View Full Version : storing spices

04-18-2010, 01:50 AM
so many of us have noticed that when aromatic herbs and spices are stored, the volatile compounds get into the air, and will be absorbed by other materials [such as other spices].

this results in a mingling of spices that i usually find pleasant, as though the spices improve and enrich one another. lately however i have noticed one particular overpowering feature: fresh cumin is strong. in fact, having a bag of cumin stored in the same container of my nutmeg has essentially turned my nutmeg into cumin. i can't use it for desert dishes anymore. this is fine because i use the nutmeg and cinnamon in a lot of savoy dishes, but next time, i keep them in glass jars.

04-18-2010, 04:21 AM
Just an idea for you Canid, I store my "sweet"(cinnamon, nutmeg, mace etc) spices together in one large container, and my "savoury"(corainder, cumin, turmeric etc) in another. I store vanilla pods on their own. The little medicine pots are good for storing opened spices for use, as they are pretty airtight and coloured. The spices seem to last longer. Needless to say, the medicine pots are washed out and dried carefully!

04-18-2010, 04:52 AM
yes, i have ceramic canisters i store them in, and i probably should sort them as you suggest.i don't use them for the flour or sugar anyway, since the lids don't seal, and they don't keep out moisture or weevils. i've yet to find a bug that goes after the pungent herbs/spices.

individually, each herb/spice i don't have a sealing jar for goes in a bag with a twist tie, and then into the canisters. i mean sooner or later to build a decent spice-rack with glass jars.

04-18-2010, 09:58 AM
Canid, I transfer all of my spices into glass jars like these:


For the spices I don't use as often, I put a piece of plastic wrap over the top before I screw on the cap to keep it fresher, longer.

I keep my open spices cool and away from direct sunlight (although it does get a bit warm in the kitchen once in a while) and my back-up stock in plastic bins in the basement.

Most spices will last several years without noticeable degradation in flavor or aroma.