How long do spices keep?


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#2
After twenty-five years, my question about my grandmother's paprika wasn't "Is it fresh?" (probably not) but "Will it actually kill me?"

The answer seems to be it's probably edible. And it smells... Surprisingly just like the new stuff. I still think I'm going to skip tasting it, it's weirding me out.
 

pamc153PA

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#5
I tend to get many of my dry spices in bulk at a dry goods store. It's much cheaper than supermarket spices. I try to replaces ones I haven't used up once a year.
 

donna

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#6
The book I always go to on spices is one my Dad gave me, "A handbook of Spices, Herbs, Seasonings and Flavorings" by Durkee.

As to how long you keep spices, the book states:

"Length of Spice Shelf Life"
"Whole spices retain their fresh flavor and aroma almost indefinitely. Ground spices and herbs should be given the "sniff test" once a year. This is done by quickly passing the opened container under the nose and seeing if the contents can be identified. If not, it should be discarded and replaced."
 

donna

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#7
One of the most important things about spices according to the handbook is how you store them.

"Heat robs ground spices of their flavor, and dampness cakes and deteriorates the powders, so it is recommended that all spices be stored in as cool and dry a place as possible."

"Containers should be tightly closed so the precious, volatile oils will not escape."
 
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#8
Saw there was question on how long spices keep. It varies by spice. I am posting this article and chart for reference.

https://allspiceonline.com/blog/old-spice/
I would think that chart might be accurate in an arid climate,but in a high moisture environment like Florida they will cake up on you no matter how tight the container seals.like any thing else I think if it's over a year get rid of it.
 

Nathanb1

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#10
The problem with spices bought in a grocery store is that you really have no idea how long the spice has been sitting on a shelf in a warehouse, the conditions under which it was stored there and in shipping, conditions in the store.....well, you get the idea. If you can buy spice from a wholesale/retail place where the quality of spices is important, then store them properly at home, you're much better off. I haven't tried online retailers yet, but I would consider giving it a whirl.

I learned a lot working for my brother in law in his spice blending plant. :smile:
 
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#11
The problem with spices bought in a grocery store is that you really have no idea how long the spice has been sitting on a shelf in a warehouse, the conditions under which it was stored there and in shipping, conditions in the store.....well, you get the idea. If you can buy spice from a wholesale/retail place where the quality of spices is important, then store them properly at home, you're much better off. I haven't tried online retailers yet, but I would consider giving it a whirl.

I learned a lot working for my brother in law in his spice blending plant. :smile:
We have bought vanilla beans online and find that it is a much better product then you get in the stores and it winds up costing you less.
 
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