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Home Cooking/Only a tblspn of spice?



 I LOVE to cook when I can at home. I've been working on various recipes, and adding to others just to see how they work together.  When I cook, I often run into adding only a tablespoon of spice (i.e. paprika to a chicken paprikash).  Why add only a bit? I feel like I can't even taste the amount used.  The same goes with salt, pepper, etc.  What great advice can you give? Thanks much!


It's a good question Frank and my answer is based on my experience. I agree that very often we under spice our foods for fear of overdoing it.  People will comment that restaurant food seems to taste so much better than the same dish made at home. My experience with restaurant cooking and in the classes I teach is that we often need to be more aggressive in adding spices to foods and experimenting. Restaurants are not afraid to add the additional salt (within reason) or garlic to bring out some bold flavors or bring a dish to life.

I would advise you to start with a smaller amount,taste, and then let loose.  Experiment with fresh and dried herbs and spices.  Add that extra paprika, or maybe some smoked paprika and then taste again.  The key is to keep tasting as you go along.  You will be surprised how your dishes will reach new heights.

Hope this helps.  Happy cooking.  

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Jim Musumeci


Cooking has been my passion for more than forty years, both professionally and at home. I welcome any cooking or food related questions, especially those concerning culinary techniques. My specialties are Italian and Puerto Rican cuisine, with skills in French and Southern style cooking as well. My nickname of “JimmyScones” came about from my love of creating flaky and delicious scones. Please ask questions on food preparation, techniques, ingredients, recipes, and recommended cookbooks. I CANNOT ANSWER QUESTIONS ON APPLIANCES OR APPLIANCE PARTS, OR ON OLDER OR VINTAGE COOKWARE OR ITS' MONETARY VALUE. I would also request no more than two part questions. Since we are volunteers, I must ask that you rate our answers when you have read them since that is the only way we know if are helping you. PLEASE, DO NOT MARK YOUR QUESTIONS AS "PRIVATE". I can only answer public questions and my site will make them public if there is no personal information within. Thanks and have a delicious day.


Cooking has been my passion and avocation for more than 45 years. My grandmother (‘Nani’) taught me the skills needed to cook a complete Sunday dinner by the time I was ten years old. I still treasure the memory of those magnificent aromas wafting through her kitchen. My background includes part time restaurant work and meal preparation for large organizations and churches, as well as planning and cooking hundreds of meals for dinner parties, family gatherings, and business functions. I have also completed several courses at the Institute for Culinary Education (ICE) in NYC. I run a food blog on

The Sussex Voice and The Suburban Trends.

3 Years college level courses in communications. Specialty courses at The Institute for Culinary Education (ICE) in NYC.

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