What spices will keep rice and flour critter free?
- Sid Post Aug 10, 2013 03:20 PM
I have heard certain spices can be added to rice to keep the moths and various critters out sort of like "moth balls" and cedar do for our closets. Is this an urban legend or does it really work? What spices are best?
Hi Sid- I have never heard this, although it may be true.
The only thing that has worked for me is to store these things in the freezer. Some glass containers with secure fits/gaskets around the lid may help, but I just started storing all my flour and grains in the freezer. I've not had a problem with rice getting critters.
I've heard bay leaves can keep away pests, but I can't personally tell you if that's true. People recommend just tucking a few bay leaves in with your flour or rice.
Have heard bay leaves work, but wonder if their flavor gets into flour/rice? I don't keep flour, rice, dried beans, or pastas in anything that isn't air-tight.
I've kept a big bay leaf in my flour for years and years, and yes, it works. I just drop one or two on the top of the flour before I put the lid back on the plastic container in which the flour is kept, so it's easy to just pluck them out when I need to use the flour.
And no, it doesn't impart any discernible flavor to the flour.
I've also used wrappers from Doublemint gum -- they work nearly as well.
Airtight will only work to an extent -- the eggs and/or larvae are already in the flour when you buy it, so it's not a matter of keeping bugs out.
My mother used the bay leaves too. I keep everything in sealed glass or plastic containers, but I've stopped with the bay leaves because I find I don't use the flour fast enough to keep the bay leaves from imparting a flavor. It's true the eggs are likely in the flour already, though.