Look in your favorite cookbook for a herb and spice guide to learn which spices are typically used in savory dishes and which are favored for sweets.
Sprinkle a small amount of spice on 1/2 tbsp. of softened butter and mix them together. Allow the mixture to set for at least 60 minutes, then spread the butter on a plain cracker and eat it. Let the spice linger on your palate to get the full effect of the flavor.
Add a small amount of only one new spice at a time to a favorite recipe until you are certain it enhances the flavors. Keep notes on recipe cards to remember, for instance, how much anise you added to a familiar cookie recipe and what the result was.
Flavor soups and stews with a new spice by placing a few generous spoonfuls of the soup into a bowl. Add a light pinch of the spice and allow the soup to cool for about 10 minutes. Taste the mixture and add spice to the entire batch accordingly.
Vary the amount of spice you experiment with based on the form of the product. Whole spices, such as peppercorns, add the biggest flavor punch, and dried spices have a stronger flavor than fresh ones.