This section is titled "Flavors" because there are so many things out there to add a harmony of flavor to a recipe! Obviously herbs and spices are the first and foremost to look to; natural products that evoke so much enjoyment and pleasure, a delight to the senses.
Chile peppers come in such variety, they will be treated as a section of their own. The list is confusing, because so many, while common to various countries, are named differently in each country.
Spices also have a more exotic class. There are so many spices used in ethnic cooking, but not known all that well here in the US, unless, like me, you love hunting out these unusual flavors! Galangal, Sumac, Nigella, Ajowain, Amchur, Mahlab! These are just a few.
And then, there are spice blends. So many countries have their own unique sets of spice blends; Garam & Chaat Masalas of India. Curry powder, while sold in India, is a British concoction no self-respecting Indian would have in their house, though it is exported, of course. Ras el Hanout and Zahtar are Moroccan mixtures. Quatre-Epices is a standard French 4-spice blend for long stewing. Harissa is a fiery mixture from Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. Sambhar Powder is widely used in Southern Indian Brahmin cooking, which is vegetarian. Five-Spice Powder is widely used in Southern China and Vietnam. And the list goes on.
Thankfully these days fresh herbs are so much more readily available! In their fresh form there is so much more flavor than when they are obtained in dried form. Dried is acceptable in most cases, though I rarely use dried herbs.
One reason I prefer fresh herbs is that some dried ones cause me some stomach distress, where the fresh version does not, no matter the quantity used! What is tastier on a pizza than fresh strewn basil or oregano leaves? What would a Caprese Salad be without fresh basil? These and many other dishes would just not be the same without fresh herbs.
HERBS- a list
Angelica - Angelica archangelica
Basil - Ocimum basilicum
Bay Leaf - Laurus nobilis
Bergamot - Monarda didyma
Borage - Borago officinalis
Calendula / Marigold - Calendula officinalis
Chervil - Anthriscus cerefolium
Chives - Allium schoenoprasum
Cilantro - Coriandrum sativum
Curry Leaf - Murraya koenigii
Dill - Anethum graveolens
Fenugreek - Trigonella foenicum-graecum
Lavendar - Lavandula angustifolia
Lemon Balm - Melissa officinalis
Lemon Verbena - Aloysia triphylla
Lovage - Levisticum officinalis
Marjoram / Oregano - Origanum sp.
Mint - Mentha sp.
Mustard - Brassica
Oregano (see Marjoram)
Parsley - Petroselinum crispum
Rosemary - Rosmarinus officinalis
Sage - Salvia officinalis
Salad Burnet - Poterium sanguisorbe
Sweet Violet - Viola odorata
Tarragon - Artemisia dracunculus
Thyme - Thymus sp.
Winter Savory - Santureja montana
Yarrow - Achillea millefolium