India. We extract almond oil from the ripe seed at the centre of the almond, pressing it to carefully release the flavour.
Whole black peppercorns
In the 14th and 15th centuries, pepper was known as black gold. People swarmed the ports of Alexandria, Genoa and Venice, desperate to bring it into Europe. Today, it’s the world's most commonly traded spice. We source ours from its original home of southern India.
Whole white peppercorns
White Pepper is produced from fully ripe berries of the vine Piper nigrum (black pepper berries are picked before they ripen). In Indonesia, cooks started removing the berries’ husks before they’re dried. This makes them less aromatic, but hotter and sharper.
Whole Brazilian pink peppercorns
Our pink peppercorns aren’t 'true peppercorns'. They’re actually from the cashew family, also called 'rose baises’. These berries come from the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo along the sun-drenched southeast coast, north of Rio de Janeiro.
Whole green peppercorns
Our green peppercorns are sourced from southern India and hand-picked before they’re ripe. The berries are soaked in brine or plunged into boiling water to remove the enzyme in the skin that turns them black.
Whole mixed peppercorns
Our coarse blend of green, pink, black and white peppers bring together the spirit and flavour of southern India, Indonesia and the Brazilian state of Espírito Santo. This geographical blend creates an equally varied, but balanced, taste.
Whole long peppers
Our peppers come from Java, Indonesia. Long peppers were common in ancient Greece and Rome before black pepper and were first mentioned in ancient Ayurveda textbook (an Indian form of medicine). Today, long pepper is found in dishes from India, Nepal, North Africa, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Szechuan pepper
Native to Szechuan, southwest China, this type of pepper has been used in cooking since the first millennium BC. Dried berries of the prickly ash tree are picked while still green, before being fermented and sun-dried. Because they resemble a star anise, they’re often called anise pepper.
Lemon black pepper
It’s unclear where Lemon black pepper came from. But both the lemon and the black peppercorn originated in India. So perhaps that’s where they were first combined as a seasoning. Both lemon zest and black pepper are used in several Indian dishes.
African grains of paradise
As their name suggests, African grains of paradise come from the west coast of Africa: from Sierra Leone all the way up to Angola. The reddish-brown seeds come from the same family as ginger and cardamom and are harvested from July to September. You might not have come across the grains before, but they've been around since at least the 13th century. Elizabeth I was said to be a fan of their piney, peppery taste.

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