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View Full Version : When Do Spices Give Up The Ghost?

01-31-2009, 07:31 PM
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long can bottled spices be kept; what is the shelf life? The good news
is, spices typically do not spoil. The bad news is, they lose their
strength. What is interesting is that a lot of cookbook writers tell
you to purge your pantry once an herb or spice is about 6 months old.
But most spice
companies are not so reckless. They tell you to keep
and use the spices as long as they appear to have flavor—and they trust
you to be able to tell! Stored in an airtight container, in a cool, dry
place, spices retain their potency longer than you’d think — as long as
4 years for whole spices, 2 to 3 years for ground spices, and 1 to 3
years for leafy herbs, depending on the herb. Whole peppercorns,
nutmegs and cinnamon sticks hold on to their flavor for ages.
Particularly potent whole spices, such as cloves, cumin, and cardamom
will also last for a long time. For ground spices, shake the jar, let
it settle, and give a sniff. If there’s essentially no smell, it should
be tossed out. If the spices have a bit of fragrance left but are not
as potent as you remember or think they should be, just use more in the
recipe. Then you’ll run out sooner and have a reason to start fresh
with a new batch. Of paramount importance in getting the most flavor
and value out of your herbs and spices is to store them well — nowhere
near the heat of the stove, nowhere near the humidity of the stove or
dishwasher, nowhere bright and sunny. But don’t get the idea that
putting them in the freezer is ideal, either. Condensation will be a
problem each time the bottle comes out of the freezer and is likely to
introduce moisture in the spices. Similarly, don’t ever shake herbs
or spices out of the bottle directly into something you’re cooking —
that’s the quickest way possible to steam and despoil your spices.

Watkins associates, realize that most people have spices on their
kitchen shelf that they’ve had for 5, sometimes 10 or more years.
Compare the smell of a new Watkins spice to one that is years old. What
a difference! Almost everyone needs a new set of spices. And guess
what? We have the best!!

Information taken from oChef.com.</font>
Edited by: Watkins4LifeCC

01-31-2009, 07:56 PM
When I joined Watkins, that was one of the first things I did; clean out my spice cabinet. I scared myself when I found things in there I was toting around for many years. They were old and stinky because they lost all their flavor. Now when you open up my cabinet, you will see all Watkins spices.

The cool thing is now I actually use EVERYTHING that is in there! LOL!

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