[Sca-cooks] How long do whole spices last??

lilinah@earthlink.net lilinah at earthlink.net
Mon Aug 7 00:23:54 PDT 2006

>  Hello from long-lost Phillipa Seton.

Welcome back!

>  Can someone tell me how long whole spices last? I have some that are at
>  least 5 years old.

A lot will depend on several issues.

For one, on the form of the spices.

Whole spices keep better than ground. Ground cinnamon that has not 
been well stored may well taste like faintly cinnamon flavored dust.

And second, on how they have been stored.

If they have been stored (1.) in a very tightly sealed container, one 
that does not admit air, like a well sealed glass jar, AND (2.) in a 
dark place, AND (3.) in a cool place (not the fridge, just somewhere 
that doesn't get hot), the spices may still have some flavor.

The best cubebs i ever had were those i bought in the mid-1970s and 
didn't use until the early 21st century. I didn't really know what to 
do with them and kept them over, lo, these many decades, in a very 
tightly sealed glass jar in dark and relatively cool places.

I joined the SCA in 1999 and cooked my first feast in 2000. Those 
ancient cubebs turned out to be larger and to have superior flavor 
than any of the freshly purchased cubebs i have since bought.

So it rather depends...
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list