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Embarrassing odor

This is a weird questions but here goes: I recently picked up some asafetida at an Indian market for a recipe and it's really stinking up my pantry! It's in a plastic container and I haven't opened it yet, but it's so smelly. Any tips for storing this spice? Can it be kept in the freezer?

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  1. I just keep it in a ziplock bag in my 2nd pantry (i.e., baskets hung inside my coat closet)!

    2 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Thanks, I'll try that. I was also thinking of putting the entire container in a big glass jar, but I don't have much space.

    2. Well, I've seen that storing it in your pantry is a good idea for keeping insects at bay!

      But another tip I've seen is to store it in a glass jar w/a metal lid to contain the "aroma" better. Maybe someone else knows about freezing.

      1. I guess the nickname "Devil's Dung" is appropriate. The word actually means smelling or fetid resin. Some report a smell of rotten garlic. Perhaps, you could stash it someplace outdoors.

        1. I'd use glass.

          You know how Nalgene water bottles aren't supposed to absorb odors? WELL..... try storing them next to your asafetida! The smell will NOT wash out!

          1. Asafoetida and Valerian.. two big time stinkers! I store both in their jar inside of a canning jar with a metal lid. Those smells can even work their way through a zip-lock bag.

            5 Replies
            1. re: fromagina

              Wow, the army should study this stuff as a potential chemical weapon. I'm ready to move out of my house and I've only had the container for a week or so!

              1. re: newhavener07

                It's funny, b/c I haven't noticed the odd smell at all! And I've probably had it for a year.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  Me too, Ruth. I was starting to think I either had some really bad asafoetida or my kitchen stunk so bad that I didn't even notice it.

                  And I have a very acute sense of smell.

                  1. re: Miss Needle

                    You two must have a bad batch of Asafoetida. I had it inside of a plastic jar inside of a glass jar with a wooden lid with a rubber gasket. It was still possible to smell it, and I ended up throwing away the glass jar because the odor had permeated the wooden lid. This stuff is the smelliest stuff you can get without a security clearance. I no longer have any in my pantry, and would only consider giving some to enemies.

                    1. re: Miss Needle

                      As another poster mentions further down, hing/asafoetida comes in different strengths. I keep the strong stuff in its original jar inside of a canning jar. The diluted stuff is milder. When following a recipe, be sure you know which kind the author had in mind, so you put in the right amount. If it is calling for a "pinch" of it, I doubt it wants the dilute stuff. If I recall, the dilute stuff I used to have was yellower than what I have now. What I have now is browner.

              2. Hm...am I the only chowhound here who LIKES the smell of asefetida?

                5 Replies
                1. re: antrobin

                  nope...not the only one :)

                  someone else mentions Valerian which in "Ancient Roman times" was used as perfume...

                  different strokes for different folks

                  1. re: aelph

                    There are a lot of smells that are pleasing in small amounts and unpleasant at higher concentrations.

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      na und?

                      meaning: and? what's your point?

                      I have a large jar of asafoetida secreted in a ziploc

                      I also have a plastic jar of valerian root for those sleepless nights(and/or intestinal difficulties)

                      I like the smell of my Squid brand nam pla

                      I love kim chee

                      not quite sure what quantity has to do with perception in these cases

                      1. re: aelph

                        Personally, I think we have this "floral or woodsy" perfume thing all wrong.. perfume that wafted garlic and oregano with a hint of rosemary and bay would certainly appeal to my s/o, as would Eau de Fresh Baked Bread. An aftershave that smelled like bacon or roast beef would knock MY socks off. I love the scent of nam pla and fermented cabbages. The only reason I lock in the scents of asafoetida and valerian (great for stomach upsets, yes) is to protect the delicate sensibilities of some dear but squeemy regular guests.

                        1. re: aelph

                          "not quite sure what quantity has to do with perception in these cases"

                          Kind of like its intriguing to catch a hint of perfume yet the same scent over applied is nowhere near as enjoyable!

                  2. You apparently have a highly concentrated asafoetida. Lots of places sell it cut down with (I think) some sort of starch so that it's not so overwhelming. Here in the UK, there's a version--probably a watered down one--that you find in the supermarkets with the usual spices. Inside the ubiuqitous glass spice jar are three smaller plastic vials with the powder in them. Even that is quite stinky.

                    Definitely suggest a glass jar with a good seal.

                    1. I thought the stuff was just kept around cover up bad odors in the days before flush toilets, showers and such.

                      1. Get a glass jar with a tight fitting plastic lid, Pronto. Transfer the contents.

                        I had No problem finding this spice in my local IndoPak markets since they stock the same brand with the poorly closing plastic bottle. Not an embarrassing odor, just annoying because I like to smell something else in my spice cupboard frequently.

                        1. When I first married DH, I used to hate the smell of hing (asaofedita, or however you spell it. The gujarati word "hing" is easier!). He stores it in the spice cabinet in a plastic container. Well, either the stuff is getting milder or I'm getting used to it, because I hardly notice it anymore. I think its one of those acquired taste things.....I used to hate pappadums too because I could smell/taste the hing in them...but now I eat them a lot.

                          Remember if you're not used to cooking with it: a little goes a long way.

                          1. In a safe deposit box at the bank.

                            Seriously, I keep the container wrapped in foil and put THAT in a ziploc baggie. It works. Sure stinks when I open the baggie, though.

                            1. This could be the merging of two threads - seems a great use for the hand-held vacuum thing!