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How to Keep Spices Fresh

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.

How To Keep Spices FreshBuy 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.

Read more about the Spice Station, here!

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.

Cilantro

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.

North America

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.

Read more about the Spice Station here!

Think beyond curry. These unexpected spice blends from India are exciting and totally different from the average Indian fare. They also make wild ingredients in fusion food.

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Aleppo Pepper is a “culinary casualty” of the Syrian War

The civil war in Syria is not only a humanitarian tragedy, but is also disrupting the global spice trade.

Syria’s rich, ancient food culture and balmy climate make it a top producer of many popular Mediterranean herbs and spices ou peut on trouver du viagra. The Spice Station’s supply of top quality syrian sumac, cumin and za’atar has been cut off. Although we are able to find other sources of those herbs, the unique Aleppo pepper is only available from Syria.

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Exotic, purple-black Urfa pepper

Purple-black Urfa Biber is an unforgettable Turkish spice.

A funny name, a rich purple color, a choco-raisin-spice aroma, and a mouthwatering fruity, peppery flavor. This unforgettable exotic spice is something to get excited about. Read the rest of this entry »

Check out this segment Get Out! did on us!

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It’s actually 4 or 5 days late but let’s face it, having just started this blog, our readers are well, limited.  The untimely subject of this blog is hangover cures and the role of spices and herbs therein.  We have discovered what we believe is the Holy Grail of hangover cures.  We all know that the best remedy for the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal is…more alcohol.  (Otherwise known as The Hair of the Dog.)  But, there’s more to it than that and a way to fix it that wont have you spending yet another day stumbling around and making unwise decisions.  It’s called Fernet Branca. Read the rest of this entry »

Did you buy winter spices for holiday baking, eggnog, mulling, ciders et al and now you’re wondering what shall become of those jars that are 9/10ths full?  Spice Station to the rescue!  Nutmeg likes anything with cream so potatoes au gratin anyone?  We will eat anything with potatoes, heavy cream and cheese but throw a layer of dried porcini mushrooms into this dish and we’ll be at your door before you can shake a lamb shank. (Which, does nicely with onion and garlic sauteed with a dash of nutmeg and garam masala.)  Combined with butter, flour and a bay leaf, you’ll have a classic bechamel for a baked pasta dish.  Really, anything with cream can usually do with a bit of nutmeg.

Allspice also goes great with lamb and Caribbean jerk dishes.  As you know, cinnamon is very friendly with the apple and apple is great with pork dishes.  Try roasting a pork loin in some apple juice and halved red apples sprinkled with cinnamon.  (If you wrap that puppy in bacon you’ll really be rolling.)  As far as cloves go, they are a must-have in a glazed ham (with brown sugar, honey and a dash of dry mustard) but those decorative pomanders (clove-studded oranges) aren’t just for the holidays — they make great sachets for drawers and cupboards all year round.  Be careful around clothing though as clove is derived from the Latin word  ‘Clavus’ which means ‘nail’.’ If you find people sniffing at you, well, take it as a compliment.  If they look like they might take a bite out of you consider making a run for it.