Herbs and Spices Shelf Life
I've decided to replenish my herbs and spices and start anew. I will be heading to The Spice House this week and have attempted to find a chart of sorts that lists the expected shelf life of various items. But I've been unsuccessful thus far. I anticipate that I'll probably purchase around forty items. I have been mindful about portions and gleaned a lot from previous threads. However, nothing of this nature has been created. I'd appreciate any information you have.
gabby, I order most of my herbs and spices from The Spice House's Chicago store. (A couple of items, I like more from Dean & DeLuca--e.g., their Herbes de Provence and whole nutmegs--but nearly everything comes from TSH.)
TSH's catalog suggests replacing most unused items once a year. Most will last longer, but quality may have deteriorated. The catalog says also that *they* purchase most of the inventory once a year, and there is no point for the customer to replenish it more often if the objective is fresher merchandise.
I order about once a month, though, since I figure their storage conditions are more regulated than mine, and because of my own herb-keeping space restrictions (I keep most in the freezer, so I order what I think I'll use that month).
Here's a link to THS' website, with FAQs, including re shelf-life.
I envy you for being close enough to visit them. I love The Spice House's merchandise and its customer service for those of us far away.
If you have a foodsaver or other vacuum device, I strongly suggest storing your spices and herbs in ball jars. Open just before you need them, and reseal immediately afterwards. For frequently used items, like garlic powder, keep a little shaker jar about 1/8 full, and refresh when needed. I've found that with this method, herbs and spices have virtually no limitation on shelf life. Even Vanilla beans last a long time but I add a slice of apple to add moisture ot the jar to keep them soft.