It is said, that a person doesn’t just eat their food from their mouth but from all the five senses. A person first sees the food and takes in the aroma before taking the first bite, hence the focus on presenting your food well is so important. Aromatic spices are the most important part of the kitchen since no dish is really complete without these spices. One can tell if the dish is well-prepared from the sizzle and aroma of its spices.
Indian spices are used in almost every single dish to enhance its flavours and make it better. No kitchen is complete without the magical box of spices, which is the base of almost all recipes. Shopping for spices isn’t a difficult thing at all, especially when you are shopping for them, in a tropical country like India. The difficult part is to check the quality and authenticity of the spice and to maintain the quality of the spices.
Fresh and authentic spices are extremely healthy, and hence, used extensively in many cuisines across the world. But, even spices have a shelf life, and using spice that is not fresh can impact your health adversely.
Dry spices can get clumped due to moisture, and become colourless and flavourless if not maintained properly. Ground spices when well-maintained, are capable of remaining fresh for about two to three years. Dry spices are at a higher risk of getting spoilt, and hence, need to be taken better care of. It is not difficult to take care of spices, and by following these basic tips, the shelf-life of spices can be increased considerably. Sublime shares with you some tips you can use in order to maintain the spices and increase their shelf-life.
- Store your spices in an air-tight container
Spices tend to lose their aroma, and colour when allowed contact with air. The flavours tend to get lost faster than when the spices are exposed to air. Hence it is advised to store your dry spices in air-tight containers of plastic or glass. Don’t forget to seal tight the containers, in order to maintain minimum air contact with the ground spices.
- Store your spices in a dry container
When storing the spices, any trace of moisture in a sealed container can cause the moisture to get locked with the spice and might speed up the process of creating clumps in your ground spices. This is why, it is extremely essential to note that when you are packing your spices (either ground or whole spices) the container, as well as the spices must be completely dry, before storing them. Even if you choose to store spices after roasting them, ensure that they are cooled off completely, before storing them.
- Keep your spices away from direct sunlight
Direct sunlight is considered bad for the shelf-life of kitchen spices since the sunlight can adversely affect the bright colour and the innate flavours of the spices could also get lost. Whatever container you use to store your spices, be it plastic, glass or even metal containers, ensure that spices are kept as far away from direct sunlight as possible, or you would be left with dull, colourless, and odourless spices at the end. Store them in drawers or cupboards for the best results.
- Store your spices in a cool place
While spices are hot by nature and are used in cooking spicy food, spices can’t survive a prolonged period of constant heat. Your spices need a cool environment to stay fresh for longer since the heat can impact the flavours. So, choose a place away from electronics that produce heat. For a long shelf life, keep them away from the stove as well. However, keeping your spice in an artificially cooler place like a refrigerator is also ill-advised. Look for a naturally cool place to store them.
- Avoid any form of moisture near your spice
Moisture is of no good to your spices, and even a little moisture can prove detrimental to the freshness of your spices. This is why storing spices near the stove is ill-advised and storing them in the freezer is also a big no. Always ensure that the measuring spoons used for spices are completely dry before using them, or else it could easily cause clumps in dry ground spices.
- Avoid using the spice directly over a hot flame
Direct heat from the flame could cause quick degradation of the spices. But, even regular contact with the steam due to the flame, could mean that you are unintentionally leaving a window opened for your spice to lose its freshness. Always remember to avoid sprinkling spices directly over a steaming pot, as it might lock in some moisture into the container. Instead, sprinkle it in a measuring spoon or bowl away from the steam.
- Keep track of the shelf-life of your spices
Different herbs and spices have a shelf-life of anywhere between 1-2 years, and the shelf life of dried spices is between 2-3 years. While the shelf life of whole spices is 3-4 years. All the spices have a specific duration when the spices give out the best flavours, after which the spices lose their intensity. Knowing about the shelf-life of each of these spices helps you discard them in time. The ultimate test for the freshness of spice, however, remains its appearance. So, if your kitchen spice no longer releases aromas, if the colour looks to be dull, or if the flavours are not up to the mark, then it might be time to get rid of the spice.
- Opt for whole spices instead of ground spices
A Bonus tip to ensure that you get the maximum out of your kitchen spices. The best way to keep track of the longevity of your spices is to always buy in less quantity and use it up as quickly as possible. It is also a good idea to grind your dry spices on a need-to-use basis to retain the freshness. Whole spices generally have a longer shelf-life than ground spices, hence buying whole spices and grinding them at home just before use ensures that the spices retain maximum freshness, flavour, aroma, and taste.
With Sublime, you get the freshest quality, indigenous whole spices direct from the producers to your home. All spices at Sublime are carefully curated to give you the best, most beneficial whole spices, keeping in mind your health, and wellness. You get a range of whole spices including mustard seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper, cinnamon sticks, fenugreek seeds, cardamom, and cloves.
Sublime also brings to you the freshest and the most authentic batch of saffron harvested straight from the Kashmir valley.
The next time you are clearing your spice cabinet and restocking, opt to order whole spices from the Sublime website, or visit our stores at UB City, The Courtyard By Sublime, Toastina at Sheraton, Prestige Golfshire Club, and the Falcon Café.