We all have spice collections. Whether we built them ourselves or received spice towers as gifts, we all have an assortment of spices in our cupboards and on our counters. A lot of those spices might be unnecessary and some might be your go to seasoning. But one things remains true, they are all going to lose potency over time. Dry, leaf spices, like oregano and basil, will start to get weak about six months after opening. Dry, powder spices, like paprika and cumin will last a little bit longer but not much. So that bottle of mint on your rack that you used two years ago and haven't touched since? Yeah, it probably tastes like paper.
So, when managing your kitchen pantry, it's important to keep up the "flow of spice". You need to use up your spices before they go 'bad'. You can still used them when they get weaker but you're going to have to use more and it still won't taste as good as before. You'll end up spending more money on spices but your meals will be better for it. There are few things you can do to keep up your flow of spice. First, use a Sharpie to date every spice after you open it. Second, keep your spice collection small. If you don't cook a lot, you don't need to have tumeric and saphron taking up space in your pantry.
Lastly, try new things with your spices. One day, I found out how good nutmeg is in a tuna fish sandwich, just because I was trying to use up my nutmeg. Don't be afraid to try new things. I'll also be posting some articles about how you can augment your lazy cooking(canned soups, frozen pizza, etc...) with the spices in your pantry.
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