Quatre épices is a spice mix used mainly in the French kitchen, but is also found in some Middle Eastern kitchens. The name literally means "four spices"; the spice mix contains ground pepper (white, black, or both), cloves, nutmeg and ginger. Some variations of the mix use allspice instead of pepper or cinnamon in place of ginger.
The blend of spices will typically use a larger proportion of pepper (usually white pepper) than the other spices, but some recipes suggest using roughly equal parts of each spice.
In French cooking, it is typically used in soup, ragout and pot-cooked dishes, vegetable preparations and charcuterie, such as pâté, sausage and terrine.
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