Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Everyone is eating in more. Not only that, but everyone is probably trying to stretch their food dollars as far as they possibly can. In my opinion, the best way to do stretch the foods that you have been putting aside is to have a lot of beans, rice and taters, and have as little meat as you can get away with.

This kind of eating is common in the rest of the world. When I was working in Thailand and China, I ate with the folks that I knew there at local restaurants. Since I was always the only gwailo or farang at any of these restaurants, I knew that it was how the real folk ate. There was not to much meat at any of these restaurants. What meat there was was usually chicken or pork. But the food was always great. They usually spiced it perfectly.

So plan on keeping a store of spices with you. You can usually get the best spices at the local ethnic markets. Mexican food stores are usually the best. They have a gazillion types of peppers for less than a buck a package and their spices are low priced and cheaply packaged. Spending the money that the corporate stores want for spices is silly. Occasionally there is a spice that you have to buy at the big stores, but do it grudgingly.

I am trying to find a way to store spices. I am thinking that vacuum packaging them and maybe even putting in an oxygen scavenger pack would greatly extend their shelf lives. If anyone has some knowledge about this, I would appreciate it.


riverwalker said...

To help preserve flavor, herbs and spices are best stored in airtight containers, out of sunlight and away from heat sources ( not over or near the stove).


BTW, I can barely cook anything without using spices!

Marine 83 said...

My parents are still using pepper that someone gave them about 8years ago (two pounds of ground pepper). It still tastes like pepper, and wasn't stored with any particular precautions. Just sealed in glass jars. If you follow river walkers advice, most spices will last a good long time.

Anonymous said...

whole spices (not ground) will last 50 years. once you grind them the oils are released and they wont last very long after that. you can still eat them and they will work but you will need to use more of the spice to get the same effect as a fresh ground. spices are seeds, roots, etc. herbs are the leaves of plants they dont last long at all. vacuum pack them with 02 absorbers for long term storage. you can leave spices out for an extremely long time as long as they are whole.