By Allrecipes Staff
June 29, 2015

A spice blend used in mixtures to pickle various foods, as well as to season certain dishes, the blend used can differ greatly according to the manufacturer. Pickling spice ingredients (usually whole or in coarse pieces) can include allspice, bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, ginger, mustard seeds, and peppercorns. Pre-packaged pickling spice mixes are sold in most supermarkets.

Photo by Mixit

Pickling spice not only adds characteristic flavor to pickles, it adds complex flavor to braised meats, stews, beans, and rice dishes. To infuse recipes with the multi-dimensional taste of this blend, create a sachet by placing pickling spice in the center of a piece of cheesecloth or a coffee filter and tying it tightly with a long piece of string. Leave a few inches of extra string on the bundle so it's easy to remove after cooking. Drop the flavor sachet into the pot and enjoy the distinctive taste and aroma this blend provides.

Flavor Trend
Who would have thought that Grandmother's pickling spice would become trendy? It's a delicious combination of "in" flavors--cinnamon, allspice, mustard seed, coriander, bay leaves, ginger, chile peppers, cloves, black pepper, mace, and cardamom. The blend is a perfect complement to slow cooker recipes for pot roasts and stews, braised meats, soups, and rice dishes. Pickling spice is not just for pickles anymore!

What The Experts Say:
Chef Allen Susser, of Chef Allen's in Miami, serves a warm shrimp cocktail which is poached in pickling spice.

Perfect Flavor Partners Include:
Apples, black pepper, citrus, cumin, fennel, garlic, pears, raisins, saffron, sea salt, sugar, thyme, turmeric, and vinegar

Golden-brown coriander seeds and mustard, black peppercorns, and gray-green bay leaves are the main components of pickling spice.

Flavor & Aroma
Both sweet and spicy

Sensory Profile
The blend of spices creates sweetness and tanginess