What are the spices that start with a?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “What are the spices that start with a?”. We will also discuss all of them in detail.

What are the spices that start with a?

The commonly used spices starting with the letter ‘A’ are:

SpiceScientific name
Allspice Pimenta dioica
Anise Pimpinella anisum
Annatto Bixa orellana
Angelica Angelica archangelica
AsafoetidaFerula assafoetida
AjwainTrachyspermum ammi
AjmoodPetroselinum crispum

Let us discuss them in detail:


Allspice is a spice that comes from a plant known as Pimenta dioica, which is a member of the myrtle family. It is made from the dried berries of the allspice tree and can be used in ground form or whole.

Once ground, allspice can quickly lose its flavors and aroma, so usually, it is used in its whole form while making stews, soups, and pickles. Since allspice combines the flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and pepper, it can be easily used as a substitute for different warm spices.


Ajmood is the Indian name for parsley. It is a leafy herb that comes from the plant Petroselinum crispum from the same family as coriander. It is one of the most popular spices in the world. It has a mild, herbal, and grassy flavor. The leaves are bright green and are used as a spice in the preparation of different cuisines. 

Parsley is widely used as a garnish, condiment, food, and flavoring herb in numerous dishes. It is not just used in the culinary world but has several health benefits as well.

Annatto seeds

Annatto seeds, which come from achiote plants, have a nutty, spicy, sweet taste and texture. The annatto seed’s color ranges from yellowish orange to bright orange to reddish in large, red pods covered with soft bristles. They are often used as a food coloring agent due to their strong hue. It can be used in powdered form, as a paste, or as an essential oil.

Annatto seeds have earthy, musky, and slightly peppery flavors. Some also find it similar to nutmeg due to its sweet and floral undertones.


They are also known as carom seeds. They have a very similar flavor profile as thyme but are more powerful and less subtle. It belongs to the same family as coriander and cumin and is extremely aromatic. Since it has a very strong and dominating flavor, it should be used sparingly. Consuming roasted ajwain is also said to help in different digestive and gastrointestinal problems.


It is also known as sweet cumin. They are very aromatic and sweet with some floral undertones. Anise is mostly cultivated for its fruits which are termed aniseed. It has a sweet, moderately spicy, and highly fragrant licorice flavor. Do not confuse anise with star anise or fennel, they are three completely different spices. 

The star-shaped star anise is also similar to anise, fennel, or licorice in taste. It has very strong, distinct warm, sweet, and spicy flavors. Although they are considered a sweet spice, they are commonly used in savory dishes.

Find the differences between anise and star anise here.


It is also commonly known as hing or heeng in some Asian countries. It is a dark brown, resin-like substance that is derived from the root of a ferula herb that resembles a giant fennel plant. The substance is then processed into a coarsely-textured yellow powder, which is used as asafetida spice.

Asafoetida is typically used in lentil curries like dal, as well as other vegetable dishes when combined with other staple species. It can also be used to neutralize sour, sweet, salty, or spicy dishes. It is popularly used as a pickling agent.


It originated from Northern Europe and is used for different culinary and medical purposes. It is also commonly known as wild celery or masterwort. Angelica comes from the same family as fennel, parsley, chervil, and carrots. It tastes earthy, slightly sweet, and slightly bitter, with some hints of licorice flavor.

All parts of the angelica plant including the leaves, roots, stems, and seeds can be used for different purposes. The roots and stems are used for making essential oils.


In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “What are the spices that start with a?” We have also discussed all of them in detail.



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