If you’re cooking Cajun food, it’s likely that you’ll be using spices—and lots of them! Spices are a major part of Cajun cuisine, so keeping them on hand in your kitchen is a must for Cajun cooks. From sassafras to cayenne pepper, Cajun spices add depth, flavor and a delicious kick to all kinds of dishes.
To use spices to their fullest potential, it’s important to make sure they’re being stored correctly. Use the following tips to make your spices last long and taste great:
- Spices don’t spoil, but they do lose flavor and color. Keep dry spices away from any source of intense heat or direct light. Avoid putting them directly next to the stove or oven, or on top of the microwave.
- Dry spices should be stored in containers such as tins or glass jars to stay flavorful. Make sure that the containers have lids and close them tightly to keep spices fresh. If you forget and leave a jar open, rub the spices quickly before you use them to bring back some of the flavor before you cook with them.
- Remember when you buy your spices so that you don’t use them when they’ve lost flavor. Whole spices like cloves and peppercorns have the longest shelf lives and generally last about twice as long as ground ones. Use whole spices within a year and ground spices within nine months for the best flavor.
- If there are certain spices that you only use sporadically, consider freezing them. Find airtight plastic storage containers or freezer plastic storage bags to put the spices in, label each with the name of the spice, seal tightly and freeze until you need to cook with them. Don’t freeze fresh herbs, though, since they’ll wilt when you defrost them.
A good spice can make or break a Cajun dish, so make sure you’re storing them correctly. Spices are affordable, long-lasting ways to take a dish from just good to zesty and delicious. Happy Cooking!
Author Bio: Katie F. writes on behalf of Hefty®. Visit Hefty’s site for plastic food storage containers and other useful storage products.