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The Life of Spice

(15 Posts)
Bea0802 Mon 10-May-21 09:22:18

To throw or not to throw! I have a large box of spices that I've accumulated over several years. I was planning to give the cupboard, which also holds all my baking ingredients, a tidy up. But now I'm wondering whether to keep the spices or throw them out. I've read on the Internet to throw out after about 2 years, but the thrifty gene is protesting. So, lovely ladies, what's everyone's opinion.

timetogo2016 Mon 10-May-21 09:27:55

I would smell them before you decide to throw them out,if they smell strong keep them,if there is very little smell,dump.

Sago Mon 10-May-21 09:40:29


Shinamae Mon 10-May-21 09:48:18

The two year thing is because they probably lose their potency after that time but don’t think they would do you any harm.....

Redhead56 Mon 10-May-21 09:50:09


Jaxjacky Mon 10-May-21 10:07:59

I’d chuck them out.

kittylester Mon 10-May-21 10:12:49

Chuck them especially if they have been opened as they will have lost their potency.

Calendargirl Mon 10-May-21 10:26:41

Keep if they still smell how they should.

Witzend Mon 10-May-21 10:32:20

The smell test. They do lose potency after a while.

A Christmas recipe for gammon that I make every year, includes about half a teaspoon of allspice. So about every 2 years I chuck the virtually full jar and buy another. Waste really grieves me but I don’t see an alternative.

Witzend Mon 10-May-21 10:33:56

And ditto for the mixed spice in my Christmas puddings. I so rarely use it in anything else.

NotSpaghetti Mon 10-May-21 10:38:23

It's apparently a problem regarding toxins if there's a possibility that they may have become damp at all.

We had this discussion on Gransnet about a year ago and that's what I learned.

Other than that they lose their flavour in terms of the slow leakage of volatile oils.

Roni Mon 10-May-21 12:11:04

As long as the spices are stored properly in airtight containers or bottles u can use them.
I have cloves, cardamom, saffron, cinnamon sticks, peppercorns that I am still using.
The first 3 items were a bulk buy and I have had them over 5 years. They are expensive spices. However, they still smell fresh and taste wonderful so I sill use them.

Warmthlover Mon 10-May-21 12:30:27

There’s no point in using them if they have no savour. Taste/smell a bit; if you can’t detect aroma or taste, check ‘em!

mrswoo Mon 10-May-21 12:43:01

Chuck 'em if they've been opened a long time. They will have lost a lot of their flavour and will smell differently. I found an opened jar of paprika at the back of a cupboard - even the colour had changed. I put it straight into the bin without a backward glance.

Bea0802 Mon 10-May-21 12:55:32

Thank you everyone. I’ve gone through my box and most have been put in the bin. Oldest was 2002! I tipped the spices in the bin and containers in the recycle. I thought maybe I’d have a very fragrant kitchen, but I haven’t. So definitely the right decision. Thank you everyone.