What are the spices that start with s?

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

What are the spices that start with s?

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

SpiceScientific name
Star aniseIllicium verum
SaffronCrocus sativus
SageSalvia officinalis
SavorySatureja spp.
SassafrasSassafras albidum
Szechuan PepperZanthoxylum piperitum
SumacRhus coriaria
Sesame seedsSesamum indicum

Let us discuss these spices in detail:

Star anise

This star-shaped spice is very similar to anise, fennel, or licorice in terms of their flavors and aroma. Its resemblance to licorice is uncanny; it is perhaps the spice that tastes and smells the most like licorice. It has very strong, distinct warm, sweet, and spicy flavors. 

The flavor of star anise is generally considered sweet, but it is more commonly used in savory dishes than in sweeter ones. It pairs especially well with citrus fruits, onions, poultry, beef, and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.


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. There are mainly two types of savory: summer savory and winter savory. Both of these spices have different flavor profiles and uses.

You can use savory spice for savory dishes whenever it calls for it. However, not all the spices that are used in savory dishes are savory. If used in excess, it tends to dominate the other ingredients, 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.

Szechuan pepper

They are also known as Sichuan pepper and are derived from the Sichuan peppercorns. They differ from normal black peppercorns in that they give a tingling effect to the tongue to enhance the hotness. The bitter flavor on the tongue is followed by numbing heat and sour flavors.

Szechuan peppercorns are famous for their numbing sensation, which adds some heat to any dish.


Saffron comes from the crocus flower and each stigma has to be handpicked to obtain the saffron. Its expensive price and difficulty in harvesting make it one of the rarest and most expensive spices in the world. Since each flower only has three red stigmas, 170,000 blossoms are required to produce one pound of saffron.

Its unusual flavors and scent are extraordinary. It pairs nicely with a wide variety of dishes, and even when it isn’t the main ingredient, its flavor, and distinct aroma lift the flavors of other ingredients to something ethereal.


It is an unusual and versatile spice that originated from the Mediterranean region, Turkey, and some parts of Iran. This spice is made from the dried berries of the Rhus coriaria plant, which you may know as Sicilian Sumac. 

The berries are red wine in color which are then dried and grounded to form the spice. The spices have mild tangy flavors and are mostly used as a dressing, marinade, and spice rub.


It is derived from the leaves of a herbaceous perennial plant. It comes from the family Lamiaceae, which is also the home to many other spices and herbs like mint, oregano, lavender, rosemary, thyme, and basil. It is mostly used in Spanish cuisines and seasoning different kinds of meat.


This spice is derived from the bark of Sassafras albidum trees. They are mostly found in eastern North America, while one species can also be found in Southeast Asia and South America. It gives citrusy and woody flavors with hints of camphor and old wood. 

If you smell a trace of root beer while cooking with sassafras, it’s because it is the original root beer flavor. It has a natural sweetness and is used as a souring agent in different dishes. You can find the recipe for sassafras root beer here.

Sesame seeds

They are derived from the plant called Sesamum indicum. Sesame plants have been cultivated and used in the culinary and medicinal world for thousands of years. It can be used in ground or whole form in different types of cuisines. Sesame seeds are mostly used in bakery goodies, bread, cookies, and toppings in different foods. 


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


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