Never mind your stapler. Here we are discussing kitchen staples, or foods that are used often and in many different dishes. These are things like spices and herbs.
It is very important to have them easily accessible, as you will most likely be using one or more in every dish, every time you cook.
Seasonings – An item added to enhance the natural flavors of a food without dramatically changing its taste; salt is the most common seasoning.
Flavoring – An item that adds a new taste to, and alters, a food’s natural flavor; flavorings include herbs, spices, vinegars and condiments. The terms seasonings and flavoring are often used interchangeably.
Herbs – Any of a large group of aromatic plants whose leaves, stems or flowers are used as a flavoring; used either dried or fresh.
Aromatic – A food added to enhance the natural aromas of another food; aromatics include most flavorings, such as herbs and spices, as well as some vegetables.
Spices – Any of a large group of aromatic plants whose bark, roots, seed, buds or berries are used as flavoring; usually used in dried form, either whole or ground.
Condiments – Traditionally, any item added to a dish for flavor, including herbs, spices and vinegars; now also refers to cooked or prepared flavorings such as prepared mustards, relishes, bottled sauces and pickles.
Obviously, this just scratches the surface. But I wanted you to be aware of the importance of kitchen staples and the need to keep them handy. You will find much more detail on their specific characteristics and uses elsewhere in this website.