Buying high-quality spices is not an easy job. Even the veteran chefs sometimes make the mistake of buying bad quality spices. So, how to make sure that the spices you are buying are the best quality spices? Don’t worry, we have got you covered. We have made a detailed guide of how you can buy top-quality spices for your kitchen.
5 Rules for Buying Spices
There are many rules on how to buy high-quality spices. If you are looking to buy mixed spices online or offline for your dish, then you are in the right place. Here is the list of the top 5 rules you need to remember before you buy any spice for your pantry.
1. Avoid buying spices from local grocery stores
Spices have an average shelf life of 7 to 8 months and the spices found at grocery stores usually sit there for 4-5 months and before that, they spent around a month in a warehouse. By the time these spices make into your dish, they have already lost their taste and quality.
Plus, it is highly possible that the spices are made using low-quality ingredients, which can spoil the taste and quality further.
2. Purchase whole spices
The best to ensure that the spices are of good quality is by buying them whole and grinding yourself at home. Whole spices have a long shelf life and they provide more taste even when you use less quantity. Since the shelf life of spices is low, chances are the spices available in your pantry have already lost their effectiveness.
When you buy ground spices, you are not aware of the ingredients used to make the final product, whereas when you buy whole spices, you know exactly what you are getting.
According to FDA regulations, companies are not required to mention the list of add-in ingredients in the final product.
3. Buy the best quality spices you can afford
Have you ever wondered why some spices are cheap and some are expensive? According to health regulation, it is impossible to harvest crops that are free from defects. These natural defects end up in the ground spices, which further deteriorates the quality of spices. So, it is best to visit authentic stores where you can buy whole spices instead of the ground at an affordable rate.
Tips on how to buy authentic spices?
Ethnic stores are places where you can find high-quality spices at an affordable rate. These stores usually sell spices that are used in daily cooking and re-stock all their products more often than common grocery stores where spices spend almost half of their life sitting on a shelf.
Yes, it is possible that some ethnic shops might sell low-quality spices, you always have the option to talk to the staff or smell or taste the spice before you buy them. The safest way to buy spice in a small quantity and try it at home to check whether the spice is authentic or not.
Try shopping from a local spice merchant as well. These shops usually guarantee high-quality and fresh spices. The best part is that they will also tell you which spice is for a particular dish and how to use it to get the most out of your spice.
If you cannot find a local merchant, you can try using the internet. There you can find both online and offline spice merchants easily.
You should avoid gourmet shops are all costs. They sell regular spices in the fancy packaging at an inflated price. If you have visited an authentic spice store, you will able to tell the difference between the real and fake spices with your nose. Good-quality spices are incredibly pungent and they should never smell musty. So, you can use the internet to find a merchant that sells the best-quality spices in your area.
4. Avoid buying spices in large quantities
Many of us have made the mistake of buying spices in bulk quantities. If you are a chef or run a restaurant, then only you should buy spices in large quantities. As mentioned above, spices don’t have a long shelf life. After 6-7 months, they lose their effectiveness.
Also, when you buy high-quality spices, you don’t have to use them much for cooking because ground spices are more potent than your grocery bought spices.
5. Grow your own if you can
Another best solution for getting the highest quality spices is to grow them yourself or buy them from someone who has their own spice garden. You can even store these spices for more than 7 months if you follow the proper steps to store spices.