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Old 10-15-2013, 06:04 PM   #21
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Well sonofagun. I just returned from the town store and we now have a spice selection! They have a whole section, larger than their McCormick's area, with these http://nutmegspice.co/
They have the town store's name on them. I did not want to commit to a large bottle of powdered spice, but they had a great selection of dried items as well. Including potatoes, tomatoes, carrots... and porcini mushrooms! Those I did buy. I bought 2-1oz jars at $4.99 a jar. That's like half the price of the ones I bought last week. Cool.
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:50 PM   #22
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in honor of bulk foods week, my food delivery place is offering a sale on their newly expanded line of bulk organic herbs, spices, grains, etc.

i have not bought herbs and spices in bulk before, but would like to take this opportunity to expand my limited 'spice rack', and perhaps replace some prehistoric and/or inferior spices with fresh ground/crushed/chopped organic product.

here is a list of the spices i am considering: (they are all priced at $.20/Tbsp.)
coriander, cumin seed, curry blend, ginger, parsley, rosemary, turmeric.

1. which of these spices is a good buy, or not?
2. does it make sense to buy m/l than, say, 4Tbsp my first time out?
3. should i be adding other common spices to my list e.g.--basil, oregano, thyme, paprika, garlic, chili, etc...
4. what is the best type of container for my new spices?

if anyone is still with me after this long, convoluted query, i would appreciate whatever advice or suggestions you might have....
It depends on how quickly you'll use them up. Herbs and spices do not keep indefinitely as they lose flavour. In fact 6 months is about the limit.

As for storage, they need to be stored in small amounts in containers that exclude light completely and air as much as possible. Those pretty racks with clear glass jars that stand on your kitchen counter - or worse, on the window sill - are an absolute no-no.

The varieties you buy depend on what you like the taste of. Some herbs are not very good when dried eg parsley, coriander and basil. Mint changes its character so much that it's almost a different herb (dried mint is used in middle eastern cookery. Others, such as oregano, actually taste better to some people than fresh.
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Old 10-15-2013, 07:01 PM   #23
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[QUOTE=GotGarlic;1309575]Hi, vit. Spices - seeds, berries, bark, etc. - will keep best whole, so I would buy cumin and dill seed, whole nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, etc. You can grind these in a spice grinder or dedicated coffee grinder as needed. Woody herbs dry well and the whole leaves maintain more flavor than powders - thyme, rosemary, sage, bay and oregano. I crumble these when I use them to release more flavor. Soft herbs like parsley and basil aren't worth the money when they're dried, imo. These I grow or buy fresh and freeze in ice cube trays when I have extra.

QUOTE]
And peppercorns too.

And coriander leaf (cilantro, sorry)and chervil don't dry well either
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:32 PM   #24
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I've wondered at dried chives as well. Dried cilantro (coriander leaf) is totally useless; so is dried curry leaf.
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:46 PM   #25
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Yes. Dried chives taste like straw. Frozen chives are better, fresh are best. Even better to imitate chive flavor is frozen, chopped green onion, they actually keep their flavor. Dried basil is a waste, I dig my basil up and put them in a semi-sunny window and over winter them. They look ratty as all getout, but provide me with nice fresh leaves.
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:50 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
Well sonofagun. I just returned from the town store and we now have a spice selection! They have a whole section, larger than their McCormick's area, with these http://nutmegspice.co/
They have the town store's name on them. I did not want to commit to a large bottle of powdered spice, but they had a great selection of dried items as well. Including potatoes, tomatoes, carrots... and porcini mushrooms! Those I did buy. I bought 2-1oz jars at $4.99 a jar. That's like half the price of the ones I bought last week. Cool.
Stale herbs/spices can be tossed on the coals when you are bbq'ing for added flavour. Just sayin'.
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:12 AM   #27
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I've wondered at dried chives as well. Dried cilantro (coriander leaf) is totally useless; so is dried curry leaf.
Actually, I bought a small jar of dried chives the last time I was at Penzeys. I've had the plant on my kitchen windowsill but it wimps out on me quickly. When I buy it in the produce section I don't use it up fast enough and end up throwing half of it out. I figured it'd give the smallest jar a chance. I was pretty surprised at how much they were like fresh chives once they are in the liquid/cream and have a chance to reconstitute themselves. Not cheap initially but when I consider what I've paid for the stuff I've thrown out the Penzeys chives should be winners.
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:36 AM   #28
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Interesting thought, CW. Maybe I'll try that with the basil I have
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:31 AM   #29
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Actually, I bought a small jar of dried chives the last time I was at Penzeys. I've had the plant on my kitchen windowsill but it wimps out on me quickly. When I buy it in the produce section I don't use it up fast enough and end up throwing half of it out. I figured it'd give the smallest jar a chance. I was pretty surprised at how much they were like fresh chives once they are in the liquid/cream and have a chance to reconstitute themselves. Not cheap initially but when I consider what I've paid for the stuff I've thrown out the Penzeys chives should be winners.
I haven't tried dried chives. I have chives growing in my yard. About this time of year, I cut them all the way back. I parblanch them for a few seconds and then let them dry and freeze them. I cut off as much as I need still frozen. They are a bit limp, but work fine. So, a bit finely chopped on a baked potato, or in a sauce is just fine. In a salad, not so much.

Why don't you plant some? They love a cold climate with a really cold winter. I have some in a pot, so I will bring them in and see how they do in the house. Never tried that before. The rest stay outside.
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Old 10-16-2013, 10:46 AM   #30
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I've wondered at dried chives as well. Dried cilantro (coriander leaf) is totally useless; so is dried curry leaf.
It is actually interesting, because dried parsley, for example, is just fine, but you are right dried cylantro is total junk.
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