Camping Spices To Go

These spices add zest to bland camp meals.

Some of the more useful spices for backcountry cooking:

Allspice: Use in veggie soups, stews, and on applesauce or baked apples.

Anise: Use in camp breads, pancakes, or sprinkled on applesauce. Chewing a few whole anise seeds freshens your breath.

Cardamom: Ground and add to chapati dough or other flatbreads.

Chile pepper: Crush a bit of dried hot pepper (such as cayenne, chile de arbol, or chiltepin) on almost anything that lacks oomph. Or use red pepper flakes or ground cayenne.

Cinnamon: Stir ground cinnamon into pancake batter, hot beverages, and cereal. Mix with brown sugar and sprinkle on skillet-toasted bread.

Clove: Use ground or whole in sauces, curries, stews, or soups.

Coriander: Try it in mac ‘n’ cheese, instant potatoes, and cooked fruit.

Cumin: Add ground cumin to beans or mac ‘n’ cheese; use ground or whole in soups and spicy sauces.

Fenugreek: Sprinkle sparingly in flatbreads and on chicken-and-rice or chicken-and-noodle dishes.

Ginger: Sautß thin slices of fresh ginger in oil, then remove, to flavor the oil for frying fresh trout or for stir-fry. Ginger settles an upset stomach.

Nutmeg: Just pack a whole or half nutmeg seed and scrape off what you need with a knife. Great for cheese dishes, sauces, cooked fruits, and vegetable dishes.

Pepper: Use black and white interchangeably, whole or freshly ground, with almost any food except sweets.

Saffron: Add just a pinch or two to rice, couscous, eggs, and curries.

Turmeric: Adds color and warm tang to rice and pasta, and to freeze-dried egg and chicken dishes. Like ginger, turmeric helps settle abdominal upsets.