View Full Version : Seasonings

01-09-2011, 09:25 PM
With a lot of post on salt storage I thought about other seasonings

Black, cayenne, red, chili peppers....
oregano, bay leaves, cloves, garlic powder, onion salt.....

In a retreat/bug in or even a bug out situation a variety in taste would be a pleasant change from the same bland fare.
Do spices, seasoning keep well on a longer term..how to store them.

Kind of taken it for granted but variety would really the spice of life as we are used to them.

01-09-2011, 09:29 PM
Personally, I have a lot that I've dried. I actually have a three shelf cabinet in the kitchen that I've installed a Lazy Suzanne just for spices . I also have wild onion, onion and garlic in the garden and they overwinter so there are some there. I would just have to dig through the snow at this time of year to get them if I needed them.

01-09-2011, 09:36 PM
I've always got the old standbys on hand for "emergency". (salt, pepper, dried onion and tabasco sauce.) My spice cabinet is updated with each years harvest of spices from the herb garden too. I'm not one with a bland pallet. I hear what you're saying. It's a good idea for people like me to take that into account. ;)

01-09-2011, 09:58 PM
well the reason salt is coveted is it has a much higher value for survival than flavorings. Salt also can't be grown, so unless you have a cache or access to salt water, it will be difficult to obtain it.

That being said:

Dried spices, though they will add flavor, are a far cry from their fresh counterparts. It will eventually lose potency as the oils dry up. Different spices last different lengths of time, but all eventually lose potency.

With stuff like pepper, nutmeg, etc, don't get preground items. Whole pepper corns or whole nutmeg and things like it will last a lot longer that way. Just stick a small grater it in your BOB. It can also be used to zest citrus fruits, (and shape soft wood in an emergency)so its multi purpose.

Things like peppers can be dried whole and grated or sliced finely.

Herbs are much more difficult to store since they lose quite a bit of potency when dried since they rely on oils more.

As always, store in a cool dry place for maximum life span.

Also, for a BI situation, if you can, have herbs growing. A lot of herbs can grow in a variety of climates and need little tending.

Mint is actually an aggressive plant that will grow very well left completely alone.

01-09-2011, 10:03 PM
One of the things I do with my dried herbs is to sort of roll them between index finger and thumb before I add them to whatever I'm cooking. That opens surface area and lets the remaining oils add some potency to the herb. As you said, the oils can be depleted if the herb is dried.

In the case of bay leaf I tear the leaf from the edge down to the main stem twice on each side for the same reason. I don't tear it in two because finding one large bay leaf in the chili or stew is easier than finding bay leaf parts.

01-09-2011, 10:33 PM
Its common practice to bruise dried herbs and thats basically what you do by rolling them in your fingers. You can also pile them up and tap on them a bit a few times with a knife on a cutting board (not actually cutting them, but enough to break some cells). In a BO situation though, mashing them a bit in your fingers would be the better option.

Also, making sure their is enough moisture in what you are cooking helps release more flavor by rehydrating dried seasonings. You can always cook the extra water out, but if you don't add enough liquid to start, then you'll lose out on some of the flavor. This is especially true for garlic powder (i'm sure others, but I just know garlic off hand).

Wise Old Owl
01-09-2011, 10:42 PM
regular Morton salt should be a one or two cans in the basement at all times as this is a requirement for yeast to make bread, at the same time (Regular Salt) is UNHEALTHY in terms of too much sodium!We keep High refined sea salt and some low sodium Iodized salt at all times at the house. We put the unopened cardboard cans inside round cookie tins with bay leaves and dry silica packs for long term storage.

01-09-2011, 11:04 PM
i would of thought that dried spices would keep a very, very long time

01-09-2011, 11:23 PM
i would of thought that dried spices would keep a very, very long time

They do, but their quality suffers greatly. And only certain ones will keep for very long times. Some won't last more than a year without being almost useless.

01-10-2011, 05:46 AM
Here's some more info


01-10-2011, 04:37 PM
I have plenty of dried herbs and spices. If kept cool and dry they last for years and years with no noticable negative effects.

I've had parsley get stale and that's it, but it was left on the back of the stove near heat.