Spice Parisienne

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Preparation info

  • Makes about

    ½ cup

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Better Than Store-Bought: Authoritative recipes that most people never knew they could make at home

Better Than Store-Bought

By Helen Witty and Elizabeth Schneider

Published 1979

  • About

Time was when jars so labeled could be found on most well-stocked spice shelves in stores, and here and there you may still be able to find this mixture. Spice Parisienne is a version of the blends originated by French chefs who regularly devised their own ready-mixed spices and herbs. No two experts of past ages had exactly the same formula, but the general idea was to marry the fragrant and the pungent. A good rule of thumb is to try this mix when you would ordinarily season with pepper, thyme, and bay leaves. The aromatic spices will add an extra dimension of flavor. Try a little, taste, then adjust the seasoning. Note that the blend is more intricate than Quatre Épices, which is much used in pâtés and sausage making.

Spice Parisienne is best (because freshest) when made with as many whole spices and herbs as possible, ground separately in a spice mill, then measured. However, it’s still excellent when preground spices are used.


  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 medium bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground white pepper (2 heaping tablespoons peppercorns before grinding)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper (2 heaping tablespoons peppercorns before grinding)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated nutmeg (about 1 whole nutmeg before grating)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, preferably freshly ground (about 6 inches stick cinnamon before grinding)
  • teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground dried thyme, measured after grinding
  • teaspoons ground mace (heaped teaspoons crumbled whole mace before grinding)
  • teaspoons ground cloves, preferably freshly ground (about teaspoons before grinding)


Grind the salt and the bay leaves together, then blend them thoroughly with the remaining ground spices and herbs. Pack the mixture into small jars or bottles and close tightly.