Recipe Exchange Group: Herbs and Spices
spices will keep their flavor indefinitely as long as they are kept
in tightly closed containers away from heat and light.
Herbs in leaf form
will keep longer than herbs in ground form.
and herbs will keep their flavor for up to a year after purchase
(whether opened or unopened), as long as they were fresh when
purchased and kept in tightly closed containers in a cool place. If
kept at room temperature, in a pantry for example, herbs and spices
will keep for only 6 months. Never store herbs and spices next to or
above the stove (this will shorten their life).
your spices near a heat or humidity source, such as on top of the
stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, or microwave, or near the sink or a
heating vent. You also want to avoid light sources, and the best way
to do this is to put the spices inside a cupboard or a drawer. If an
open spice rack is being used, be sure to place it out of direct sunlight.
Spices such as turmeric,
curry powders, ground cloves and paprikas should be
kept in glass or tin: they will
"melt" plastic over time.
While it is all
right to store some spices in the refrigerator, extreme
temperatures (in either direction) are not advisable. Vanilla beans
and extract, however, should NEVER be refrigerated.
To tell if a herb
or a spice has lost its flavor, smell it - if it has no aroma,
it should be discarded. It's a good idea to date your spices and
renew them at least ever 12 months.
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