How to Store Spices Easier
Herbs and spices are the heart of a dish. They can add just the missing flavor, or a subtle aroma that will transform the experience into something out of this world. But keeping your spices fresh and in top shape is trickier than you thought. Keep reading to find out the best tips to store spices!
Buy spices correctly
Certain spices, such as the nutmeg, will last much longer and fresher if you purchase them whole instead of ground. What we recommend is to purchase whole spices and simply grate the amount you’ll use. Similar to this, purchase small quantities or they’ll go stale before you use them. Whole spices can last up to four years, while ground spices can last for two to three years. Meanwhile, if you store herbs correctly, they could also last up to three years.
Keep them cool and dry
Keep all of your spices and herbs away from direct sunlight, and definitely away from the stove where it could receive direct heat. When you’re sprinkling spices and herbs into a stew or dish, don’t take them out directly from the bottle into the steaming pot, because the steam can sneak into the spice bottle and sap its power. Steam could cause the spices to harden and “glue” together to the bottom of the bottle.
Be aware of their expiration
You should remember that spices don’t last forever. While they don’t spoil, they do lose their strength and flavor. If you don’t want to discover a tasteless and weak spice when cooking make sure to give them a good sniff before you use them, especially if you don’t remember when you purchased them or last used them.
Check their freshness
To ensure an optimal flavor when cooking, your spices need to be in their best shape, this is when they’re freshest. To test if a spice is fresh you don’t need any equipment or tool, you just need to take a bit of the spice and taste it and smell it. A fresh, strong spice must have a deep effect on your nose and tongue when testing it.
The right storage
Some spices such as chili powder and paprika can stay fresh longer and even keep their strong color if you store them in the refrigerator. This may not be the case for other spices so make sure to double-check before storing them. When opening your bottle of spices, make sure to close the lid tightly right after using them to keep the moisture away and lock in the flavor.
How to serve them
When you take out some of your spices, make sure that the spoon you use is completely dry before you dip it in. Moisture is a quick fellow that can spread all over the bottle and ruin the flavor of most spices, especially aromatic ones. If you’re going to grind your own spices, you can use a coffee grinder. Pick a cheap and handy grinder in case something goes wrong, and make sure to clean it thoroughly between uses so you don’t get the flavors mixed together.