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How to Store Herbs and Spices

Storing Herbs and Spices Keep herbs and spices in a cool, dry place (not over the range!) and in air-tight containers.  Store dried herbs in plastic bags, glass jars or stainless steel containers rather than in cardboard.  Keep containers out of direct sunlight, which fades the color of the herb and reduces the strength. Your recipes won’t taste as good if the spice or herb has lost its flavor.  Simply adding more than the recipe calls for won’t solve the problem.  Check whole spices for freshness once a year by crushing a small amount and sniffing it.  The aroma should be fresh and pungent.  Use the same method to check ground spices every six months and dried herbs 2 to...

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How to experiment with spices

Here’s how to experiment with spices on your own: 1. Choose a versatile spice. Cumin is a good spice to begin with as you experiment with spice combinations. It’s great with both coriander and mustard seed. The trio of cumin, coriander, and mustard seed works with any kind of meat, fish, or vegetable. Fennel seed is another friendly spice; you can add a little to almost anything. 2. Use a new spice (or spices) to season a familiar dish. It’s easier to like a new flavor if you already like most of the ingredients that go into a dish. If you toast spices, add them to the dish toward the end of cooking or sprinkle them on the food right...

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International Guide to Spices

What is the first step in learning how to cook with spices? The first step in learning to cook any ethnic cuisine is to become familiar with that culture's seasonings. Different cuisines tend to incorporate many of the same herbs and spices, so once you've learned the most prevalent combinations, you can add a little international flavor to your cooking. Some spices have a home in many cultures. Oregano, for instance, is common to both Mexican and Italian food. But because it is combined with different ingredients and spices in each cuisine, the herb lends a distinctly different flavor profile to each.  Chinese CuisineAniseed, Bean Paste, Chile Oil, Garlic, Gingerroot, Green Onions, Hot Red Peppers, Sesame Oil, Sesame Seeds, Soy...

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10 common kitchen spices and how to use them

Spices are a fantastic component to include in daily cooking, because they bring out complex and rich flavors from the food itself or add those flavors and colors. There are many different spices in the world, and some cuisines with the most flavorful food are not ashamed to use them frequently, one notable cuisine being Indian: Everything from the cholleto the homemade chai tea brims with spices. But first off, what is a spice? Dictionary.com defines a spice to be “any of a class of pungent or aromatic substances of vegetable origin, as pepper, cinnamon, or cloves, used as seasoning, preservatives, etc.” Originally, spices were distinct from herbs as the dried and ground roots, stalks, seeds and fruits of plants, whereas herbs tended to primarily be the...

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