Sunday, 27 July 2008

Storing Herbs Effectively

The way you store herbs is important for them to stay fresh and retain their flavours. Heat, light and age are the three enemies of herbs and. With this it is best not to store them in glass jars on a display in the kitchen.

Consider dedicating a small cupboard or drawer to them instead, keeping them as cool and dark as possible. The best advice is to store all herbs by transferring them to airtight containers once opened. Just using a paper clip of some other fastener on the original packet just doesn't work.

There is a case to said that it is best to replace your herbs every six months. This isn't entirely true as herbs have a have wide range of 'best before dates, and the time stored varies greatly from herb to herb.

What also has a big affect on the life span of storing herbs is the way is is stored. For example rosemary stored in a half filled container probably has a shorter shelf life than lavender in an unopened packet. I would go as far as to suggest that one year is the maximum for most herbs which is quite convenient as each year a new crop is grown.

Even after a year when green herbs lose some of their scent and colourŠ» it doesn't make them bad but just affects thei strength and power, they can still be used. It is aways practical to keep a note of the use by date when transferring herbs into other containers. If you stick a label on and write this in pencil it can always be rubbed out and rewritten for the next batch.

It is not a good idea just to top up old herbs with new and a good idea to give them a good wash and clean then dry out the container completely before refilling with a fresh herbs.

Buying in bulk is never a good idea unless you are in the catering trade. Many people are urged to do this from the point of bigger is cheaper but it is a false economy. Most of the herbs you will buy in bulk with just go beyond the best before date and either just fill space in your larder or get thrown away. so avoid waste and buy in small amounts is the best policy.


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