Archive for the ‘spices’ Category

herbs and spices

IMG_3669This year the herbs in the garden grew beautifully. I think the compost tea really made a difference. I hang them all upside down on the clothes drier rack and after two or three weeks the herbs are dry and ready to be put away.




Fall is the perfect time of year to check your herbs and spices. If you’re running low and you don’t have your own herbs to dry, the farmer’s markets are the best place to stock up on some freshly dried spices. The Jean Talon Market has a huge choice of dried herbs grown locally or Olives et Epices, owned by Ethné and Philippe de Vienne who travel the world in search of the best spices. This little gem is filled with oils, vinegars, olives, spices and all kinds of accessories from all over the planet.


Spices and Herbs

Club House FAQ’s

What is the difference between a spice and an herb?

Spices and herbs are aromatic natural products that are used to flavour food. Spices are the dried seeds, buds, fruit or flower parts, bark, or roots of plants, usually of tropical origin. Herbs are the leaves and sometimes the flowers of plants, usually grown in a climate similar to the Mediterranean.

How can I tell if my spices and herbs are fresh?

There are three ways to determine whether spices and herbs are fresh: appearance, smell, and taste. Visually, you can check your spices and herbs to make sure that their colour has not faded. Loss of colour is an indication of flavour loss. A fragrant, intense aroma is characteristic of fresh spices and herbs. Crush the spices and herbs in your hand. If you do not smell the aroma, or if you taste them and the flavour is not apparent, it’s time to replace your spices and herbs.

Do spices and herbs spoil?

Spices and herbs do not spoil, but they do lose their strength. Old seasonings will not flavour your meals the way they are intended to.

What is the shelf life of spices and herbs?

The shelf life of properly stored spices and herbs is approximately 3-4 years for whole spices and seeds, 2-3 years for ground spices, 1-3 years for leafy herbs, and 1-2 years for seasoning blends.

For more information please visit our School House Section.

Can I freeze spices and herbs?

Spices and herbs should not be stored in the freezer. Freezing does not extend the shelf life of regularly used dried spices and herbs. If stored in the freezer and repeatedly removed for use, the bottles may develop condensation, which can accelerate loss of flavour and aroma.

How can I preserve the flavour and quality of my spices and herbs?

Replace the lid on bottles right after use. Measure seasonings in a bowl and then add seasonings to the pot. Do not sprinkle spices and herbs directly from the bottle over a steaming pot. Steam introduced into a bottle will hasten the loss of flavour and aroma. Steam will also result in caking. Make sure the measuring spoon is completely dry when you dip it into the spice bottle. The added moisture may cause caking or flavour loss.

Read Full Post »