Even the heat of cracked red pepper fizzles
as the spice sits on the shelf.
Photo colurtesy SXC.
Want better flavor in your food? Every January, toss out all of your old herbs and spices and start the year with fresh ones.
After jars are opened, ground spices and dried herbs lose their potency—that’s why those jumbo jars are rarely a bargain.
Buy only what you use regularly. If you rarely use mace, e.g., wait to buy it until you need it for a recipe. Even unopened jars of spices and herbs will degrade on the shelf after a couple of years.
If exposed to heat or light, they deteriorate even faster. Store your herbs and spices away from the stove and oven, and avoid countertop spice carousels. The spices may look pretty, but the light destroys their potency.
Whenever you can, buy whole spices and grind them in a spice mill as needed. We use a peppermill, a nutmeg grinder and a multipurpose spice and herb grinder.