Indonesia’s spices have gained worldwide recognition. During the Dutch colonization, Indonesian spices were even exported for their distinct flavors and aromas. These spices, when used in cooking, can enhance the taste and aroma of dishes, stirring up a person’s appetite.
Spices are not only used to add flavor and aroma to dishes, but they can also be used for medicinal purposes. For instance, ginger is known to have warming effects and can be consumed to alleviate the symptoms of the flu. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help the flu subside faster. It’s no surprise that many Indonesian households keep a variety of spices in their kitchen for both cooking and medicinal purposes.
Spices can generally be divided into two categories: wet and dry. Wet spices, such as ginger, galangal, and turmeric, contain moisture and must be stored differently from dry spices like cardamom, pepper, star anise, and cloves. Proper storage is important to maintain the freshness and potency of both wet and dry spices.
Proper storage is essential to maintain the freshness and effectiveness of dry spices like cardamom and cloves. If not stored correctly, these spices can become moldy or lose their potency and become unusable. It is important to pay attention to the proper storage of all spices to ensure their longevity.
Tips for storing spices to keep them fresh
Many people struggle with storing both wet and dry spices properly. Wet spices can become moldy if stored in the fridge, while dry spices can become dry and shriveled if stored in a dry place outside the fridge.
Buying powdered spices may seem convenient, but they often contain other ingredients that can affect their flavor and aroma when used in cooking. To avoid these issues, follow these tips on how to store spices to keep them fresh.
1. Keep spices in small, tightly sealed containers
Small, grainy spices should be stored in individual small, tightly sealed containers to keep out dust and pests. This includes spices like pepper, coriander, salt, cumin, and cardamom. Invest in a set of small containers and label them for easy organization.
2. Store in a dry, clean location
It is important to keep all spices, including wet ones, in a dry location. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight or near a stove as this can cause them to dry out or spoil more quickly. Keep them in a clean, dry place to maintain their freshness.
3. Store in an open location
Spices in the form of leaves, such as orange leaves, bay leaves, and turmeric leaves, need an open place. Avoid storing in a damp place because they are prone to rotting, just like wet spices. Bay leaves in particular do not need to worry when they become dry because they can still be used. You can also use this method for storing wet spice spices.
Tips for storing in the fridge
If you still want to store your spices, such as ginger, turmeric, and galangal, in the fridge, it is important to wrap them in newspaper first. This will help absorb any excess moisture and keep the spices dry. Wet spices do not need to be washed before storing. Simply wrap them in newspaper to maintain their freshness.
By following these storage techniques, you can ensure that your spices remain fresh and flavorful. If stored in the refrigerator, they can last up to a month. For even longer shelf life, store them in an open location away from direct sunlight. Remember to regularly clean your spice storage containers to extend their lifespan.
To ensure the freshness of your new spices, make sure to wash your spice containers before refilling them. This will remove any remnants of old, spoiled spices that could potentially contaminate the new ones.