POSTED BY Kim Pawell ON October 20, 2020 WITH NO COMMENTS
I have received a lot of inquiries as to where I get various ingredients, particularly spices. I am committed to sharing my sources with you, particularly for hard to find items. My latest favorite source for spices is Penzey's where I can order a great range and quality of spices online. They also provide options for a range of sizes, which I find very helpful. I can order larger quantities of dried oregano that I use constantly and smaller quantities of things like fennel seeds, that I use less often. I also am a big fan of Trader Joe's spices. Their inventory selection is limited, but their prices can't be beat. Another way I like to shop for spices, at least pre-pandemic, is by shopping at ethnic grocery stores. Typically their selection and prices are much better than standard grocery stores.
The Best Tip for Keeping Track of the Age of Your SpicesEver wonder how old that dried sage or bottle of juniper berries is in your spice cupboard? While most spices can be used for several years, they tend to lose potency over time. When you purchase your spices, write the date on the spice bottle or package, while you are still in the store. You will never have to wonder again.
Where to Store Your SpicesYou want to protect your spices from air, heat, light and moisture. Keep dried herbs and spices in tightly sealed glass jars. Store away from the stove, and preferably in a dark cupboard. Do not freeze spices. They will just get freezer burn and take on moisture overtime.
How Old is Too Old?Spices last a surprisingly long time. Dried herbs and ground spices will lose their potency faster than whole spices. As a general rule of thumb:
- Dried herbs 1-2 years
- Ground spices 2-3 years
- Whole spices 3-4 years and longer