We’ve all seen it, huge litre sized plastic jugs filled will ground spice. Your lucky if you get through half of that jug over the next half decade. Unfortunately spices over time loose their freshness and flavour. Sure you may be saving a bundle buying cinnamon in bulk at a big box store, but are you really getting value for your money? Are you really enjoying the wonderfully rich flavour freshly ground cinnamon, for example, should impart. The answer is probably no. I’ll share a little story about cinnamon to illustrate my point.
My father loves to shop in bulk, and he also loves his cinnamon. Add 2 and 2 together we get ground cinnamon in bulk. This was obviously before I dove head into the Fairtrade and organic spice slinging business. I remember receiving my first shipment of Fairtrade organic cinnamon bark from India. I could not be more eager to sample the goods. I grabbed a few sticks, threw them in my Waring spice grinder and ground them with palpable anticipation. Within seconds, the air was filled with the delicious aroma of fresh cinnamon with an intensity never before experienced. Ground to a fine powder I took a small pinch of my cinnamon, and sprinkled it into my mouth. I was blown away, until that moment I can assure you I had never actually tasted cinnamon the way it was supposed to be tasted. It was rich, sweet, and piney, with just a hint of heat. Even with such a small amount the flavours exploded in my mouth. Without a second thought I unplugged my grinder, grabbed a few more sticks of cinnamon and drove straight to my fathers house. I grabbed my dad and brought him to the kitchen, plugged in my grinder, threw in the cinnamon and started grinding. Within seconds my fathers eyes lit up. “Is that actually cinnamon?” he asked, “ya, pretty nuts huh” was my response. He then proceeded with a taste test. He sprinkled a little into his mouth, nodded his head, looked up to me and said “the regular stuff tastes like sh*t”.
The moral of my little story is that when it comes to spices less in more and and freshly ground is better. Unless you own a restaurant or a bakery, or happen to be an extremely avid home chef, buying spices in bulk is bad, even worse is buying ground spices in bulk.
Here is a great article and a video providing some great information on storing your spices.
Remember, the Fair Seas Spice Co. sells all of our spices whole, in small quantities, and in containers designed to extend the life and flavour of your spices.