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Apr 1, 2010 07:58 AM

Keeping dried peppers

I have a recipe that calls for dried ancho and guajillo peppers, so I bought a HUGE bag of each (the only thing I could find). A coworker tells me that you have to watch to make sure you don't get some kind of bugs. Does anyone know if this is true, and if so, how to prevent it? I wouldn't have thought dried peppers would be that appealing to any bug. I know it will take me awhile to use them. What should I do to best preserve them?

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  1. Can't answer about dried peppers, but I can about dried mushrooms.

    Once, In Chinatown, I brought a number of different types of their bulk dried mushrooms. Bringing them home, I stored them in the cabinet in plastic bags. Infrequently, I used them. A couple of months after the purchase, I began having flying bugs coming out of said cabinet. They were from the mushrooms.

    Now, when I purchase them, they immediately go into the freezer, and I've never had that problem again.

    Suggest you do the same with the dried peppers.

    1 Reply
    1. re: toitoi

      Definitely freeze them. They can go from frozen directly into any dish you're cooking, or just pour hot water over the frozen peppers to reconstitute them.

    2. I keep my dried peppers in a large plastic container ('tupperware'), and haven't had problems with bugs.

      1. It is true that dried peppers can harbor insects. Keep them in a sealed tupperware container so if insects do hatch they'll be segregated. I once traced insects in my pantry back to a bag of dried peppers. Getting rid of them was no big deal, but the ick factor was kind of hard to overcome!

          1. re: Uncle Bob

            That's what I put the mushrooms in. Perhaps, I didn't seal the three bags completely after using some. But those critters got out. Ate their way thru the plastic?

            1. re: toitoi

              Sounds like you brought the critters home with you form Chinatown! I use the Zip Locks to keep them out!! ~~ Never a problem....Yet! :)

            2. re: Uncle Bob

              Ditto here. I've dried my home-grown peppers and kept them for years in ziplocks.

            3. I have many bags of different dried peppers in the freezer. Will last a long time there.