12 Spices of Christmas

This Christmas we are obsessed with using spices to add a festive flare to our dishes.  We have carefully selected twelve of our favourites to give you some inspiration and help ignite your Christmas favourites.


Cinnamon compliments both sweet and salty dishes and drinks. At JB Foods we stock a variety of cinnamon products, including Monin Cinnamon Syrup (43226) which is the perfect addition to a Christmas hot chocolate or coffee. We stock both ground cinnamon and cinnamon sticks, great for any Christmas recipe.

Star Anise

Star anise is one of the main spices in Chinese cooking, but at Christmas it is widely used in British recipes. It has a strong anise flavour, with a liquorice-like aroma. Star Anise (12090) is perfect for Mulled Wine…if you don’t make your own, JB Foods stock a 3 litre boxed Mulled Wine (68426) by Cuisine Wine and it’s delicious.


Cloves are the dried flower buds of an evergreen tree native to eastern Indonesia. They are a versatile spice that can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes. Cloves (49406)  are perfect for a baked or boiled Christmas ham or gammon. Simply push the cloves into the skin to give the meat a warm spicy flavour.


Grown mainly in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. At JB Foods, we stock a vast range of ginger products including ground ginger (65748), ginger puree (90095), ginger ice cream (63184) and a variety of ginger beers. One of our Christmas favourites is our Gingerbread Monin Syrup (81417), which is perfect for adding to coffee for a sweet, warming kick.


Sage is a very strong and slightly bitter herb that can withstand long cooking times without losing its flavour. Sage goes particularly well with pork, beef, duck and chicken recipes. At this time of the year, sage is associated mostly with sage and onion stuffing. We stock both J.Browns sage and onion stuffing (24875), and dry stuffing mix.

Black Pepper

Pepper is a spice that has been salt's partner for hundreds of years. It is extremely versatile, and is commonly used at Christmas time to coat a turkey. A combination of sea salt and black pepper can be ground together to create a tasty turkey skin.

Mixed Spice

Mixed Spice (95680) is primarily used in baking and Christmas recipes. It typically is a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves or allspice. It is used in many classic Christmas recipes, including mince pies, Christmas cake and gingerbread.


Nutmeg has a warm, spicy aroma and flavour making it the perfect Christmas ingredient. Nutmeg features in many Christmas recipes including mulled wine and christmas cake. At JB, we stock ground nutmeg (62081), which is great for making cookies, especially Lebkuchen.

Cumin Seeds

Cumin seeds (30040) have a warm flavour and strong aroma. Due to their warming flavour, cumin seeds are perfect to add to roast carrots with some rosemary and garlic. A great addition to your Christmas dinner menu.


Native to the Mediterranean, Rosemary has bittersweet green leaves which resemble pine needles. The plant is an evergreen shrub, so the leaves are available fresh all year round. At JB Foods, we stock dried rosemary needles (59507) which are the perfect match for Christmas roast potatoes.


There are many different species of mint, but the one used most widely in Western cooking is spearmint. However, peppermint is more commonly used during Christmas making it a scent and flavour we all associate with this time of year. At JB Foods we stock a range of peppermint products including, peppermint slice (79304) and peppermint ice cream (4451).


Cardamom has a wonderful aroma alongside a warm, spicy-sweet flavour that enhances both savoury and sweet dishes. At JB Foods, we stock whole green cardamom (77500) which can be used in many Christmas recipes including Christmas cake and cookies.