The title of the article was a little provocative, “Just how old are your spices?” It went on to chirp about organizing for the new year, crowing a bit about the satisfaction of clearing out and setting a bar for a clutter-free, healthier Tomorrow.
Okay, okay — spices. It’s true they take up an inordinate amount of space in an extraordinary tiny kitchen. I hate to toss out spices when I know the next recipe I want to make will want a garlic and herb seasoning blend. BUT, I thought — what good the spice if too tired to contribute to the dish?
I took 8 of my spice bottles at random out of the cupboard. I chose all McCormick brand so that I could use their online date de-coder to find out exactly the age of the products I was sheltering.
Read it and weep.
Two of the spices, parsley and lemon peel, do not have the right identifying marks on the bottle to code their age. (Actually the parsley looks pretty green and the lemon peel looks pretty tired, so I decide thumbs up and thumbs down.) Celery seed is a bright spot. It’s vibrant, ready to mix it up with any recipe til March, 2011.
Minced Onions announce their prime was 2 years ago. Ever since 2002, Basil has been a bust. Oh my, I thought — not good for creating the perfect meals.
But just when I thought, whew — that was an exercise, I typed in the code for Garlic and Herb Seasoning, then Sage Leaves and finally Pumpkin Pie Spice.
Garlic and Herb is 13 years old; blends only last 1 -2 years top. Sage Leaves clocked in at 21 years making it legal for them to get a drink but way over the estimated lifespan of 1-3 years. And Pumpkin Pie Spice, well , it is a good thing that I haven’t made a pumpkin pie in a while cause the spice is 27 years old!
Yeah, this was fun.