Shelf Life of spice...
 
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Shelf Life of spices

 
casalafamigliastjohnvilla
(@casalafamigliastjohnvilla)
Advanced Member

Hi Everyone,
Just was curious how long the shelf life is for spices and dried herbs on island. And if something has not been opened yet, will it last? Lastly, what is the most popular spice company on island? I have heard that Badia is the only spice available on St. John, is this true?
Thank you.
C

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Topic starter Posted : February 5, 2014 7:16 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

not as long as if you had air or heat. some 3 and others 6 months-they go bad-moldy, stuck together tasteless. some longer than that.

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Posted : February 5, 2014 7:29 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

I live high on the North side of STT where we get more rain than is usual in other areas. I freeze bay leaves I get fresh from St John. Likewise I freeze some powdered spices I buy in the "bulk" containers which are way less expensive than the small retail containers - such as powdered mustard, chili powder, garlic sat and powder - all of which can coagulate quickly and end up a big block mess. I even transfer my basic table salt from it's cardboard container to a plastic container and leave it sitting on the stove-top to keep it "shakeable".

If you live in a bubble of A/C filtered air you'll likely not have the problem!

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Posted : February 5, 2014 7:57 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

I've had some spices for years and they still have taste and have been sitting in the cabinet.

I bought an organic spice online and ended up with.flying insects for weeks! Those didn't last long.

I generally use Badia, because they're packaged in small quantities and cost very little. They cater to the Spanish Caribbean dishes so don't have things like fennel seeds, dill weed, etc.

I try to put as many in the freezer that I can, but space is very limited.

It's easy to order spices if you can't find what you need at a price you're willing to pay.

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Posted : February 5, 2014 8:42 pm
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

Badia does have Fennel seeds, and pine nuts, and many other non-Spanish/Caribbean spices.
I'm looking at them now.

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Posted : February 5, 2014 9:07 pm
casalafamigliastjohnvilla
(@casalafamigliastjohnvilla)
Advanced Member

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. It was a big help.

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Topic starter Posted : February 5, 2014 10:15 pm
mtdoramike
(@mtdoramike)
Trusted Member

What you talkin about mon, get to cookin and don't be givin dim spices a chance to spoil.

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Posted : February 5, 2014 11:03 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

I order my spices from Penzey's, and in the VI I only ordered the quantities that come in resealable plastic bags (instead of jars), which made them last longer. Some I kept in the fridge if they were particularly perishable.

Be aware that conventional brands like Badia and McCormick both import spices that are heavily treated with pesticides and fungicides, as well as 12% are contaminated with what the FDA calls "filth" - bug parts and so on. Organic spices are really worth the money - keep them in the freezer and they will last longer.

Penzeys are not all organic but they do have a quality standard that I am comfortable with.

p.s. many teas like Celestial Seasonings are the same.

And I like mtdoramike's philosophy! 🙂

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Posted : February 5, 2014 11:08 pm
BeachcomberStt
(@BeachcomberStt)
Trusted Member

Will the refrigerator work just as good with storing your spices in the freezer?

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Posted : February 5, 2014 11:23 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

Will the refrigerator work just as good with storing your spices in the freezer?

Yes, but put them in an airtight container - a ziploc bag is good, but if you want to be really sure no air gets in use a vacuum sealer like a FoodSaver. I used mine ALL the time on St. Croix and it was a lifesaver for keeping things fresh.

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Posted : February 5, 2014 11:25 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

I noticed that my Badia spices have no info as to origin. I contacted McCormick and they said they don't get spices from China, but I didn't ask further.

You can also grow your own.

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Posted : February 5, 2014 11:32 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

I noticed that my Badia spices have no info as to origin. I contacted McCormick and they said they don't get spices from China, but I didn't ask further.

You can also grow your own.

It's not just China, unfortunately.

There's a huge FDA report out on the internet that came out in 2013 - I just didn't link to it because it's like slogging through a tax form to read. But anyone who would like more information can run a web search and get lots of info.

Also something I didn't mention is that the reason the big conventional companies are able to be so cheap is because they stockpile spices for years - so even fresh in the bottle that spice may be several years old. I definitely notice a difference using fresher spices, but not everyone cares about that for the cost.

Basically organic is the only way to have a reasonable assurance you're getting a "clean" product - or else yes, grow your own for what grows in your area. On St. Croix I grew several kinds of basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, tarragon, recao, cilantro, celery (as an herb), several kinds of parsley, lemongrass...many more I'm sure aren't just coming to me right now. The VI is pretty good for growing herbs and some spices.

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Posted : February 5, 2014 11:45 pm
noOne
(@noOne)
Trusted Member

For salt shakers we put a few pieces of rice in.

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Posted : February 6, 2014 1:44 am
stt007
(@stt007)
Advanced Member

I keep my salt shaker in a zip lock. Works well. Zip locks help a lot if things.

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Posted : February 6, 2014 11:30 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

I leave all my spices (in their original large containers) in the refrigerator and put smaller amounts out for daily use in older small spice containers that I have saved over time. Keeping in the frig makes them last vastly longer that if left in a cupboard. Salt is removed for its original container and placed in an old Adobo plastic container and lasts quite well for about a yr.

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Posted : February 6, 2014 12:28 pm
DonExodus
(@DonExodus)
Advanced Member

Freeze everything, Badia is the way to go!

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Posted : February 8, 2014 12:55 am
sttanon
(@sttanon)
Advanced Member

Penderys is also a good place for a wide variety of spices but concentrates alot on chile powders. Quality is awesome and no problems in shipping. They tend to go towards more organic prep and are quite reasonable on pricing....

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Posted : February 10, 2014 6:07 pm
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