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How To Store Spices

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Storing spices in containers to retain their flavor and freshness.Spices and herbs are indispensable to cooking – if we do not use 'fresh' herbs and spices in our cooking, it can jeopardize all our efforts. Anyone who understands cooking knows the vitality of learning how to store spices. I have seen people driving to distant stores just for some great flavored spices and when they have to store these spices they are simply casual. The result is, in spite of using good quality and the best spices they do not get that aroma and taste which they look forward to. Should the store or spices be blamed for it? Storing spices involves very little time but the rewards you get are many.

Spend a little time in storing spices correctly and enjoy some good food. Here are a few things you will need to store spices.
• Rolling pins
• Meat mallet
• Food processor or a coffee grinder for grinding

Buying tricks:
1. You can buy dried or fresh spices – the only thing you need to check is how these are being sold. If you find them in air tight containers or in cans which have tight fitting lids you can buy them because in such air tight containers spices can retain their flavors.
2. You might want to store them long but it is still recommended to buy them in little quantities.
3. If you are looking for the best flavor buy whole spices and then crush them with the help of a rolling pin or a meat mallet.

Storing Tips:
1. Store all the dry spices in a dark, cool and a very dry place. If there is too much heat or moisture it can reduce the flavor of spices. Strong lights also degrade the flavor of spices.Storing spices in air tight containers so that their freshness and flavor is well retained.
2. You should never display the spices on racks which are open and which are near your oven or stove or even dishwasher. They should never be close to any place where they can come in contact with moisture and heat.
3. Suppose you are looking forward to keep your spices fresh for many years – you can keep whole dried spices in such a case. Do not grind them as grinding can cause degradation even in the freezer.
4. You should not open the lids or the containers also quite often if you are planning to store them for longer periods.
5. You have to put all such whole spices in airtight containers or in containers which have tight lids and place them inside the freezer. You can stay assured that the spices shall remain fresh for next 2 – 3 years at least.
6. If you wish to store ground spices then remember that they can be stored in your freezer in the same way but to get their maximum flavor you should use them within 6 months.

Image courtesy: indianfood.indianetzone : slimages.macys

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