Uploaded on Jul 29, 2009
Kathy FitzHenry, founder of Juliet Mae Fine Spices & Herbs, says it's OK to buy certain spices in the supermarket, while others should be purchased from dealers or independent merchants. Supermarket spices often sit around for a long time, so consider shelf life when buying. Safer bets are nutmeg, clove, allspice, cardamom, and black and white pepper. For spices like coriander, paprika, cumin, and cinnamon, go to a spice merchant with high turnover and a consistent supply, or else you'll end up with stale spices.
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As a spice expert I'd like to give you some advice and things to consider when you go shopping at your local super market. Not all spices that you're going to find there are bad. Spices that tend to have a really long shelf life include: black pepper, white pepper, nutmeg, clove, allspice, as well as cardamom. There are some spices; however, that you really should purchase from a spice merchant: paprika, cumin, coriander, as well as cinnamon, particularly ground cinnamon. Remember you don't have to be a spice snob to get really good flavors into your food.