How to Store Spices
Guests used to ask me how to store spices when they come to my house for dinner. I love cooking with spices and often I do it in front of my guests. They see me using all kinds of different spices I have at home.
In this page I will show how to store spices - what the principles of spices storage are. After all, you want to keep your spices fresh.
Fresh spices will make your cooking taste better. It is also good to learn how to keep spices to last longer because you can buy the spices in larger packaging, which costs so much less than when you buy in small packets. Also, some of the plastic packs do not really prevent moisture from seeping in.
It is especially true for spices in powder form like curry powder. Sometimes, the packet appears to be vacuum packed but in reality, the moisture has seeped in and has already hardened the curry powder inside the packaging. Thus, the powder is spoiled and does not taste good anymore when you make curry with it.
Spices namely have several forms:
Obviously, different dishes require different kinds of preparation of spices. Most of us do not have the luxury to hunt for fresh ingredients daily. We buy from wet market, grocery stores and supermarkets.
Sometimes when we visit an area famous for its special so and so spices or herbs, we tend to buy in bulk. Always forgetting that all produce have their own expiry dates. So, how to store spices to keep them fresh?
Spices get their aroma and taste mostly from the oil contained in them. Even dried, they still contain water making them susceptible to growth of fungus and mold.
So, to make spices last longer, the following general guidelines apply:
I am not really partial to the original packaging most spices come in. In powdered form, e.g. curry powder, once the plastic packet is open, the freshness of the spice goes downhill very quickly. Even those bottled by Schwarz or Maggi still let humidity to get in quickly, especially in tropical climate.
My solution is simple, I place them all in small Tupperware containers and refrigerate them. Yes, some may argue, there is limited space in the refrigerator. However, these containers come in many sizes, and are mostly stackable and modular, my small fridge houses all of them easily. The trick is to find the most suitable food container. Consider the size, the shape and easy of dispensing.
Some useful tips on how to store spices:
I hope your questions on how to store spices are answered. If you have further queries, please DO contact me.
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Nazlina's Cooking Class in Penang
Attend my cooking class to learn making traditional food.
The morning class includes Penang Market Tour.
The afternoon class includes Little India Tour.
No classes are available between 29th Sept '13 till 10th October.
Nazlina is on a trip to Namyangju in Korea, cooking for a Slow Food event, AsiO Gusto 2013.
The next available class is at 3pm, on 11th October 2013.