Spices can be divided into two groups: spices from temperate climates and spices from tropical climates. These groups are in turn subdivided into families. The umbellifers family (or celery, carrot, or parsley family) includes fragrant seeds such as anise (or aniseed), caraway, cumin, and fennel seed. The crucifers family (also known as the mustards or the cabbage family) comprises hot mustard, horseradish, and wasabi. The legume family includes liquorice and fenugreek. Tropical spices include galangal (or laos), ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, turmeric, nutmeg, pepper, and vanilla.
Basic techniques: finely grinding, toasting, mixing, infusing in butter or oil, aromatising, confiting, preserving.
Taste combinations: depend on the spice concerned. Look at the applications under a particular component for specific taste combinations.