There is no way around it; every kitchen needs a well-stocked spice rack if you are serious about producing a variety of quality, flavorful dishes on a regular basis without growing bored. It is such a commonplace item in modern kitchens that most people assume that it exists in one way or another without a second thought or even bothering to check. The neglect is usually taken a step further, in that the majority of people have salt, pepper, and maybe a few soy sauce or ketchup packets waiting there for them. They do not realize that by including just a few of the myriad of the world's spices, they can enjoy flavors otherwise unheard of and enjoy a much richer culinary life.

When you regularly switch out the spices that you use, even a few basic ingredients can remain interesting for a much longer time. For example, cauliflower may be a very common ingredient, but few people rave about it. Spices allow you to take what is normally considered to be a very plain ingredient and turn it into something special. Dill, garlic, and curry powder are a few of the many different spices that you can use to add additional flavor to your cauliflower.

Care needs to be taken to store them properly, however, as spices that are stored correctly can last for a year. Grinding your spices before you need them will dramatically lessen their shelf life, so keep them intact until you need them and store them in opaque tins. The spices that you find in the supermarket, pre-ground and stored in glass bottles, only have a fraction of the shelf life of intact spices that are stored properly. Many chefs believe that pre-ground spices taste like sawdust.

A spice rack that has a number of different spices from all over the world is one of the best things you can keep in your kitchen, as it does wonders for even bland flavors that are otherwise entirely unappealing. Even a simple variety of basic ingredients, even the ones that you always keep around like pasta, tomatoes, and ground beef, can be elevated to new heights and made that much more exciting when you make good use of spices. Do not forget the inclusion of a spice rack the next time you plan to do a small kitchen remodel. If you are not planning any sort of immediate remodeling, even freeing up a pantry shelf can give you the room to store all the spices you need.