samedi 10 janvier 2015

How to store spices

Very few cooks store their spices in the correct way. Dried spices are usually displayed in clear glass jar on the kitchen shelf or in wall-mounted spice racks, and fresh spices, such as root Ginger or lemon grass, are often just kept on a kitchen shelf or in a vegetable rack. Here are some tips on how to preserve the flavor and aroma of your spices.
Storing fresh spices
     Unless you are going to use fresh spices on the day they are bought, they should be chilled rather than stored at room temperature. Lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and curry leaves are best wrapped in a piece of kitchen paper and stored in the salad drawer of a fridge for up to 2 weeks. Fresh galangal, root Ginger and chillies will keep for up to 3 weeks in a sealed container, lined with kitchen paper, in the fridge. If you would like to keep them longer, fresh spices can be pounded to a paste, then put in small sealed containers and frozen for up to 6 months.

Storing dried spices

     Both ground and whole dried spices should be stored in airtight container in a cool, dark cupboard or drawer as light, heat and moisture lessen their quality. Whole spices will keep for 6 months or even longer, if stored carefully. However, most ground spices lose their color, flavor and aroma within 5 or 6 months. If you are unsure just how long the spices have been stored, check the aroma - if the spice smells musty, it is likely that the flavor will be impaired, too. It's a good idea to label new jars of spices with the date of purchase.

Storing other spices

     Bottles or tubes of spice pastes and purées, such as ginger or garlic purée, wil keep unopened until the best-before date. However, once opened, they should be stored in the fridge and used within 6 weeks. Both dried and ready-made mustard will keep for up to a year even when opened. Dried tamarind and vanilla pods will keep in a cool dark place for up to 2 years.