Have a spicy spring
By The Associated Press
Spring cleaning is great for the spice rack — and the cook’s efforts will be all the tastier.
First, how about a thorough inventory on the freshness of the herbs and spices in your spice cupboard? Most spices are good for only a year, but many of us have spices lurking in a neglected corner of the spice cupboard, dating back to some historic past.
The shelf life of spices varies depending on the spice and the climate: the warmer your climate, the shorter the shelf life. Generally, the larger and more whole a spice or an herb is, the more slowly it loses flavour.
Although spices rarely go bad and become completely unusable, they may lose their flavour and potency. Proper storage helps maintain peak flavour and aroma.
Here are some tips to help your spices keep their quality.
• Store spices in airtight containers away from heat, moisture and direct sunlight — and therefore away from the stove and dishwasher.
• Test your spices periodically. For ground spices, shake the jar, let it settle and take a sniff. If there’s essentially no scent, it should be tossed out.
• If you choose to store herbs and spices in the freezer or refrigerator, return them promptly after use to avoid condensation.
• Never shake herbs or spices out of the bottle directly into something you’re cooking — that lets steam get into the container and spoil your spices.
• Catalogue spices with the date you bought them, and tape the list to the inside door of the cabinet. This provides a quick reference when you’re making a grocery list, and helps you know when you need to cull aging spices.
Source: The Spice Hunter at www.spicehunter.com
I'll be posting some spicy recipes on this thread - feel free to join in!