Which are the good herbs/spices to keep in the refrigerator or freezer? Most of them? I do keep my peppercorns, poppy seeds, and sesame seeds in my refrigerator but I didn't know about which others would benefit from the chill.
I always wonder about optimum storage of herbs and spices, being aware that I probably don't have it-- in an upper cupboard to the left of my stove. At least the cupboard door is closed to light.
I have some dried basil and dried mints I keep in zip lock bags in the fridge, the were home grown. I have had some basil pesto frozen in ice cube trays and then transferred to bags in the freezer. Also, for some weird reason unknown to me I keep my cinnamon and thyme in the freezer. Along with the ground hot pepper spices. Go figure.
i only buy or store whole herbs and spices. they last longer if kept whole.
herbs dried naturally and whole do keep longer than 1 yr. in my case, herbs i grew like whole basil and branches of thyme that are about 4 yrs, and still smelling like i dried them yesterday.
whenever i dry herbs, i never use any heat. i simply lay them on tables with newspaper underneath. then stored in tight glass containers. in a cool dried place, no refrigeration or freezer to avoid moisture.
it is only when i use the herbs, i crush them between two palms.
spices are first dry pan fried or burn [depending on cooking application], prior to use to 'awaken' their natural oil. spices are grated or grounded only as needed.
i learned all the above from my great grandma, who learned it from her elders of several generations.
(Love your "herbarium" Kat)
I agree that most of my bottle and jars of herbs get musty-smelling or lose their scent, after about a year. But they're so expensive that I hate to discard them! Why do the manufacturers sell them in such large amounts, relatively-speaking? I end up with a full "library" of useless spices and herbs.
Well, I think I know why the manufacturers do, actually: $$