"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > Recipes & Ingredients > Herbs and Spices
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-13-2013, 11:22 PM   #1
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: va by way of upstate ny
Posts: 4,442
Bulk herbs and spices==Hello, help?

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....

__________________

__________________
vitauta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2013, 11:37 PM   #2
Ogress Supreme
 
PrincessFiona60's Avatar
Site Administrator
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 36,305
Yes, that is a good price for the powders, a bit iffy on the herbs that are bulkier and weigh less. They should be selling by pound, not tablespoon.
I only buy what I am going to use in a few weeks, no long term storage.
Yes, on the ground ones if you are going to be using them in the next few weeks.
Glass jars with tightly fitting lids. I emptied out my old spices and kept the jars.
__________________

__________________
PrincessFiona60 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2013, 11:47 PM   #3
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: va by way of upstate ny
Posts: 4,442
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
Yes, that is a good price for the powders, a bit iffy on the herbs that are bulkier and weigh less. They should be selling by pound, not tablespoon.
I only buy what I am going to use in a few weeks, no long term storage.
Yes, on the ground ones if you are going to be using them in the next few weeks.
Glass jars with tightly fitting lids. I emptied out my old spices and kept the jars.
well, this is not good. why can the ground spices not be kept for extended periods of time, like my other store brand spices and herbs, pf?
__________________
vitauta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2013, 12:29 AM   #4
Ogress Supreme
 
PrincessFiona60's Avatar
Site Administrator
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 36,305
Ground spices lose their volatile oils (flavor) quickly once ground. They need to be kept in a cool dark place to keep them a bit longer. Some you can coax back to life if you toast them lightly in a tiny bit of oil. I still save money on spices, even buying them every few weeks. Once I decide on what I am cooking, I list the spices I will need and go get them from the bulk bins. The store I go to keeps an "open" date on their jars, so I can tell how long they have been on the shelf. I then put the same open date on my jars with a grease pen.
__________________
PrincessFiona60 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2013, 02:18 AM   #5
Master Chef
 
Cooking Goddess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Body in MA ~ Heart in OH
Posts: 8,287
Actually, the Penzeys catalog has a column on page 3(?) that says you can keep spices for a year. They reason that since the plants are processed only once during the year it's not necessary to replace properly stored herbs or spices more often than they are processed. I store mine in glass bottles in a cupboard not over the stove and I've had great success with viable spices. Even better, if I buy something in bulk at Penzeys (4 oz. or more bag) I keep it in its original bag down in the basement, away from windows or heat such as the furnace or hot water tank. Whenever I fill the upstairs bottles I'm doing the "sniff test" and rarely have to pitch anything before it's used up.

If you feel like playing with numbers and weights you could always take a spice you have (say basil) and measure out how many tablespoons you get in an ounce, then use the price off the Penzeys website to compare to the local bulk store.

I'd say if it's a spice or herb you use frequently you probably won't go wrong with a good amount of that item. Since you're expanding your palate we'd better see some interesting dinner plans showing up in the "What's for Dinner" threads early this week!
__________________
... nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have... ~~~ LeBron James
Cooking Goddess is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2013, 06:23 AM   #6
Chef Extraordinaire
 
pacanis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW PA
Posts: 18,751
I keep some of mine over a year without a noticeable flavor loss. When you buy in bulk to save on shipping you can only use them up so fast. Admittedly, the basil isn't what it used to be.

Sorry I can't help you out, Vit. Buying herbs and spices is always a task for me. I seem to get on a specific herb or spice kick and blow through the ones I should have bought more of while the others sit.
__________________
Give us this day our daily bacon.
pacanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2013, 07:34 AM   #7
Ogress Supreme
 
PrincessFiona60's Avatar
Site Administrator
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 36,305
I wish I had a Penzey's I could shop at.
__________________
PrincessFiona60 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2013, 07:56 AM   #8
Chef Extraordinaire
 
CWS4322's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rural Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 12,335
I buy a lot of my spices at the Bulk Barn. Herbs I usually use fresh and keep pots of the herbs I use most often either on the deck in the summer or the house in the winter. I tend not to use a lot of dried herbs. I buy fresh herbs and dry those, but not large quantities.

Like PF, I buy what I will use in a reasonable amount of time (thyme?). I store fenugreek seeds in the freezer because they go rancid and I don't use fenugreek that often. Having said that, curry powder that includes fenugreek can also go off, so I would store it in the freezer except that I use up curry powder fairly quickly (a friend blends her own and shares with me).
__________________
I've got OCD--Obsessive Chicken Disorder!
http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...les-76125.html
CWS4322 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2013, 08:35 AM   #9
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 16,917
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.

The only time I use dry ginger is in pumpkin pie. Otherwise, fresh ginger kept in a jar of sherry or rice vinegar will keep practically forever and has much better flavor.

Think in terms of the types of cuisine you like to make. If Mexican, get Mexican oregano, cumin and chili powder. If you make rubs or seasoning blends, get garlic and onion powder and other seasonings you want to include.

20 cents per tbsp. seems like a good deal, although a weird measurement. Glass jars with tight-fitting lids are the best way to keep them. My brother gave me a set of Penzey's herbs and spices for Christmas one year and I just recycle those jars and others I already had. I replace my herbs annually; spices I sometimes keep longer, depending on what they are, how they smell, and whether I have used much of them. Hope this helps.
__________________
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~ George Miller
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2013, 11:31 AM   #10
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 18,894
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
I find that cinnamon is really hard to grind to a fine powder, so I keep some ground cinnamon. I also keep the sticks.

I re-use spice jars. I also save small glass jars, like from Dijon and capers for herbs & spices.
__________________

__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
herbs, other, spices

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:03 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.