Spices May Be Ruining the Flavor of Your Food
Move over Fashion Police, there is a new sheriff in town: The Spice Cabinet Police. Your expired ground nutmeg should be fearful of its inevitable trip to the trash can, a.k.a. Spice Prison.
Your nutmeg is one tough spice – it has lasted 10 years in your pantry and is next in line to be crowned King of the Spice Cabinet, as soon as Ye Old Red Pepper Flakes bites the dust.
Picture your spices coming to life at night like in the movie Toy Story. Just go with it. I know it’s weird.
In the middle of the night, Nutmeg is bossing your other sorry spices around, especially that cowardly Celery Salt. It’s been in the shadow of the ever popular Garlic Salt for years. Damn you, Garlic Salt! Garlic Salt and Onion Salt think they are the ring leaders and bully the other spices (it is rumored that they are having a torrid affair). You might wonder why Nutmeg or Ye Old Red Pepper Flakes don’t step in and stop this – it’s because they are TOO OLD to care. Herbes de Provence is above all of the gossip and is just trying to steer clear of the drama but its ego is waning because he hasn’t been used since – he can’t remember when.
Maybe Disney-Pixar will contact me to write an animated script with talking spices. No? A girl can dream, can’t she?
My question for you question is: Do you really want a 10 year old spice floating around, digesting in your stomach? No, you don’t.
Who Are The Spice Cabinet Police?
Spice Cabinet Police are a very annoying group of non-uniformed officials. I should know. I am one of them.
I remember rummaging through my mom’s spice rack and making snide comments about her basil leaves. And I think I might have rubbed off on The Hungry Husband because I’ve seen him going through his mom’s fridge pointing out expired jars of condiments. Sorry moms.
It doesn’t take any special permit to become part of The Spice Police team (although a badge would be pretty cool) but you can earn the title by 1) being picky, 2) annoying your family and friends, and 3) wanting your food to taste as good as it can be.
[note color=”#b9bc4d”]Cooking and baking can be time consuming. Give your dishes a fighting chance to turn out great. Use fresh spices so your efforts are worth it.[/note] Emeril Lagasse says that spices should be thrown out if they are older than 6-8 months. When Emeril speaks, I listen. Sort of. When he says BAM!, I bam. But I tend to throw my spices out after 12-18 months (once I start making Emeril’s salary, I’ll follow his 6-month rule.)
Here are some tips to keep spices fresh and your food tasting great:
- Smell or taste the spice. If it smells “off” – toss it! If it smells or tastes weak – toss it. It’s not going to give your food any flavor.
- Don’t replace spices until you need them again.
- Purchase spices in small quantities or, if buying in larger quantities, go in with a friend and split them up and use your own decorative tins. Spices are expensive so why not share?
- Spices don’t like heat, light, air, and moisture. Keep them in a dry dark cupboard and/or put them in tins instead of glass jars.
- Buy whole spices and grind them up yourself. You know Martha Stewart would do this. I, personally, don’t have that much patience.
Do you have any spices you could be arrested for?