The most aromatic, the vibrantly flavorful and the freshest are the Whole Spices. Compared to the grounded ones, whole spices do instill a better aroma, taste and health factor to your food. Moreover, they retain their essential oils and hence, stay fresh for a longer period of time comparatively. With spices in whole form, you do not end up buying added contaminants along with your spices, which is usually the case with pre-ground spices. Whole Spices are mostly unadulterated.
However, if you have never got your Spices in whole form till now and are trying out for the first time, here’s a list of questions you need to ask yourselves before getting your hands on them.
- What Are the Spices I Need?
Before walking out for a spice purchase, make out a list of spices that you actually need often in your cooking. In case, if you miss out on deciding what to buy and what not, you can eventually end up buying the spices that might not be of use to you, after all there are so many varieties of spices available that you can easily get messed up. Moreover, with a handy list, you can save up time and fasten up your spices shopping as well.
- How Much To Buy?
A wise option for buying whole spices is always to get them in small amounts and get them as needed. So, check out with your needs of every spice as of which spice you need more and which one less in quantity. This way you will get exactly the amounts you need without ending up buying the less required spices in bulk and often needed ones in lesser quantities.
- Where should I buy my spices from?
Never buy your spices from a grocery store. They may have been there for a quite a long time or may have got stacked up in warehouse for longer before getting stacked up in the store shelves. Who knows? More are the chances of buying stale spices when you are picking them from a grocery store. Moreover, these may also have contaminants in their packaged form. So, avoid buying your whole spices from a grocery store.
Never get cheated with the cheap spices or ransom price offers on spices. After all, the cheap spices are cheap for a reason. No one can give you best quality spices at such lower rates. So, better consider ethnic markets or authentic spice stores that sell certified and labeled spices. Check out the label for process/manufacture date of your spices to make sure you are getting your hand on the fresh ones.
- How can I Rightly Store My Whole Spices after Buying Them?
The best way to store your spices is to put them in air tight containers placed in cool and dry place. Many of them store their spices in refrigerator, but this doesn’t seem the best option as refrigerating your spices will tend to change their texture and probably the flavor too because of the condensation and temperature changes. Keep your spice stored containers away from any sort of heating devices like gas stove, oven etc. Keep checking out your stored spices often in order to make sure they are intact for the best use.
- Do Spices Expire and How Do I Know When to Replace Them?
While a few spices stay the best up to six months, it is considered by the experts that the whole spices must do well for about an year if stored right. However, if they tend to lose their color and aroma after a specific period of time, then it’s time you need a replacement. If you are not using your spices make sure to discard them off after an year’s time in case of whole ones and six months if they are grounded.
- What Should I Do with My Old Spices Before Buying the New Ones?
Well, the best way is to consume your spices before they get expired. However, in case you failed doing so, there are many other ways you can take your old spices to use without actually requiring them to throw out. Many use them as bug deterrents, while they can also be used for making candles at home or some kind of mild soaps or etc. Just Google for your old spice Utilizations.
- What are The Things I Should Look for When Buying Spices In Order To Get the Best?
Check out the packaging of the spices whether it’s in bags or containers. Prefer sealed containers as bags may get damaged or may not be sealed completely with possible chances of air creeping in. Check out the color and aroma of your spices before you buy in order to make sure they are fresh and intact. Check out the price and do not go for cheap spices. Consider reasonably rated good quality and certified spices from an authentic spice store.
Tip to Best Use Your Whole Spices: Grind your whole spices as needed and mostly when required in order to get the best aroma, flavor and color to your food. Toasting them will bring out a deeper and rich flavor out of your spices. So, toast your spices on a low flame before grinding them for earthier flavor.