Help! I need someone to help me with my frustration about SPICES. Perhaps this is not really a genuine food-pickle question, but I'm hoping to get some new advice regarding the purchasing and storing of spices. I have a jumble of baggies and magnetic jars, packets and containers. It makes me crazy and it takes twice as long to follow good mis-en -place practice.
My question has two main parts: freshness and storing. Bulck spices are tempting: great selection in specialty and ethnic stores. They are more pure and authentic and you can get any quantity you want. But some people claim that they are often less fresh, even stale, because they are not packaged air-tightDoes it help getting them mostly whole, not ground? Still, one does collect endless baggies unless, and this brings us to my second frustration, unless one transfers them into ones own jars that then need to be labeled. Available spice racks never seem to have enough containers, and labelling falls off. They are jumbled in drawers and on shelves, as I mentioned. So perhaps the answer is to buy them in pre-packaged, airtight containers from the store, but one can't find sufficient variety there, or even matching packaging. Magnetic spice racks appeal to me because one can SEE the spice variety, but one needs endless wall space for evererything, But maybe a freezer system would keep spices not in constant use fresher? To sum up:(1) Air-tight or bulck? (And from what sources)?
(2) How to store? Ugh! I hope someone out there can help me with this daily annoyance and frustration. Thanks in advance