Without spices, the soup is unappetizing, and the meat is tasteless. Pepper and cloves, nutmeg and origami, cinnamon and dill - all the spices are countless. Any housewife should always have them. At the same time, it is important to store them correctly so that they do not lose their properties.
A good cook should have several dozen spices. Each national cuisine has its own typical spice mix. It is difficult to imagine French cuisine without rosemary and mayoram, Italian without origano, Arabs love cumin, Russians - horseradish and mustard. It is the seasonings that give the special taste and aroma to common foods.
A variety of plant parts can be spicy: the roots and leaves of celery and parsley, ginger has a rhizome, a cinnamon tree has bark, a carnation has flower buds, pepper has fruits, and dill has leaves, stems and seeds. Some spices can be grown in the garden, others are brought from different exotic countries. Some of them are consumed fresh, some are dried, you can also freeze them, spicy herbs, for example. Almost all spices require proper storage, because most spices are used in very small quantities, but regularly.
Spices practically do not spoil in the usual sense. They cannot turn sour, for example. Seasonings lose flavor and aroma. They just stop being condiments. Their standard shelf life under ideal conditions: whole roots and seeds - from 3 to 4 years; berries, fruits and nuts - from 2 to 3 years; spicy herbs - from 1 to 2 years; ground spices and their mixtures - from 1 month to 1 year.
7 basic rules for storing spices
1. Whole spices keep their freshness longer than ground spices.
Peas can be stored for years, while ground peppers quickly lose their flavor. Nutmeg is not kept ground at all, it is crushed just before use.
2. Most spices are stored in hermetically sealed jars
Glass or ceramic containers with a tight-fitting lid are convenient for storing spices. Jars with holes at the top for pouring into the finished dish are unsuitable for any long-term storage. Some condiments can be stored in regular bulk cans. Store ginger, onion, garlic, celery in the refrigerator or in a dry, ventilated place.
3. Spices are not stored near the stove
All spices do not like temperature changes; from frequent heating, they quickly lose their taste and useful properties. They cannot be stored in a cabinet above the stove, even if there is an extractor hood.
4. Spices are not kept in the light
Many housewives love to decorate their kitchen with transparent spice jars. It's convenient - you can see where what lies. It's beautiful - colorful spices look beautiful in beautiful containers. But when exposed to light, most spices very quickly lose their valuable properties. The place for storing spices is in the dark. Ceramic sets with tight-fitting lids are suitable for this purpose. It is convenient to choose with inscriptions or pictures that will tell you where what lies. You can simply place them in a cabinet on a special shelf or in a drawer (in this case, glassware is also suitable).
5. Do not pour the seasoning directly from the jar into the dishes where the food is boiling.
Some habits also shorten the shelf life of the spices. Steam trapped in dry seasonings accelerates the loss of flavor and aroma and leads to clumping. A spoon or knife should be used for this.
6. The spice spoon must be dry and clean.
A wet spoon moisturizes the seasoning, and moisture can cause mold to grow in it, making it completely unusable.
7. Condiments of the red pepper family, including paprika and chili, are best kept in the refrigerator
There they retain their color and freshness longer. But you should definitely take care that there is no unpleasant smell in the refrigerator, the pepper will have a very unpleasant odor.
How to check spices for freshness
Fresh herbs - dill, basil, parsley, rosemary - are best consumed directly from the garden. The dried spices are tested for taste, smell and color. If the seasoning has changed its color during storage, in most cases you can no longer try it.
Most spices have a pronounced strong aroma when dry. If it has changed during storage, especially if it has become unpleasant or not felt at all, then it is better to throw this spice away without regret.
Some condiments can be tasted with some care, like horseradish or mustard. The taste of cloves, coriander, nutmeg can be fully felt only in the finished dish.
Things to know (Q&A)
What is the best way to keep spices fresh?
Keep your spices tightly covered and store them in a cool, dry place . Whole spices stay fresh for up to 2 years while ground spices have a 6-month shelf life. Store red spices , such as paprika and red pepper, in the refrigerator. They will hold their color and keep their flavor longer.
Should you keep spices in the fridge?
Spices should be kept in a cool, dry, dark area of your kitchen, like in the pantry. Red-colored spices (including red pepper, paprika and chili powder) should always be stored in the fridge , especially in hot and humid climates. ... This ensures you don't keep spices beyond their usefulness.
How do you store spices for long term storage?
What is the best way to store spices for long term storage ? Spices stored in a cool, dry, dark location in original air-tight packaging will give you the longest quality shelf-life. Spices will store for many years, but as spices age they lose their flavor and aroma. Fresh spices provide optimal flavor.
Do spices need to be stored in the dark?
Spices and herbs should always be stored in an area that is out of direct sunlight, away from any type of moisture and, preferably, in a dark area, such as a pantry away from any cooking surfaces.
Is it better to store spices in glass or plastic?
The expensive and high quality spices are always stored in glass . Plastic can be porous, allowing in small amounts of air that slowly damage spices . While every spice has an expiration date if properly stored and sealed, glass will extend the shelf life significantly. 3
Does freezing spices keep them fresh?
Store your spices and seasoning blends in air tight containers and keep them in a cool dark place. ... If you have ever heard it's good to freeze spices and herbs forget it! Condensation will be a problem each time the jar or bag of spice comes out of the freezer and is likely to introduce unwanted moisture to the spices .
How do you store spices for years?
By storing your spices in a cool, dark place, you will extend the life of the spices and herbs , maintaining their freshness for a longer period. In addition, preserving them in vacuum sealer bags or mason jars will help maintain their flavor and freshness longer. 15
Can you freeze spices to keep them fresh?
Though it's best to keep spices in a dry cabinet, you can store larger backup supplies in the fridge or freezer. Whole spices can be stored in the freezer for up to three years and ground spices up to six months. Do not store small amounts of spices in the fridge or freezer, as this will trap humidity once it's opened. 9