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The Ultimate Guide to Buying, Storing, and Organizing Spices

dried herbs and spices on black surface

Hello, culinary enthusiasts! 🙌 Today, we’re embarking on a flavorful journey into the world of spices. Spices are the heart and soul of our dishes, providing depth, complexity, and a world of flavors to our meals. But how do we buy, store, and organize them effectively? We’ve found an incredible guide by Ethan Chlebowski on his YouTube channel, which has garnered over 1.2 million views! We highly recommend checking it out for a comprehensive visual guide. 🎥

Ethan is a home cooking nerd who loves to find better ways to cook and share them with all of us. His channel is a treasure trove of cooking tips, tricks, and recipes that are sure to inspire you in the kitchen.🌶️🍃

1. Understanding Spices 🌿

Spices are plant materials used primarily as flavorings in relatively small amounts. Each spice has an aroma compound that gives it its characteristic flavor. For example, the compound that makes fresh ground pepper smell and taste like fresh ground pepper is different from the aroma compounds that make oregano smell and taste like oregano.

2. Ground vs Whole Spices 🌰

Whole spices will keep well for a year or more, while pre-ground spices will start to degrade in flavor after just three to six months. The fine particles of ground spices have a large surface area and lose their aroma molecules to the air much more rapidly. So, if you want to keep your spices fresh for longer, it’s best to buy them whole and grind them as needed.

3. Storing Spices 🏺

The most optimum storage for maintaining flavor life would be an opaque glass container stored in the freezer. However, for convenience, Ethan stores his spices in clear bottles in a drawer to the left of his stove. This way, he can quickly grab his spices whether he’s prepping food or cooking at the stove.

4. Buying Spices 💰

The question of what spices you should buy is completely personal. Ethan suggests starting with the basics like coarse kosher salt and black peppercorns. His top five used spices include cumin seeds, chili powder, turmeric, smoked paprika, and oregano. With just these five spices, you can make all sorts of dishes from Mexican cuisine, Indian cuisine, Italian, Mediterranean, and more.

5. Saving Money on Spices 💸

Spices can quickly get expensive, especially if you’re picking up those 1-ounce glass bottles at the grocery store. Ethan suggests finding a store that sells spices in bulk so you can buy exactly how much you want and don’t have to pay for the packaging. Another great and cheaper option is to find an international grocery store near you. They’ll typically have a large selection of spices in bags and containers that are much cheaper than your typical big box grocery store.

We hope you found these tips helpful and that they inspire you to explore new ways to use, store, and organize your spices. If you have any other spice tips or tricks, we’d love to hear them. Join our vibrant community on Facebook and share your insights. We’re always looking for new ways to make the most of our kitchen tools. 🎉

Happy cooking, everyone! 🍽️

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