Difference between spices and condiments

In their hobby for cooking, many do not think about the correct name of certain food components. For example, not everyone knows exactly how spices differ from seasonings, and someone even believes that they are one and the same. Meanwhile, we are talking about different groups of substances, although both of them give a special charm to the prepared dishes. So, let's look at all this in more detail.

General definition of spices and seasonings

Spices - substances that change some qualities for the better dishes. These additives are obtained from natural raw materials, such as plant or mineral, and also produced artificially.

Condiments are certain products or whole culinary compositions that are added to food in order to make it richer and tastier.


First of all, considering the difference between spices and seasonings, it should be noted that the first of these concepts in itself is somewhat narrower. A spice is, as a rule, some specific substance or product. This category of additives includes citric acid or alcohol, for example.

Why do they put spices in the dish? Some of them are for making food tastier. At the same time, the culinary product may acquire a new flavor. For example, salt as a spice makes a dish correspondingly salty. Sugar is sweet. Vinegar adds sourness.

The purpose of using other spices is to obtain the desired consistency of the prepared product. So, after adding starch, the composition becomes thicker, and you can achieve a jelly-like state of the product with the help of gelatin. A spice like yeast makes the dough rise before your eyes. Soda, also belonging to this category, has a loosening property.

It is worth emphasizing that spices are not decisively responsible for the aroma of a dish. And even if they have a certain smell, the main functions of such ingredients are those described above. Food becomes fragrant with the addition of spices. By the way, spices are also often confused with them. Spices are various plant components that have a pronounced smell and, moreover, give food a special flavor. Examples: ginger, pepper, bay leaf.

And, finally, seasonings. This concept is general and means everything that can be used to “season”, flavor food. This category includes both individual spices or herbs, and their various mixtures. In addition, seasonings include cooked horseradish and mustard. Some complex compositions - ketchup, various sauces, mayonnaise - are also included in the seasoning.

What is the difference between spices and seasonings yet? This can be supplemented by the fact that most spices are used precisely as an additive to dishes, but not for self-consumption. At the same time, many spices can be eaten separately or spread on bread.