HOW TO KEEP YOUR SPICES
The volatile oils that give the flavour to spices deteriorate when exposed to
THE OXYGEN IN AIR, LIGHT, HUMIDITY and HEAT.
Which logically means that spices should be kept in a dry, cool dark place, in an air-tight container which excludes all light and which you close immediately after use. A pretty spice shelf with its rows of decorative jars might be very ornamental but it is guaranteed to reduce the shelf-life of your spices.
Use a spoon to add spices to a dish and avoid shaking them directely out of their container into the pan, the steam from the cooking will inevitably be absorbed by the spices and again reduce their shelf-life.
Ground spices offer a very much larger surface area to the air and therefore have a shorter life than whole spices. For this reason we offer a particularly wide range of whole spices, their aroma is so much more intense that it's always the extra effort to grind them before using.
The legal recommended use by date (DDM : Date de Durabilité Minimale) for spices is 2 years from the date of packaging. This date should be respected for all ground spices to avoid being disappointed by their flavour. However, whole spices can be used for a considerable period after this date.
As an example; my grandmother kept peppercorns and nutmeg in ideal conditions, and they still had all their flavour 30 years later!