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Monita_photo

Monita is a recipe tester for Food52 and a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 1 year ago

Whole dried herbs last roughly from 1 to 3 years for leafy herbs, powdered or ground herbs will last 6 months. Whole spices will keep 1 - 2 years. Seeds will keep 2 – 3 years and roots will keep 3 years. Ground spices and seeds keep 1 year.
Ground roots will keep for 2 years. There are some herbs that are useful both fresh and dried like thyme rosemary. I don't find dried basil very useful. Think about what you use regularly and buy those things first. Then build your spice cabinet as you try new recipes

Pandora D added over 1 year ago
Voted the Best Answer!

I like to buy any dry spices and herbs in the bulk department of a busy specialty store. You do not have to buy much at a time at a real savings compared to buying the bottles and you can move through it more quickly. Any tender perennial like basil, mint or sorrel should only be fresh.

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sexyLAMBCHOPx added over 1 year ago

I have yet to find a store that sells bulk spices and/or herbs - I would love it. I'm in CT, if anyone has suggestions for sourcing.

Zester_003

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 1 year ago

And those little tubs of herbes de provence last about five minutes from the time you open them.

That said, I do make a Roman spice blend that combines basically equal parts of dried red pepper flakes and seeds, dried parsley and dried garlic. This does last awhile. They sell it in packages in Rome and in Umbria, but it's so damn easy to make that there's no point in buying it.

Sarah_chef

Sarah is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 1 year ago

I think anything over about a year is long, even for whole spices. The key to success is to buy quality, and only small quantities. Ground spices start to deteriorate immediately from grinding, so the closer you can use them to the grinding process the better your result.

World Spice is a great resource for high quality - they grind to order. If you're making the financial commitment to replace everything this might be a good option: http://www.worldspice.com

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