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Old 09-17-2010, 04:33 PM   #1
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Misc questions on spices

I was wondering if you could help me finalize some questions regarding spices.

1. I picked up some fresh basil at a farmers market today. Can I freeze this. The farmer said I could - but said something about it will probably turn black. Is this true? So can it be frozen effectively?

I traveled to a city in NH called Nashua NH to run some errands and went to a well know little asian market. I think I got some pretty good deals. I bought ALL dry spices at this Asian store The spice bags say best quality pep?to. I'm not sure the 4th letter since the letter is dressed up like a man with a sambroro hat on "lol". Anyways, BIG bag of oregano net weight 2.0 oz (57 grams) is one example. Price $2.69.
Another example sweet basil 15 grams - $1.50
Of course who's to know if it's good quality or not. I bought other spices too

2. Can I store this in a plastic zip lock bag? I can put some in an old spice containor but it won't all fit in there. I need some way to store it.

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Old 09-17-2010, 04:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by legend_018 View Post
I was wondering if you could help me finalize some questions regarding spices.

1. I picked up some fresh basil at a farmers market today. Can I freeze this. The farmer said I could - but said something about it will probably turn black. Is this true? So can it be frozen effectively?

I traveled to a city in NH called Nashua NH to run some errands and went to a well know little asian market. I think I got some pretty good deals. The bags say best quality pep?to. I'm not sure the 4th letter since the letter is dressed up like a man with a sambroro hat on "lol". Anyways, BIG bag of oregano net weight 2.0 oz (57 grams) is one example. Price $2.69.
Another example sweet basil 15 grams - $1.50
Of course who's to know if it's good quality or not. I bought other spices too

2. Can I store this in a plastic zip lock bag? I can put some in an old spice containor but it won't all fit in there. I need some way to store it.
Ideally, basil can be dehydrated, though it will lose some of its fragrance. I suggest you buy it ready-dried. It doesn't cost much. I don't, in fact, have never tried freezing basil though expect some here have.

A tip whenever using fresh basil. Never wash the leaves, but instead, wipe them. This ensures the fresh leaves will retain their gorgeous aroma. Always tear basil, never cut because steel will bruise the leaves and cause discolouration.

Edited to add,

Welcome to DC. :)
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Old 09-17-2010, 04:46 PM   #3
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Plastic bags are fine.keep them out of heat/light.

I would make pesto and freeze that with a layer of olive on top.

I have never tried freezing it since it never lasted long enough.
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Old 09-17-2010, 04:48 PM   #4
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Sorry before people get confused. My first post was suppose to mention that all the spices I bought at the Asian store were dry spices. I just happen to pick up a bag of fresh basil as well at a farm on the way home.
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Old 09-17-2010, 05:03 PM   #5
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It's often a great deal to buy spices in an ethnic market such as an Asian or Indian market. There is a regular turnover so they tend to be fresh.

Store the dried herbs and spices in airtight containers. I'd go with a normal sized container for the kitchen and keep the rest sealed up in a secondary location.
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Old 09-17-2010, 05:03 PM   #6
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I got that!
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Old 09-17-2010, 06:54 PM   #7
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I often freeze fresh herbs, since there are only two of us. They do discolor and are only fit for cooking in something. No loss of flavor, but the visual appeal and texture are ruined.

Store dry spices and herbs in airtight containers out of the sunlight. You should try to use them within 6 months. Otherwise they start losing their aromatic oils and thus their flavor.
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Old 09-18-2010, 07:24 PM   #8
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I grow and freeze parsley, basil, thyme, oregano, and rosemary all the time, especially now that the cooler nights are on their way. Weather you buy them fresh from the market or grown them, all you do is wash them and dry them. For basil and parsley, I take all the leaves and put in a container loosley packed and freeze. If you put them in a plastic bag, they will bruise and break. For small leaves like thyme and oregano, I strip them from the stem and place them in a little ziploc bag and freeze. For roesemany, I just place sprigs in a ziploc bag and freese. You will enjoy fresh herbs all winter long.

I wouldn't use them for garnish, but for cooking, I think there is no loss of flavor.
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Old 09-18-2010, 07:36 PM   #9
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I grow and freeze parsley, basil, thyme, oregano, and rosemary all the time, especially now that the cooler nights are on their way. Weather you buy them fresh from the market or grown them, all you do is wash them and dry them. For basil and parsley, I take all the leaves and put in a container loosley packed and freeze. If you put them in a plastic bag, they will bruise and break. For small leaves like thyme and oregano, I strip them from the stem and place them in a little ziploc bag and freeze. For roesemany, I just place sprigs in a ziploc bag and freese. You will enjoy fresh herbs all winter long.

I wouldn't use them for garnish, but for cooking, I think there is no loss of flavor.
Interesting. When you say wash them and dry them - how do you dry them?
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Old 09-19-2010, 06:57 PM   #10
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sorry, I just saw your post ... I take a few sheet of paper towels and spread the leaves on top and roll like a jelly roll. They shouldn't be bone dry. You can also use a salad spinner, but I find the paper towel method works great and one less this to wash.
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