Kitchen Tips: Spice Storage

Credit: How to store spices

Fresh spices make your cooking taste better, no doubt about that. Spices bought

from the retail outlets come in plastic packs. They may be fresh, dried whole spice, spice seed, grounded into powdery form or as spice paste. Before you use the spice, check for molds in spice packs - a sign that moisture has seeped in and spoilt the spice.

The basic principles to store spices are:

1. Keep in airtight containers.
2. Keep them away from heat source and direct sunlight.
3. Best - refrigerate them in airtight containers.

Reycle Bottles
Glass bottles are extremely useful - recycle them for spice storage containers when they are empty! To recycle the bottles I steep them in a pot of hot water, sometimes for as long as it takes to

remove the labels and sticky gum. Some labels come unstuck within a few minutes. But for those sticky, gummy labels that refuse to budge - brands such as Marmit Patak, Frezfruit, Lee Kum Kee, etc you may have to resort to a steel-wire brush. Brush, brush, brush away. Works for me.

After the bottles are clean and dry, I label the bottles and store the spice bottles in the fridge. Or the freezer.  These spices would be mainly in powdery form or those favored by, therefore susceptible, to insect attacks such as turmuric powder, szechuan pepper, dried red chilli pepper, dried prawns, Korean anchovy powder, cardamon and candlenut, and spices like fennel powder, saffron strand, pure valillin extract from the bean, etc.

Spices I store at room temperature would be coriander seeds, cinnamojn stick, cloves, star anise,  peppercorns, etc.


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