Storing your herbs and spices properly will make the world of difference to the overall potency of your produce. Your dishes will taste authentic and full of flavour, plus you’ll have less food wastage. Most importantly, your customers will be coming back for more!
In this week’s blog, the World of Spice team take a closer look at correct storage and preparation methods for herbs and spice and how doing so will enhance their freshness and longevity.
Both fresh and dried herbs and spices must be stored in airtight containers. This will prevent oxygen from getting to your produce and encapsulate the potency of the seasonings, meaning that authentic flavour will stick around for longer. Be mindful of the best before dates, especially if you have a few of the same products on one shelf. Be conscientious of your stock rotation system and use the produce with shorter dates first.
Away from Sunlight
A cool, dark and dry pantry or cupboard is the optimum storage space for any dried produce. Sunlight and heat will strip the vibrant colours out of all herbs and spices and will also impact the strength of the flavour. Fresh herbs will likely wilt and perish quickly.
Needing to preserve citrus like herbs for an extra day or two? Cut up half a lemon and sprinkle a little juice onto herbs like coriander, basil and rosemary. It’ll add a welcome zest to your herbs but also allow them to last that little bit longer, saving time and money.
Talking of sprucing up flavours, why not mix herbs and spices that complement each other into a base paste? This could be for a curry, dahl, sauce or marinade. You can then dip into your stash as often as you need. It’s a great way to use up spices and herbs that are going out of date. This method is cost-effective, minimises food waste and it’ll save you time in the kitchen! Add dried herbs and spices to your base for an even more potent flavour in the mix!
In the Fridge
Did you know, you can keep fresh herbs and spices in the fridge? There are a couple of ways you can prep for fridge storage. We’d recommend starting by washing your herbs, draining away the water, then set them on a layer of paper towels. Next, pat gently with more paper towels to blot away any excess moisture. (You don’t have to do this step; you can go straight on to the next part if you strapped for time.)
Arrange the herbs so that they’re vertical on a fresh damp paper towel. Roll them gently and transfer the little cylinder into a sandwich bag, or airtight container. Store in the refrigerator.
With leafy herbs, you can also treat them like a little bunch of flowers! Snip off the bases of the stems and remove any discoloured or wilted leaves. Pop them in a jar with a little water in the bottom. You can screw the lid back on or cover with a sandwich bag.
Did you know that freezing your herbs and spices locks in the flavour, trapping volatile oils? Naturally, the quality does degrade overtime, which can affect the taste. It’s recommended that you use the frozen items within 6 months after having put them in the freezer.
To ensure your herbs and spices taste as delicious as possible there are a few things you should do upon freezing.
- Wash them and strip of any wilted leaves.
- Cut roots, stems or leaves into equal-sized chunks to make it easier to chop or to grind evenly in the food processor.
- If you’re grinding or cutting into smaller pieces, add some olive oil to preserve the flavour of the herbs as they freeze. Add just enough oil to enable the chopped pieces to stick together. The oil serves two purposes. First, it makes it easier to form and measure the mass of chopped herbs into serving sized pieces. Secondly, it reduces the surface area within the chopped mass that is exposed to air. Reducing air exposure helps prevent discoloration of leafy herbs and also reduces freezer burn.
- Store well – wrap your produce in separate cling film parcels, in freezer bags, or in an ice cube tray. Storing individually discourages freezer burn from happening, which is when your herbs and spices clump together and form a solid mass.
Dried Herbs and Spices Mean No Hassle
Dried herbs and spices are the easiest kind of produce to store. They retain their potency and freshness, and are more hassle free, especially in a busy restaurant environment! Buying wholesale herbs and spices can eliminate having to store in a specific way in the first place.
Dried produce is not only more flavoursome and easier to prepare, it’s extremely cost-effective; the potential to waste fresh herbs and spices is 75% higher than dried. You also only need half of the amount of dried herbs to create the same flavour as fresh herbs would.
Get in Touch
At World of Spice, we understand the importance of authentic and traditional tasting cuisine. Our wholesale herbs and spices are known for their purity and potency, full of delicious flavour to give your food the edge. Our service is cost-effective and reliable; we go above and beyond for each of our customers to ensure that you get the produce you need for business.
From bespoke blends to a choice of packaging, complete with custom labelling, our comprehensive service can help you achieve your culinary goals. For more information about our services and what we can offer you, please contact us at email@example.com, or feel free to call our team on 01277 633303. We look forward to hearing from you.