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COMPLETE LIST OF SPICES

How long do spices last?

Most people don’t realize it, but spices tend to go stale quicker than you think especially store-bought ones. That bottle of oregano you bought at the store five years ago, barely smells but has no brown specks yet so, it must be fine right? WRONG!  One thing you may be surprised to learn is that when you buy a supermarket spice, it may already be as much as a year old before you even take it home and use it for the first time. As a result, the spice you just bought may have already lost more than half its flavor! (more about store-bought spices vs. our gourmet spices here)
Here are a few tips for having a quality, fresh, and gourmet spice cabinet.

1. Identify the freshness of your spices

A proper selection and good quality of a spice can elevate the flavor of any preparation. Freshness is the main thing to look for in a spice; the fresher, the strongest the smell and purest the taste. For this, you need to take into account the supply chain of the seller. Having a shorter supply chain means having fewer hands, storages and transportations handling the product, which results in a fresher, more flavorful spice. Read here all about our supply chain.

2. Take off the caps and smell!

Spices are filled with volatile oils; these oils contain organic chemical compounds inherent to the plant that gives the spices its smell and flavor. Volatile oils tend to vaporize and oxidize changing its taste in the process. Rub a little bit of the spice in your hand to activate it, if a weak smell emerges from it it’s time to toss it.

3. Check the color

A fresh, quality product should have a bright and strong color. If that paprika at the back of your cabinet is looking pale or faded… it’s time to toss it.

4. Did the texture change?

Moisture is the #1 enemy of your dry spices. If you can identify big clumps and the product is sticking to the sides of its container, most likely, it is stored where it shouldn’t be, or it sat next to steam for too long. This means most of the volatile oils in the spice have oxidized much faster than they should and your spice will never taste the same.

5. Taste it

Is the most obvious one, but also the most reliable test you can do to your spices. If you used to sprinkle just little of Aleppo pepper to get the flavor you were looking for, and now a spoon full won’t do, it’s a sign your spice has passed its prime.

Now that you have tossed all your old spices it’s time to invest in quality gourmet spices, but you might be wondering how to store spices to preserve their flavor? Here are a few tips:

  • Don’t store them above your stove. Yes, it might be convenient, but the heat and moisture are going to damage your spices.
  • Keep them in airtight containers. Keeping them sealed helps preserve the freshness, that’s why our containers are designed specifically with that purpose: The lid in our clear glass bottle clamps down with a tight-sealing gasket and a sleek chrome closure, and the handy stand-up pouches keep the moisture away with an airtight resealable system.
  • Keep them off the counter. Storing them out and in the open means, they are more likely to receive direct sunlight which makes them deteriorate faster. Also, some herbs and spices are photosensitive, so direct sunlight will cause them to breakdown and dry out. Instead, keep them in a cool, dry space away from direct sunlight.
  • The fridge is a big NO NO. The change in temperature every time you take them out of the refrigerator will damage the volatile oils, and the condensation inside the container can form mold.
  • Don’t hold your spice containers directly over the pot. By doing this, you are forcing them into the heat and the steam rising off your food may cause condensation inside of the spice containers. It’s better to shake the spices into the palm of your hand or onto a spoon away from the stove and then add them to your dish

Following these simple recommendations will help you preserve the quality of your spices and herbs. Taking care of your spices is taking care of your food, and the outcome will be gourmet quality in every dish!

Have your spices gone bad
Summary
Have your spices gone bad? 5 ways to find out
Article Name
Have your spices gone bad? 5 ways to find out
Description
Thinking of spring cleaning your kitchen? Start by your spice cabinet!Most people don’t realize it, but spices tend to go stale quicker than you think especially store-bought ones. That bottle of oregano you bought at the store five years ago, barely smells but has no brown specks yet so, it must be fine right? WRONG!
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