Using the right spices is a good way to elevate your cooking to a whole new level. Of course, to make the most of the spices that you use, it’s important to keep them nice and fresh. After all, although spices can last for quite some time without going “bad,” they are always going to taste their best when they are kept as fresh as possible. These are a few tips that can help you enjoy your spices as much as possible.
How to Keep Spices Fresh: Avoid Buying Too Much at One Time
It’s definitely a good idea to keep a well-stocked spice cabinet. However, when purchasing spices that you don’t use in large quantities, you might want to purchase them in smaller containers. When purchasing spices that you use a lot of, however, buying in bigger containers can help you get the best deal.
Buy Whole Spices
It might seem easier to purchase spices that are ready for you to use, but spices that are pre-ground will not stay fresh as long as whole spices. Another good option is to purchase whole spices and keep your spices whole until you are ready to use them. You’ll need to purchase a spice grinder, but you’ll probably find that it’s worth it. This is a particularly good idea for spices that you might not use very often but that you want to keep on hand.
Keep Your Spices Sealed Up
It’s best to keep most spices well-sealed when they are not in use. If you purchase them in containers that seal well when they are closed, then they should be fine for storage. Otherwise, you may want to transfer your spices over to a sealed jar or bag for storage.
How to Keep Spices Fresh: Store Them in the Right Place
One thing that you should know if you’re wondering how to keep all of your spices fresh is that they should be kept in a cool, dark and dry place. Many people keep their spices over their stoves, but this is a mistake; after all, this area of your kitchen can become quite hot and humid, which can cause your spices to clump up or lose some of their freshness.
Keeping spices fresh will allow you to enjoy them a lot more. Fortunately, if you follow the tips above, you should be able to keep your spices nice and fresh until you are ready to use them.
What’s the Difference Between Coriander and Cilantro?
Many home cooks and kitchen novices often reach a point where they scratch their head and wonder what the difference between coriander and cilantro is. A very large number of people seem to think that they are a completely different plant or herb, however, this is not the case at all. Cilantro and coriander, both officially known as the Coriandrum Sativum species, are exactly the same plant and species, however, there is a regional difference in how the various plant parts are named.
The International Standard
Outside of the North American continent, the international standard is that coriander is the name given to the leaves and stalks of the Coriandrum Sativum plant. The other commonly used coriander derivative, the dried seeds, are also referred to as coriander outside of North America. In other words, the word cilantro is not used outside of North America to define anything involving the coriander plant, regardless of how it is processed or prepared.
The North American region of the world is the only place that uses the word cilantro. The root origin of the word “Cilantro” is Spanish, a name given by early Spaniards to the coriander leaves. North Americans do not refer to the coriander stalk or dried seeds as cilantro, rather, they refer to it as coriander. Referring to “cilantro leaves” as “coriander” in places like Mexico or the US might cause confusion.
The Reasons For The Distinction
The difference between coriander and cilantro boils down to how they are used in language and nothing more. Linguists and other language experts believe that there is a reason behind the distinction. Mexican cuisine uses fresh coriander leaves within recipes much more than any other region on the planet. With that fact considered it makes much more sense that there would be such a stark linguistic distinction between different parts of the plant.
The International Linguistic Rules Are Changing
Over the last decade, linguists have noticed that the word “cilantro” is being used much more frequently outside of North America. International language speakers are finding that it is much more convenient and logical to use a different word to mark the distinction between the very different parts of the coriander plant.