What are savory spices?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “What are savory spices?”. We will also describe the different types of savory and where we can use them. Moreover, we will also talk about how we can describe the savory taste and how we can separate it from other flavors.

What are savory spices?

Savory spices are the flavorful spices obtained from the savory herb which is closely related to the Rosemary, Sage, and Mint plants with similar flavor profiles. 

We often use the term savory while describing the delicious taste obtained by cooking, curing, or aging, so most people might think that savory spices are the ones used in savory dishes. However, there is no truth to this statement, savory is a herb in and of itself.

What are the different types of savory?

There are mainly two types of savory: summer savory and winter savory. Both of these spices have different flavor profiles and uses, so before you decide on which savory spice to use in your recipes, make sure to know what kind of flavors they individually add to your dishes.

Let us describe them in detail:

Summer savory

It is the most commonly used savory and can be found dehydrated into seasoning blends. The flavors and aroma of summer savory are much closer to thyme and rosemary’s subtle herbaceousness. 

It gives you a combination of sweet and spicy flavors with a light texture. Summer savory is the softer, sweeter, and more versatile of the two Savories.

Winter savory

It is the older variety of savory grown as an ornamental border plant for the herb gardens due to its strong aroma. It can have a bitter taste to it. Adding winter savory to your recipes gives off the feel of pine and sage with a hint of the harsh spiciness which can be commonly found in most winter cuisines. It can be of good use while cooking meat and fish dishes. 

Another thing that you should keep in mind while using winter savory in your recipes is that, unlike Summer Savory, it does not endure prolonged cooking hours because its more sensitive phenols and taste compounds tend to break down when cooked for an extended period.

Where can we use savory spice?

You can use savory spice for savory dishes whenever it calls for it. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that savory spice and savory dishes go hand in hand. Not all the spices that are used in savory dishes are savory. 

Other than in savory dishes, using savory spice in other recipes can be challenging sometimes due to its limited uses. Also, it has a tendency to overpower the other ingredient if used in excessive amounts. So make sure you’re using it sparingly. It is especially very helpful to give your recipes a perfect finish, particularly if they have to be cooked for a longer period.

How can we describe the savory taste?

Savory, which is also referred to as umami, is one of the five basic tastes including sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. 

Whenever we hear the word savory or umami, the one thing that comes to our mind is flavorful. It is mostly used to describe flavorful and delicious meals but there’s more to it.  It is sometimes also described as similar to the meaty flavor due to its protein content.

In the culinary world, savory is sometimes also used to describe the opposite of sweet, or salty. All these opinions and descriptors make it hard to use a single adjective to describe the savory taste.

Foods that require slow and steady cooking for an extended period of time such as soup or broth, aged food products including aged meats and cheeses or champagne, or fermented products like soy sauce or miso paste are the best describes the savory taste. 

All of these processes dissolve the proteins in the original foods which allows the amino acid glutamate to interact with our taste buds.

How can we separate savory from other flavors?

The best way to do this is by putting a small amount of MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) on your tongue. MSG is made up entirely of glutamate, the molecule responsible for umami flavor, so putting it on your tongue will give you a clean burst of savory flavor.

For more information on msg, please click the link here.


In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “What are savory spices?” We have also described the different types of savory and where we can use them. Moreover, we have also talked about how we can describe the savory taste and how we can separate it from other flavors.


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