Last week, we had the chance to share some spice knowledge with Natalie Herbick on New Day Cleveland. New Day is a morning news segment that airs weekdays from 10-11am on Fox 8 in the Cleveland area, covering all things food, cooking, travel, health, entertainment and more.
To see the full video, visit the New Day Cleveland site. Here's a summary of our chat:
Do spices go bad?
You'll notice that your spice jars will usually have a Best By date stamp, not an expiration date. This is because spices don't actually "go bad", as in they don't spoil. They simply lose their flavor over time, which makes them useless. Old spices not going to hurt you, but they’re not really helping either.
When should I throw away old spices?
The general rule is if it’s over 2 years old, toss it. However, whole seeds will last longer than ground spices, so keep that in mind. Our suggestion is: if it doesn’t smell like anything, toss it.
What gives a spice its flavor and aroma?
Spices get their flavor from essential oils. You hear this term a lot. Contrary to marketing efforts, the word “essential” in this context doesn’t mean “must-have”. It’s actually referring to the “essence of” the plant. For example, our ground cinnamon contains about 3% essential oil, which is the “essence” of cinnamon. When this oil evaporates over time, that essence is lost which means it’s no longer useful as a spice.
At Spice Alley, we carry blended seasonings like chili powder, cajun seasoning, chicken seasoning, and curry powders — and they’re all salt-free. Why? Not because salt is bad, but because it's a better value for customers. You already have salt at home. If you’re paying for a 1/2 cup jar of seasoning, and a lot of it is salt, that’s not a good value. Plus, we all have difference preferences for salt, so this leaves it up to you.
Featured Product: Taco Seasoning
Taco seasoning is one of our favorite blends. This product contains fresh ingredients like paprika, cumin, cayenne, garlic, onion, oregano and a little bit of brown sugar. Interestingly, when we looked at a very popular grocery store brand of taco seasoning, the first three ingredients were corn flour, salt, and maltodextrin. Yikes! Our spices and seasonings contain no fillers, additives, or anti-caking agents.