Learning about the best sources to purchase high-quality products is important, especially when you are learning to cook with spices. Would you prefer a salad made with moldy fruits or vegetables? Or can you use rancid butter on fresh bread? Of course not. Similarly, you should only focus on buying the best quality of spices.
Rules for Buying Spices
There are several rules on how you can buy the best quality spices. If you are looking to get five-spice powder for your dish, don’t know how to buy one, then you are in the right place. In this article, we have made a list of tips on how you can avoid stale or bad quality spices for your pantry.
- Don’t buy spices from local grocery stores
The average shelf life of spice is around 7 to 8 months, the spices available in a grocery store usually sit there for half a month and before that, they spent around a month in a warehouse. By the time those spices make it into your home, then chances are they have already gone stale.
Plus, there is a high chance that the spices are made using low-quality ingredients, which deteriorate the quality further.
- Purchase whole spices
The best way to increase the potency of spices is by buying them whole and grinding yourself at home. Whole spices stay fresh for a long period of time. Since the shelf life of spices is low, it is possible that the spices that are in your pantry have already past their prime.
When you buy ground spices, you are not fully aware of all ingredients used to make that spice, whereas when you purchase whole spices, you know exactly what you are buying.
Another thing to remember is that as per FDA regulations, companies do not require to provide the list of add-in ingredients
- Buy the best quality spices you can afford
There is a reason why some spices are cheap, according to health regulation, it is impossible to grow and harvest crops that are free from natural defects. These defects end up in the ground spices, which deteriorates the quality of spices. So, instead of buying packed spices, visit ethnic stores where you can purchase whole spices at an affordable rate.
So how to buy authentic spices?
Ethnic stores often have a good quality of whole spices that are available are an affordable rate. They sell spices that are used in daily cooking and re-stock more often compared to grocery stores where spices spend more than half of their life sitting on a shelf.
Yes, it is highly possible that ethnic shops can sell low-quality spices, but you can always talk to the staff or smell the spices before you buy them. The safest way to ensure you are buying good quality spices is by buying them in small quantities and trying them at home to see their effectiveness.
You can buy spices from a local merchant as well. These spice shops usually guarantee high-quality and fresh spices. The best part is, they will tell you which spice is best for a particular dish and how you can make most out of your spices.
If you fail to find a local merchant, try finding one on the internet. You can find many options, which makes it easy to choose.
Avoid gourmet shops at all costs. They sell regular spices at an inflated price. If you have visited a local ethnic shop, you will be able to identify the difference between authentic and fake spice with your nose and eyes. Most spices are incredibly pungent and they should never smell musty. So, you need to find a local merchant to find the best quality spices.
- Always buy in small quantities
People often make this common mistake of buying spices in Bulk. If you are not a chef or run a restaurant, you don’t need to buy spices in large quantities. As mentioned above, the average shelf life of spices is around 7 months and after that, they lose their effectiveness.
Also, remember that when you buy good quality of spices, you don’t need to use much for cooking they are more potent than standard spices
- Why buy when you can grow
The best solution for getting the best quality of herbs is to grow some yourself or buy from someone who has their own garden. Hang the bundles of fresh dried herbs upside down and leave them to dry. Fill the jar with the leaves. If stored correctly, they can last a whole winter.