Welcome to my world. Only the revelation hit me living with a bunch of furriners at age 18. (What's dukkah? Or ras el hanout? What do you mean Greek oregano is different?)We never really got into spices until we learned to cook during the covid. Now I don't know how we ever survived so long without.
The Chinese 5 Spice Powder sounds similar to the stir-fry spice mix we make:One thing not mentioned that is staple here is Chinese five spice powder, for pork marinade mostly chow sui.
Five spice powder has a rather different list of ingredients including 3 not in that blend:The Chinese 5 Spice Powder sounds similar to the stir-fry spice mix we make:
I discovered Sumac in kabob places in DC. It’s my goto seasoning when others use cavanders or Cajun Seasinings, etc. I’ve bought it on Amazon and in a surburban international market, but I like the version a kabob place in Arlington uses better- had him buy me a gallon bags worth.Seriously, some people like a lot of seasoning, some like a little. Some cook basic foods in pretty much one cuisine, others sometimes go wild in half a dozen or more.
If you are trying to figure an inventory for yourself, the real question is what do you use to make what you like to eat and how much do you go through of those things in a year.
Everyone needs salt and pepper. OTOH, a lot of people will live their whole lives without once feeling a desire for sumac or berbere, galengal or yuzu. However, I expect almost everyone who actually cooks everything from scratch will want at least a couple of dozen or more herbs/spices.
Even my All-American jello salad, cream of soup, and pound cake mom had about four dozen. She did venture as far as chili powder and curry powder over the years. Plus my father snuck some Old Bay on the shelf early on, and I added some anise seeds for the biscochitos when I was young. So she eventually got past my grandmother's 12 or so.
Sounds like you might be talking about the za'atar spice blend made with sumac, not pure ground sumac? Common combo would be za'atar herb (wild Mediterranean variety of thyme/oregano, often substituted here with regular thyme plus some combo of oregano/marjoram/coriander), sumac, toasted sesame seeds, and salt, but there are a thousand versions and everyone has their own favorite.I discovered Sumac in kabob places in DC. It’s my goto seasoning when others use cavanders or Cajun Seasinings, etc. I’ve bought it on Amazon and in a surburban international market, but I like the version a kabob place in Arlington uses better- had him buy me a gallon bags worth.