Cooks urged to evaluate spice stocks
The new year is an ideal time for cooks to take a look at their stock of culinary spices and evaluate which substances they use on a regular basis.
This is the view of Nancy Stohs, writing for the Milwaukee and Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, who recently decided to put together an inventory of all the different blends she has in her kitchen.
Ms Stohs found she had 103 different varieties, ranging from the "usual cinnamons and nutmegs" to "ethnic wonders like garam masala and herbes de provence" and seasonings used for steaks, turkey, barbeques, poultry and seafood recipes.
"I probably use no more than two dozen with any regularity," she remarked, adding many had been purchased for a specific recipe due to worries that leaving out the spice when cooking the dish for the first time would reduce its flavour.
Television chef Mr Food, also known as Art Ginsburg, was recently quoted by ABC30 as saying spices can lose their flavour over time due to air getting into the jars they are stored in.
He recommended attaching expiration date labels to the containers and keeping them away from heat and light.
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