Tackling The Villains Of The Spice World
The kitchen is packed and busy for there’s food being cooked for the guests who will soon be visiting. It’s time to add a dash of the main ingredient: the masala! Out comes the masala box, and off comes the lid…then, the world stops spinning for a while. No, the box isn’t empty. Why, it’s full! But there are little lumps where there once used to be fresh and aromatic masala powder. A drop of water? A wet spoon? Who was the culprit? There’s no time to find, for the guests are coming soon!
An empty masala box isn’t the only thing that can keep you from using your favourite masala. There are numerous factors threatening to make your blended or pure spices useless. But it’s you Vs the villains of the Spice World.
You’ll win, obviously, for we have a bunch of tips that will help you keep your spices fresh for a long time!
Villain #1: Air
Air, and the oxygen that keeps us alive, is one of the main factors that can kill the essence of your spices. The only way to avoid oxidation, and thus increase the shelf-life of the spices, is to keep them away from air.
- Store your spices in air-tight containers.
- When it come to Plastic Vs Glass, always go for non-porous glass containers.
- Never forget to close the lid, after use.
Villain #2: Heat & Light
Our treasured Spices are unfortunately photosensitive: they respond to light, by breaking down. The oils within dry down and the powdered spices lose their flavour. So, keep your spices away from direct sunlight, and heat as best as you can.
- Store the containers in dark and cool places.
- Never place your spices on shelves immediately atop the stove.
- Refrain from keeping your spice jars near flame, even while cooking.
Villain #3: Moisture
Water water everywhere, but never in your spice jars. It’s a big NO. Moisture not only leaves little lumps in your spice jars; it also causes the loss of the very essence of spices: aroma and flavours.
- Never put wet spoons into the spice jars.
- Avoid putting your hand into the jars.
- Never transfer freshly roasted spices into air-tight jars without cooling them.
Villain #4: Insects, Bugs and Beetles
Everybody loves spices, and bugs and beetles are no exception. Ironically, jars in dark and cool places away from sunlight, is also an easy target for pests. Here’s how you can keep them away from your spices.
- Air-tight spice jar is your one-stop solution.
- Cloves have a proven history of being effective insecticides in pantries.
- Avoid buying spices in loose, for they may be adulterated, and bug-infested.
- Buy your spices in small quantities, so there’s no old-stock.
Villain #5: Our memory, amidst our busy schedules
We are always running, there’s no time to stop. So, sometimes, it is possible that we forget to refill our emptying boxes of pure spices and masalas. While it is an honest mistake, it can be a disastrous one, if you discover it in the morning, on a busy day!
With this, we pray you always emerge victorious, in battles with the villains of the Spice World! Keep your spices safe, and your meals tastier!