Herbs and spices lend depth and flavour to stews, braises and so much more. Here’s how to get the most out of these pantry essentials.
- Don’t store them in the fridge or freezer. When you take them out to use them, condensation forms and the moisture will cause the volatile oils to oxidise rapidly.
- Always store dried herbs and spices in a dark place in airtight containers – use high-barrier zip-seal pouches or glass jars with metal caps and a seal.
- If a recipe uses fresh herbs and they aren’t available, use the dried version – but only a quarter of the amount stated. For example, if it calls for 1 tbsp of fresh oregano, you’ll need just 1 tsp of the dried version.
- When grocery shopping, look for the “best before” date. Whole spices usually retain their flavour for about three years, while ground spices and spice blends expire after 18 months.
By Barbara Koh, The Singapore Women’s Weekly, March 2014