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Test Kitchen tips: Storing and dating spices for freshness

September 24, 2012|By Noelle Carter
  • Storing dried spices and herbs.
Storing dried spices and herbs. (Noelle Carter / Los Angeles…)

Nothing can kill a good recipe faster than a lack of spice.

Even kitchen staples such as dried herbs and spices have an expiration date and can lose their potency over time. Properly stored, spices can last a year or two at most, with whole spices generally lasting longer than ground. Store your spices in a cool, dry place, away from moisture and keep them tightly sealed.

Whenever I open a new spice jar, I date the back so I can keep tabs on how long it's been open. Once a year, I'll rummage through the collection and check on them. Spices that still have some potency should have their original color, with a vibrant smell and fresh taste. Old or expired spices often lose their color, becoming dull, and have very little, if any, smell or flavor.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or email me at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

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You can find Noelle Carter on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest. Email Noelle at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

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