Spice Tips & FAQ
Looking for additional spice ideas? Herbs and Spices Storage and Usage Tips
What length of time do herbs and spices remain fresh?
With most herbs and spices, cooks can expect the herbs and spices to maintain their freshness for approximately one year; up to 3 years with many dried, whole spices. Spices and herbs should always be stored in an area that is out of direct sunlight, away from any type of moisture and, preferably, in a dark area, such as a pantry away from any cooking surfaces.
Does it help to keep your spices and herbs in a refrigerator?
A refrigerator contains a slight humid environment which could alter the flavor of your herbs and spices and Spices Etc. does not recommend this storage method. However, as long as dried herbs and spices are stored in an air tight container we do recommend keeping larger quantities of herbs in a freezer if room is available.
Cinnamon sticks are perfect for crafts. Exactly how many will you receive?
With 4” cinnamon sticks, you can expect to receive approximately 10 sticks per ounce. Cinnamon sticks are great for holiday decorating and arts and crafts with kids, etc.
Bay laves can sometimes appear old or contain a brown tint to the leaves, does that mean they are old and have lost their flavor?
Spices Etc. can assure you our bay leaves are of superior quality and straight from the Mediterranean region. The Mediterranean variety, although sometimes contain a brownish tint and can have an old appearances can be a flavorful additions to stews, stocks and chili.
Will you sell me your spices at a wholesale discount or price?
ASpices Etc. has a complete wholesale division and we are more than able and willing to supply your business or store with the same quality of spices and herbs you expect from Spices Etc. We are able to offer you our spices, herbs, specialty seasonings and natural flavorings at competitive prices, as well as the ability to private label your spices for your business or store.
Why does Spices Etc. refer to garlic and onion spices as powder but it isn’t the same as I buy at my grocery store?
Many grocery stores refer to their garlic and onion as powder when it has a granular consistency. Products listed at Spices Etc. as powder are fine powders, much like flour or sugar. The products listed as granulated have a consistency similar to salt and these products are free flowing.
Tips for Storing and Using Herbs
See also Spice Tips & FAQ
Spices and Herbs Tips for Storage:
- Spices and herbs freshness is subject to exposure of light, heat and, especially humidity. While most people traditionally store their herbs and spices in racks above or near a cooking surface, by moving your spices to a cool, dark place, you will extend the life of your spices and herbs and they will maintain their freshness for a longer period of time.
- Proper storage of herbs and spices will result in ground spices and herbs maintaining their freshness for a minimum of one year, while whole herbs and spices have the ability to last anywhere from 3 to 5 years in quality of taste.
- To truly enjoy the full flavor of quality herbs and spices, use a mortar and pestle to grind whole herbs or spices prior to using them in your recipes. For the truly adventurous, toast whole spices in a skillet over medium heat before grinding to experience an even stronger flavor of the spice.
- While some may recommend to store spices and herbs in your refrigerator, we do not recommend this type of spice storage due to the high humidity level in most refrigerators. If possible, it is appropriate to store larger quantities of spices and herbs in air tight containers in your freezer.
Spice Tips for Usage:
- Remember, it is almost impossible to “un-spice” a dish. When using herbs and spices to season your food, your ultimate cooking goal is to compliment the flavor of the food, not to push it off the dish.
- When preparing a dish, which requires a long cooking or simmering time, add the spices and herbs no more than an hour before serving to experience the hint of freshness from your herbs and spices. Seasoning a dish to early will result in an overly abundant amount of spice flavoring.
- Helpful hint- ¼ teaspoon of spice is enough for 4 full servings when preparing a traditional dish.
- After measuring your dried spices and herbs to add to your dish, crush the ingredients for added flavor.
- Remember, dried herbs and spices are not the same as fresh herbs and spices. In the case of most dried spices and herbs, use 1/3-1/4 the amount of dried spices and herbs as is called for fresh spices and herbs in your recipe.
- With the exception of cooking an Indian dish, the common rule in most kitchens is do not use more than 3-4 herbs and spices in one dish, unless your recipe calls for it. Keep it simple.
There are four spices and herbs that should not be added to your dish until after the cooking is complete. Salt, garlic powder, black pepper and cayenne pepper should be added after cooking or allowed to be seasoned by your guest.
- The best part of cooking is EXPERIMENT! It is your dish, make it yours!
- A fun cooking experiences is blending your very own spice blends, such as curry powder, Cajun seasoning and chili powder. Many cookbooks will have recipes for these blends. Be careful, only mix enough to last a few weeks for the freshest results.
- Considered to be the most universal seasonings around, black pepper, garlic and onion can enhance almost any dish, but should be added in moderation.
- For cooks are feeling adventurous, do not be afraid to substitute common herbs and spices in recipes for similar herbs and spices. Savory instead of thyme and marjoram instead of oregano are a few that come to mind!
- If you have a sweet tooth, feel free to pile on cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg.
Many cooks consider cooking an art and so do Spices Etc. While fun and educational, cooking with spices and herbs can help you improve recipes and create recipes. Maybe the next classic dinner is just inside your spice cabinet waiting to be seasoned.
Enjoy the flavor of herbs and spices! Now, get cooking!