Spice Shelf Life
Keeping Spice “NICE”
When checking spices for freshness, use the ACT principal: Aroma, Color, Toss
AROMA: THE NOSE KNOWS
Sprinkle some of the selected spice in the palm of your hand. Squeeze a bit between your thumb and forefinger and sniff gently. (For whole spices, crush or cut the spice open to release the full scent.) Is the smell immediate and identifiably fresh? Or has its true aroma diminished, or worse, vanished? If the spice has lost its potency or freshness, it’s probably time to buy a new batch.
COLOR ME FRESH
Fading herbs will fade from a vibrant green to lighter colors, and spices with a reddish hue (think chili powder, red pepper) will shade toward brown.
TOSS WITH FLAVOR LOSS
If your spices and herbs smell or taste lackluster, don’t think twice - toss the spice. After all, herbs and spices are usually inexpensive, but they significantly enhance the sensory experience delivered by most meals.
Helping the spices stay shelf-stable
Here’s how you can keep your spices and herbs fresh:
Keep your spices and herbs in cool, dry surroundings, away from sunlight, heat or humidity. Store in airtight, glass jars and close tightly after each use.
POUR FOR MORE
When adding spices to your dishes, ensure their potency and freshness by pouring them into your hand or a measuring spoon or cup before adding them. Steam from cooking can moisten spices and herbs and reduce their freshness.
QUALITY = FLAVOR
High quality spices retain their flavor taste better, punctuate a dish better and contribute to a longer shelf life.