CarolCooks2…Friday Food Reviews…Spring Cleaning! The Spice Cupboard…

Welcome to Friday Food Reviews where I will be covering a different food or product each week and looking at… what are they?  where do they grow, what can we substitute them for in a recipe, are they safe to eat, how to store them, how to use them, cook them, anything connected to that food. or product..all the why’s and the wherefores…it will, of course, be mainly my own opinion or a known fact…good or bad…there may even be a tried and tested recipe…or three…

This week it’s…Time for some Spring cleaning…”The Spice Cupboard”

For some of you, spring has sprung…the daffs are in full bloom and the bluebells should be out soon…that’s when I get the urge to clean especially the cupboards…I hoard nothing anywhere else in the house the exception to that is the “Spice Cupboard”…

If you’ve moved house and come across out-of-date tins, packets past their sell-by and jars of spices that have lost their mojo then you know where I am coming from…sigh…

How do you know when it’s time to chuck out that jar languishing among the other jars?

Simply unscrew the lid and have a good smell and check the colour – the aroma should be fragrant and appetising. Or, check the date. We’re all guilty of holding onto a jar or two that still says 2020( 2017)…Who me?… Hands up I am just as guilty…

My Indian spice mixes I make myself which means I make enough for 6 curries and then make some more so those spices stay fresh as I get a good rotation and quickly…the Juniper Berries and the cardamon powder are another story?…big sigh…by now I am sure you get the picture…It’s that time!

We all know it’s hard to say goodbye – but we also want to get the most out of our herbs and spices, so if the time has come…

Ground spices… lose their freshness the quickest and typically don’t last past six months. The best freshness test for ground spices is to give them the nose test — if they smell like nothing, then it’s time to say goodbye.

If you can’t say goodbye then all may not be lost…

There are 3 ways to bring back a little life to spices that are fading but NOT ancient, two involve heat:

A gentle toast in a skillet can revive a curry powder or five-spice blend. Dump the full contents of the jar into a dry pan. Heat to medium-low and stir constantly until it gets noticeably more fragrant. Ground spices will burn easily, so don’t walk away from this one. Allow it to cool before putting it back in the jar.

“Fry” the spices in hot oil immediately before cooking with them as an alternative. This method is especially useful for aromatic blends like curry powder or single spices like coriander or cumin. Heat oil in a pan and add spices, stirring as they begin to warm and release their long-hidden aroma. Then, continue with your cooking as planned.

Repurpose older spices by making a Spice Potpourri and add fragrance to your home without cooking. You can even make these as gifts if your old spices selection is enormous.

Mixed spices… if you use them a lot, you can sometimes get them as whole spices from spice markets or online sources, but it’s more common to find them ground. It’s a good idea to label the ground spices to keep track of when you bought them. Also, use the smell test to check their freshness periodically and replace them when needed.

Whole spices… on the other hand, can be fine for up to five years. To liven them up, toast them in a dry skillet and then grind them before using. You’ll notice the flavour will be more pronounced than its untoasted brother.

Choose the whole nutmeg over the ground nutmeg, peppercorns over ground black pepper, and so on.

But if the whole spice looks faded, it may have seen its final days. That’s why you should always keep your spices in a dark cupboard instead of an open spice rack where daylight can penetrate the bottles…I know they look lovely all lined up but they don’t react well to light…

If it’s something you use every day then a nice ceramic pot looks good on your kitchen counter…

In the culinary world, spices are seasonings made from a plant’s dried roots, bark, or stem, whereas herbs are the plant’s dried or fresh leaves.

Salt is the only spice that keeps indefinitely for anything else as long as it is stored correctly it will have a long shelf life if it isn’t and you keep those spices prettily displayed then they won’t…be selective in what you buy and buy only the spices that you regularly use as for the others buy whole spices they last a lot longer…

17 thoughts on “CarolCooks2…Friday Food Reviews…Spring Cleaning! The Spice Cupboard…

  1. IndiaNetzone

    History of Indian spices is recorded from the time of inception before the invasion of Arabs in the year 711 AD. The story of Indian spices is more than 7000 years old. Centuries before Greece and Rome had been discovered, sailing ships were carrying Indian spices, perfumes and textiles to Mesopotamia, Arabia and Egypt. It was the lure of these that brought many seafarers to the shores of India.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 10th -16th April 2022-Monday Musings, A-Z World Cuisine, Canada , Food Review “Spring Cleaning” and Saturday Snippets where “Squeak” is my prompt. | Retired? No one told me!

  3. arbind kumar

    Thanks for nice information .

    On Fri, 15 Apr 2022, 16:00 Retired? No one told me!, wrote:

    > CarolCooks2 posted: ” Welcome to Friday Food Reviews where I will be > covering a different food or product each week and looking at… what are > they? where do they grow, what can we substitute them for in a recipe, are > they safe to eat, how to store them, how to use them, co” >

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: CarolCooks2…Friday Food Reviews…Spring Cleaning! The Spice Cupboard… – MobsterTiger

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