Give salt and pepper a night off. One of these exotic spice blends is waiting to take your dinner in a new direction.
japanese seven spice
Photography by Peter Ardito
| Credit: Photography by Peter Ardito


The tangy, nutty mix of sumac, thyme, sesame and oregano is a Mideast staple. Toss with carrots before roasting or use as a boost for hummus. Try: Urban Accents Marrakesh Za'atar ($7.50)


Sriracha lovers, say hi to your new obsession: harissa. Made with red chiles, garlic and spices, the North African blend adds a pleasing low burn to sautéed chicken. Try: Frontier Co-op Organic Harissa Seasoning ($5.19)

Shichimi Togarashi

This Japanese seasoning is typically made with ginger, Szechuan peppercorn, citrus peel, seaweed and more, bringing umami-rich, aromatic spice to eggs, rice or ramen. Try: McCormick Gourmet Japanese Seven Spice ($4.49)


Perfect for lighting a fire under your meals, this Ethiopian mainstay mixes warm spices like paprika, cumin and cinnamon and a dose of red pepper. It's delicious on popcorn or as a pork rub. Try: Whole Foods Market Organic Berbere Seasoning ($4.99)